Many of us have experienced the moment. You feel the pain of an injury and panic runs through your head. Surprisingly the first thought that comes to you is, “Will I be able to train?”
I’m here living proof that you will be able to train, whether you have a sore joint, nagging injury or while recovering from surgery. Just because something hurts doesn’t mean you need to skip going to the box. BUT PLEASE NOTE: it is extremely important that you let your coach know about your injury so that they can scale workouts so you can still get your WOD on!
I played football in high school and suffered a torn flexor tendon in my left ring finger and a broken scaphoid bone in my right wrist my senior year. I needed surgery on both. Once physical therapy was done for my finger, I went right into my wrist surgery. Training during this time was difficult due to both hands being unable to lift. Things like squatting, running, and sled pulling were my go-to activities. It’s important to focus on the things you can do and avoid the things you cannot do. There is almost always something you can do regardless of your injury.
When your injury involves something like a sore joint or strained muscle, it is important first that you try and stretch out and mobilize that area so that it feels less restricted and to aid in recovery because if you leave it unattended it can get worse. Surprisingly, one of the best ways to train through this kind of injury is to simply not do the movements that cause pain. A good way to find out what movements you should steer clear from is to ask your coach. Once you know what you can and cannot do, you are on your way to training while your injury heals.
Training after a surgery can be a little more complicated. It’s important not to rush through what your physical therapist has you doing, but this doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Being careful with the affected area is important, pushing to quickly may result in accidental re-injury. Do not train the body part that received the surgery on until your physical therapist clears you to do so. For example, if you injure your knee and are in a brace from upper thigh to foot you will have to focus on protecting that healing leg while switching your training to be more upper body focused. Unfortunately, you can quickly run out of ideas of what movements are safe. This is where talking to a coach is again important. They can come up with different ideas to keep you sane during your time of recovery.
Do not let the adversity defeat you. Dealing with a nagging injury or a surgery can take not only a toll on one’s body but also their morale. It’s easy to tell yourself you don’t need to go to the box or gym and that there is nothing you can do because you are hurt. This is when you need to force yourself to go.
Dealing with a burden is easier when you share it with a community of fellow athletes at the box. I can promise you that just going in and doing a WOD, even when you need it to be scaled, will result in you feeling better and accomplished. Your friends and coaches will always be there to help you physically and emotionally. You are never alone when you enter the box.