I feel like every time I get a serious injury, I post something along the lines of “things I learned while being injured”. Each post is normally a set of reminders to myself. The post normally centers around “existing in real life”.
It includes having other hobbies that don’t include running (or working out). I don’t have a dog and I don’t have children but I do have other nonrunning related hobbies.
Anyways, I seem to learn a lot about myself when I’m injured.
This particular string of injuries took the longest to heal. That is essentially because I had two separate injuries that kept me out of any solid running for 3-4 months.
Last year I did a nice long buildup (excluding the last) of my injuries.
I don’t know exactly who has been with me the longest so I added links of my running history if you are interested. (I also know my blog is PITA to find old posts (and that is something I’m working on…).
I’ve been blogging for over 4 years now and have followed and unfollowed people along the way. Not many (if any) people have followed me since college and through 9 moves.
First, I began running (seriously) July 2010. My full running story is here.
Tibia Stress Fracture July 2011-early September
Positives: I learned my body was not indestructible. I cannot run training runs too fast. Before my tibia fracture, I was running every run at a 7-7:15 pace. I didn’t know that was foolish and dumb. I thought in order to race faster, I must train faster.
That is not the case. From my tibia fracture, I learned that doing that day in and day out would cause me to get injured. The injury developed me physically and mentally as a runner. I learned how to train smartly. I learned that I liked long easy miles that I wasn’t worried about pace. Honestly that injury developed me more as a runner than any race or training run.
Rampant Cyst Growth Injury (September 2012-October 2012)
Positives: I learned I existed in real life. I learned that I had multiple hobbies that had nothing to do with running (like beginning my wall of cats).
I was left injured and had recently moved to a new location. I didn’t know many people and felt I had lost my identity and myself. I eventually met two of my best friends: Laura and Heather. I learned that I did have other hobbies and did enjoy other things outside of running. I also learned that running fitness stays for a very long time…after I PRed in my 6k (with one week of actual running under my belt).
Minor case of Plantar Fasciitis and Second Metatarsal Stress Fracture (Late June 2014-Early November 2014)
I think this injury seemed worse and longer (then others) because I was getting over a minor case of plantar fasciitis before my stress fracture. Along with an injury I faced my first deployment with T. It’s like a snowball began rolling down a mountain and picked up multiple issues and set backs along the way. Then eventually the snowball
slowly halted exploded (because it hit a tree and fell apart…my story…my rules about how the snowball ends).
I learned I have a lot of people who truly care for me. I learned that taking a step back and not really forcing recovery is just as solid of approach. While I’m no where near where I was, I’m growing closer and closer. Each injury has taught me something about myself, about my life and that is still have a lot of growing as a person.
What’s the point of this post?
I guess it’s to show me and whoever else that injuries (however serious) can teach us something whether we know it at the time. I’m still the same person whether I’m injured or healthy. I’ve been blessed (knock on wood) with injuries that last a maximum of 2-3 months. That is short in the grand scheme of things. I’ve never had an injury that takes half a year, full year or a very long time to heal. I’ve also always been very proactive to help speed up my injuries. Anyway you look at it having to stop doing something you enjoy stinks.
If you added advice in the LOLZ facebook post about what you learned from being injured, it will be up tomorrow!
Questions for you:
What have you learned from an injury?
Have you ever had a serious injury?
I like this post and that you asked this question on Facebook because I agree that injuries teach us a lot, it’s fun reading your responses and everyone’s. I’ve only really had 2 injuries, I had the calcaneal/heel stress reaction and then in 2010 I had anemia, which wasn’t an injury, but felt like one because took me out of running for over a month and affected my running long after, as well as my daily non-running life. One thing I learned that even after so many weeks off, the injuries are not always 100% healed, you may still have to take a few unplanned rest days or take it easy for a while to get back to where you were but you will get there.
I don’t know if I like the cat paintings or the snowball illustration better.
I just don’t understand why people won’t hire me for my art skills.
Wall of Dudes, Wall of Snow, now Wall of Cats. Also, we have a Cat Lady Run Club at work.
I’m glad you are able to have such a healthy outlook on these injuries. My first injury I felt like I learned about the importance of strength and balancing recovery. The second injury I feel like I’ve learned, well, not to give a f@#$, that I need to just chill out and realize that it is what it is, and a little time off is not that big of a deal. By the way, your illustrations are my favorite.
I think I learned similar things during my injury last year. Definitely that I needed to train smart instead of however I felt like training. I learned to respect my body and that it was definitely not indestructible.
I always learn a ton when I’m injured. But mostly I think we just learn more about ourselves and form that identity outside of workouts and running which is really important. Being injured is never fun but sometimes it feels like they’re a blessing in disguise- it makes us better runners in the long run (pun intended LOL).
You know I had the three stress fractures, compartment syndrome, nerve damage from surgery, but now I have compartment syndrome in the other leg.
I had no idea you painted! I used to do way more art when I was younger, but it somehow died off over the years, and now all my creativity is taken up by writing and photography. I do like the outlook you have on your injuries, though. People tend to focus on what they lose or can’t do when they’re injured, but I think every situation, even a bad one, teaches us something good if we’re only willing to stop moping and see it for the lesson.
First off, those cat paintings are awesome, and I now need to commission you to make one for our house! I always wished I was talented in something crafty, but alas….I am not by a long shot. As much as injuries suck, the few that I’ve had have made me a much smarter runner/human being, so I can’t be too mad or wish things were different. If they had been, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I think that’s a whole lot smarter overall than ever before!
I remember my first serious injury – sciatica – I tried to rush back and didn’t listen to body so that led straight to injury number 2. So my major lesson was to make sure to fully recover and not to dive back into training.
Injuries are such a bummer 🙁 at least you’re stating positive and learning some good life lessons 🙂
I have been following you since college!! Still love the blog! 🙂
Oh my gosh! As someone with a negative artistic ability (seriously, I can’t even say 0, my skills are like, -20) I think it’s beyond fascinating that you paint!
During my stress fracture, I also learned that you CAN maintain fitness when not running, and make your comeback that much easier. It might not be incredibly fun to elliptical and spin (for me at least) but if it’s important enough to you, excuses are just that excuses.
It’s so profound when we “realize” how much support we have out there. Yes we know our family and friends care about us, but I think that is something that a lot of us hopefully come to appreciate in our 20s, if we didn’t already.
I am writing a Thanksgiving post right now and I realize how dang lucky I am to be thankful for the best things in life, my family, health, and job. It’s so simple but true.
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