It’s true. If you do any physical activity long enough, there’s a good chance you’ll get injured, either from overuse, over-zealousness or just bad luck. Accidents do happen, and some of our favorite activities have inherent risks of injury. Usually, the injuries are minor, and after a few days off, you’re back in the game. But sometimes, the injury is significant, requiring a long layoff or possibly retiring from that sport completely. It can be hard to get on with things when something you love to do isn’t an option any longer… So how do you cope when you’re an injured mermaid? Check out brand ambassador Jen P. (@flentil) tips for coping with injury below!
Dry Docked: Even Mermaids Get Injured Sometimes. How to Cope!
From Mermaid to Medusa
When you can’t get out there, Depression, Crankiness and all-around Crazy can result…but they don’t have to!!!
I have many sports and activities that I enjoy, but first and foremost, I’ve been a lifelong runner. I didn’t just love it…I was good at it. Really good. I was competitive right up until…I had major knee surgery this past March. It was unexpected, and when the surgeon went in to fix me up, it was worse than they thought. When I had my post-op visit with the surgeon, one of my first questions was “Can I run again? And when?” I got a reluctant “Maybe” and a sobering discussion about the condition of the cartilage in my knee and my long-term prognosis for running and other high-impact activities. It became rapidly apparent that if I did run again, it would very different from before. No more hills. No more high mileage. No more competitive training. No more racing.
I used to be fast. I was a good runner. Even now, at age 47 (gulp! Am I really admitting my age in a public blog?) I could hold my own with runners half my age. I loved the training. I loved the racing. I loved being outside. I loved running with my running buds.
Just like that…gone. Over. No mas.
Don’t Just Drift With the Current…Start Swimming. Take Control!
The Universe had sent me a forceful message that it was time to start a new Chapter. I could write it myself or let it be written for me.
OK, so I may or may not have cried most of the way home from that appointment with my surgeon. But once I got that out of the way, it was time to think about the fact that I wasn’t going to spend the rest of my days sitting on my duff feeling sorry for myself, thinking about how I used to be a runner. Who was I going to be now? Well, pretty much the same person as before, DUH! And that wasn’t a person that sat around sulking, that’s for sure! Let’s GO!
It was time to figure out what I COULD do, and get on with it! Because any person who loves physical activity, starts to get a wee bit dodgy when they are cooped up and sitting around for too long. It isn’t healthy, mentally OR physically. I wasn’t going to be doing myself any good, and I certainly wasn’t going to be any good for my husband and son, either.
Don’t be a One-Trick Pony
Diversify Your Interests: Get Excited for the Next Big Thing!
Sometimes, it is easy to get all wrapped up in your fave activity to the exclusion of other sports and interests. That was me for a long time. I’m so thankful that I started paddling 4 years ago…it’s been a real gift since my injury. It gives me that same long, steady, rhythmic outdoor experience that I loved with running and it’s an equally intense workout. I’m so thankful that when I turned 40, I let my friend talk me into learning to surf, it’s given me a whole new way to have fun in the water. When we were on spring break right after my surgery, I traded out my pre-dawn run for sunrise swims along Seven Mile Beach. An hour of swimming goes by pretty fast when you are looking for sting rays and puffer fish!
Move On and Get Moving!
We all know the saying: Whoever is having the most fun, wins! Truth be told, I’m having a great time getting better at a few things that I didn’t make as much time for previously. And that has been awesome! Instead of a marathon or a few 5Ks on the schedule, I have a couple of SUP races to look forward to this year!
The one sport that remains untested since my surgery is surfing…and the jury is still out on that one. I won’t know until summer. If it works out, I’ll be thrilled. If not…I have my boogie board and fins ready to go! And of course, my fave MI OLA bikinis!!
I wish you all good health and fitness! But if an injury does happen to set you back, don’t let it stop you! GET OUT THERE!
Do you have any tips for coping with a long-term or permanent injury that you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments!