Come Back Stronger

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Let’s be real. Sh*t happens, and it does f*cking suck…

The past few weeks have been an absolute challenge, especially for a stubborn athlete like me. Who knew, being up in the Alps for a couple of days snowboarding can lead to a long break from shoulder dominant / overhead movements due to a minor injury?!

When injuries happen, these are the choices you’re left with:

A.) Letting an injury bring you down, or,

B.) Sucking it up and looking at it as an opportunity.

Of course, dealing and accepting the injury is never as easy as 1-2-3. Though I knew it was just a minor one and nothing serious that would take me out of CrossFit for more than 6 months, it was still bothering me.

Dealing with injuries has its negatives:

  1. Developing Anxiety – Considering the Open is around the corner, there are days when I worry. I worry whether I’ll be able to do the WODs, whether I’ll perform my best, etc. With injury, anxiety starts to build up immensely as we think about what will happen in the future with the current physique we are in.

  1. ‘FOMO’ a.k.a. the Fear of Missing Out – I’ve missed out on a handful of training sessions the first few weeks I had the injury, mainly because I felt like there wasn’t really any point considering I couldn’t do most of the movements. However, I mainly started to develop the FOMO in WODs that involved in the right exercises, WODs that I don’t need to scale to my capabilities, or just the FOMO in improving my weaknesses I had (bar gymnastic work). We all tend to get scared of missing out on everything, really.

  1. Isolation – Alongside FOMO, injured athletes tend to sit out on a lot of things, which does feel like being isolated.

  1. Jealousy – Yes, I am jealous! It sucks being in a training session and end up doing ring rows instead of pullups, tricep work instead of HSPUs, heavy front squats instead of OHS, or even power cleans instead of snatches! I am jealous when you can work on stringing muscle ups together and I can’t, or that you will work on the weaknesses I’ve planned on attacking in 2016 and I won’t. Goals I’ve set but can’t be worked on – what’s worse?! I don’t want to be jealous, but I am.

As humans, we all have a choice to make in life.

I had a choice. I had the decision to make between letting this injury bring me down or, come back stronger.

Accepting the negatives, I looked at this injury as an opportunity – an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to come back stronger as a CrossFit athlete.

We all know it’s hard to deal with obstacles like this, but below are some pointers I have learned and realised that I’d like to share with you all.

  • DON’T STOP TRAINING – Sure, it does suck missing out but this is the chance to train other things! I may not be able to do overhead movements, but I still can squat, deadlift, run, row, bike, and many more! There are so many exercise you can work on. Injury should never be the reason to stop you from training.

  • JOIN IN THE WORKOUT – This is an opportunity to NOT MISS OUT! CrossFit is constantly varied, and most importantly, scalable. Spice the workout with stuff you can do. Don’t let the injury bring you down and force you to sit out. There is always a way. Find it.

  • LOOK AND LEARN – Maybe you get jealous. But think about taking this moment to observe on how people move, on how people strategise workouts, and learn from them. Jot down things you’d like to try once you’re capable. Take this opportunity to grow as an athlete.

  • EMBRACE THE LITTLE THINGS – Celebrate any successes during your healing journey. Whether it’s just hanging on the bar and not feeling any pain, to being able to snatch which felt like so long, or just being able to lift your limbs! These small things will keep you moving forward. It’s your milestone, you’ve earned it, so embrace it.

  • IF IT HURTS, STOP. – If you’re already having second thoughts on trying the movement, don’t do it. Listen to your body and treat it well. Don’t force yourself in doing something that’ll harm your healing process. If it hurts, stop.

  • LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS – I’m very thankful to have people around me asking how my shoulder is feeling every now and then. And I’m even more thankful for having people shouting at me to stop when I was about to do some shoulder to overheads in a WOD. We’re stubborn and we make stupid mistakes, so it helps for people to tell you to stop. They don’t mean harm, so listen to them!

  • RECOVER AND REST – Being injured may seem like we don’t do as much work as people who aren’t. But we do. Never forget to recover and rest. Everyone needs it, so do you.

  • IT’S GOING TO BE OKAY – It will be. I promise. Healing takes time, and we just have to go through it. It’s also okay to breakdown and feel like sh*t sometimes. Take that pass, exhale that negativity, and come back tomorrow stronger! It’s all part of the healing process.

  • IT WILL COME BACK – Sometimes we get worried about not being able to lift the same numbers, do butterfly pullups, muscle ups, etc. Your body will remember. Don’t let it mentally affect you because they will all come back.

  • PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE – Take one day at a time, one session at a time, a rep at a time, a kilo at a time. Throughout this healing process, it will get tough. But always remind yourself that you are always capable of doing other things. Remind yourself positive thoughts that will motivate you towards your goals. Remind yourself that there is always a way and that this is just a hiccup, and you will come back stronger.

Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory

(George S. Patton)

Screenshot Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Screenshot Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

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