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Overcoming Injuries and Managing your Mindset 🧠

Updated: Jan 23

Let's face it, injuries are a part of life and there is always a chance that something could happen when you go about your training. Take me for example, I was training for a Half Iron Man which was scheduled to be played out in late February 2022. The race had already been pushed back 6 months due to the COVID situation, so I was super keen to get this one done and tick it off the "Fitness bucket list". I was training regularly in all of 2021 and was finding myself the fittest I've been in a long

time, completing 100km bike rides, 10-20km runs, and ocean swims, I was well and truly in the groove of my training and didn't think anything could interrupt my ankle had different plans. To cut a long story short, I had badly snapped one of my ligaments in my left ankle during a simple gym misstepping accident in December 2021, and along with that came a whole lot of bone bruising and swelling, which is only slowly starting to get better as I write this piece in early Feb 2022. Just like that, things changed instantly. The Half Ironman event gone, no running, no cycling, forget going to the beach on the soft sand, my favourite hobbies were instantly taken away from me. Of course, there was the initial disappointment and frustration in this injury happening. I think that's only natural to let those emotions come to the forefront and vent it out, but when the dust settles and the realisation kicks in that I will be in a moon boot for at least 6 weeks, and the possibility of surgery is on the cards, that's when the real test comes in for the mind, and you need to have a game plan.

I've had my fair share of injuries before so I'm no stranger to long stints on the sideline. Two knee operations, a broken arm, a broken thumb, an injured name it. These injuries have all tested my grit and resilience to some capacity, as they took away activities and hobbies that I loved participating in. This one is no different. What these physical injuries can't take away is your ability to look at the positives. I have always looked at the recovery time as an opportunity to strengthen other areas of my body and mind. So I injured my left ankle, what can I do? Upper body, core, left quad and hamstring, right leg....that's still a lot of strength work I CAN do! Yes, it's taken away the ability to do some activities that I had been training for, but the injury hasn't taken away my full ability to train. So I was straight back in the gym, sporting my new moon boot, getting through the exercises that I was able to complete. This gave me routine, training structure, and motivation to work on other parts of my body that needed improvement. As there are many aspects to training, we generally prioritise what we enjoy and do that as our form of physical activity. When we are injured, this opens up an opportunity to work on our weaknesses that we may have been putting off. Some examples of this could be doing extra mobility work on tight areas in your body, or unilateral training to strengthen up and

stabilise singular sides of your body to give you balance. Injury can even give you an opportunity to learn a new skill....I dived into learning the Rubik's cube as I knew it would require all my attention, and I couldn't think about anything else while focusing on the task at hand.

In summary, there is always something that you can be doing if you sustain an injury. No matter how big or small the setback may feel, I encourage you to always look at the other areas you CAN improve on, in both your body & mind. Overcoming injuries and managing your mindset are crucial aspects of this journey If you do happen to have an injury or something that just doesn't feel right in your body, ask your trainer or allied health professional for advice on exercises and activities that you can do while you let the injury recover. I personally see Stephen King (Kingy) from The Injury Rehab Centre in Cheltenham. There is always a way to train around these setbacks, your sanity will thank you for it!

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