Regardless of what sport you play, injury is inevitable. As CrossFitters, we put our bodies through the ringer every single day, so feeling little aches and pains here and there is normal. Usually, taking a rest day or two can easily cure these ailments. However, what do you do when the injury is much more severe? What happens when your recovery period turns into months instead of days or weeks? If you’re a competitive person by nature, it can be really hard to see your friends and rivals get to workout as you sit by ‘on the sidelines’. Even though the immediate future may seem bleak, it’s important to find a way to stay motivated throughout the recovery period. Here’s how:
Focus on What You Can Control
Now that the injury has happened, it’s not worth wasting your mental and emotional energy wishing you could go back and change the past. It’s important to look ahead and focus on the things that you do have control over, such as rest, recovery, physical therapy or rehab, modifying workouts, etc.
Be Creative with Your Workouts
It’s very rare that an injury will affect your entire body. Oftentimes, there are several different ways to modify a workout to get a similar stimulus without risking further injury. For example, if you have an injury that affects your lower body (such as the knee or ankle) then you can use this time to focus on other areas of your body that may need some extra work, such as core, upper body gymnastics strength, or further developing your glutes and hamstrings. Depending on how severe the injury is, there are also ways to use the injured portion without putting it in any further danger. For example, if you have a knee injury, you still might be able to squat to a bench or a box. However, as you begin to experiment with movement variations, it is important that you are able to do them without any pain.
Set Recovery Goals
Oftentimes, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, which can lead to a hopeless and depressed state of mind. To combat this mentality, it is important to set recovery goals so you have something concrete to focus on. These goals could also be the push you need to take the recovery process seriously and possibly speed up the recovery time.
Throughout the recovery process, it can be very hard to watch other athletes get better every day. This can lead to feelings of resentment as you feel like you are falling further and further behind. However, this is an opportunity for you to celebrate the successes of your fellow CrossFitters and cheer them along on their own fitness journey.