Benched (Injuries Suck)

It’s funny being a blogger sometimes because although much of your life is so public, not 100% of your life is typically published. Some of you may have noticed my hiatus from blogging a couple weeks ago. In fact, my sister noticed and g-chatted me to see what was up. Here’s what I’ve been hiding from you…

On Thursday, July 14th, I did something super stupid and jumped into a shallow pool at a pool party. Everyone was doing cannonballs into the pool, so I figured it would be ok for me to jump in, too…also cannonball-style. What I didn’t expect, and what ended up happening, was that my back actually hit the bottom of the pool. It didn’t hurt when I hit, but my back did start to feel like it was stiffening up soon after. I kept calm at the party but couldn’t wait to go home. On the car ride home, I called hubby crying and freaking out on the phone. I am a naturally paranoid person, so I was certain I had done something bad. It was everything I could do to not rush to the hospital right away. Luckily, hubby is completely non-paranoid and talked me into coming home instead.

Long story short, I spent the entire weekend freaking out and wondering what on earth I could have done to myself. I could move, but my back felt super stiff, so I was trying to not move around too much. On Friday, I worked. Then, I spent most of Saturday trying to rest and lay down. On Sunday, I tried to move around and get out and about for a bit. Finally, on Monday, I saw a doctor and got x-rays. I was worried, but the doctors had good news – they didn’t think anything was broken. He said he didn’t even see any cracks in any bones (though he did say they could be there) on the x-rays. The doctor also did some checks to see if I had a herniated disc, which he said he didn’t think I had either. He said it could take a couple days or even months for me to feel better. He said I could try to do some low impact exercise, and just pay attention to my body (and not do anything that hurt). Not exactly what you want to hear when you’re a group fitness instructor, or even just an active person, in general.

This all reminds me of a great post my friend Katie wrote recently called “And Everything Changes(click to view full post). I think this sums up nicely how I relate to it given my current situation:

Whether you’re having a great day (or week or month or year) or a terrible one, it can all change in an instant. In one breath your world can turn upside down, for better or for worse. There’s really no stopping that. Breath and everything changes.

IMG_5907-1.jpg

One minute, I’m dancing all day every day at Zumba Convention

…and the next, I’m benched. :(

I think the worst part isn’t being injured…it’s not knowing when I’ll be better and if I’ll ever be completely back to my former self. On the one hand, I’m frustrated with being injured, but on the other, I’m also extremely thankful that things didn’t turn out worse, because they can always be worse.

But, I think I can use Katie’s other point going forward:

When things are bad, we can focus on our breath to move us through. By the end of it all, not only will the bad situation have changed to good but we ourselves will be transformed, too. In yoga you breathe through a tough posture and end up stronger and more flexible. In life you breathe through tough times and end up stronger and more flexible. Amazing how that works. Breathe and everything changes.

For now (and for the past couple weeks), I’m trying to focus on:

  • Resting – my life a couple weeks ago was non-stop, so taking sometime to relax is probably good for me. It’s nice to not constantly be rushing from one thing, to the next, to the next, and the next. I really think sometimes God has his way of saying, “Hey, take it easy…relax a bit.”
  • Changing my perspective/attitude – I’ve had plenty of my frustrations in recent months, but I’m currently trying to look at all my situations objectively. Should I be upset with the things I’m upset with or am I being ungrateful or unreasonable? I’m starting to think that a more positive attitude can take me further than I originally expected, even in the most frustrating of times.
  • Eating well – I don’t know what to do to make myself feel better, so I’m doing the only thing I really know – eating well. Mostly, I’m trying to eat anti-inflammatory and healthy eats. Green Monster smoothies = my new BFF.

I’m trying to turn this into something positive, too:

  • With my newly found “free time”, I’m trying to get organized (maybe a Project Organization for August? ;) ).
  • I’m trying to live more stress-free. I figure the stress won’t help me recover, so I’m working on not letting stress get to me.
  • I’m taking more deep breaths.
  • I’m watching Zumba videos – my company has recorded some new choreo, so while I can’t do it all-out, I can still learn it for when I make my triumphant return (hopefully sooner than later)
  • I’m spending more QT with hubby and Bailey.
  • I’m thinking about things, and I mean really thinking about what’s important – family, friends, and how to develop those relationships better.
  • I guess overall, I’m sitting back, re-evaluating, and trying to approach things in a more positive light.

And if I can get one message to you, it’s that if you are healthy and able to exercise, then work it baby! Work it for all you’ve got! I remember in my early twenties, before finding an exercise I actually liked, I’d moan and groan about going to the gym, practically dragging myself there. I didn’t recognize and appreciate my good health and ability to work out. To have your health is a true blessing! It isn’t until you have something like your ability to work out taken away that you realize what a blessing it was before. So, if you can do it, appreciate and utilize that blessing. Do it for me, kay? ;)

***

And for me – perhaps my new mantra will be “Just Breathe”? I’ve always liked that quote.

***

Reader Questions…

How do you cope with an injury?

What’s your favorite think-positive quote? I’d love to collect a few to reference and use for inspiration. :)

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Comments

  1. says

    I can totally relate to this just coming off a back injury and having a history with back pain/injuries. One thing the chiropractor told me when I went in all messed up from throwing my back out doing a deadlift was to focus on how healthy you are and be glad that you are in good shape b/c your body will heal itself and do so so much quicker than if you weren’t. Back injuries are hard b/c you really can’t do much of anything else since you need your back for most exercise! I spent an entire week on the couch with an ice pack and Motrin but guess what…I felt better in 6 days. It was hard to see the forrest from the trees on day 1-3 when nothing felt better but then slowly as I began to heal on days 4-6 I realized how lucky I was to make a recovery so quickly now compared to when I’ve done the same thing to my back in previous years when I was not in good shape.
    I hope you feel better soon!

    • says

      “focus on how healthy you are and be glad that you are in good shape b/c your body will heal itself and do so so much quicker than if you weren’t.” Very good point! Thanks for sharing your story Gina :)

  2. says

    aww, so sorry to hear this! i hope you feel better & heal soon. i’ve recently gotten stung by a wasp + about 50 no see ums… and though that’s not an injury per se, it’s left me feeling pretty miserable and grateful that i’m generally healthy. i’m starting to heal now, 2 weeks later (after 2 doctor’s visits) and it’s definitely a new perspective! i thinking eating well during injury is VIP, for sure, since that can affect our moods/how we feel.

  3. says

    “If you are healthy and able to exercise, then work it baby!” – Amen! I think about it on every run, trying to enjoy every moment, and being grateful for my health and my ability to move.
    Thankfully, I haven’t been seriously injured in quite a while. Whenever I feel something coming up, I take some extra rest days and focus on other thing on my to-do list. This too shall pass.
    Get well soon!

  4. says

    hey there, I’m not going to go into my injury in great length but I’ll just say that I completely understand where you are coming from. as a girl of 12, I had an injury. it was terrible but I learnt to cope with it. life is all about how you move forward when the going gets tough.

  5. says

    I am so sorry to hear about your injury! It sounds like you have the right mindset to recover quickly though. Just don’t push yourself, enjoy the down time, and take care of yourself. I’m confident you’ll bounce back quickly with a positive attitude! :)

  6. says

    Urgh really sorry to hear that, I hope you feel better soon! Just keep with the positive thoughts and the time will fly by! A quote that I love and remind myself of in times like these is ‘You can’t change what happened, but you can change how you react to it’ :)

  7. says

    I am so sorry that you’re out of commission for a while but SO GLAD that you’re not more seriously injured. I got the shivers thinking about you jumping into that shallow pool.

  8. says

    You poor thing! Two summers ago I tore my ACL and was benched for 4 months. Even after I recovered it still was very slow getting back into exercise. However, once I did, I worked harder than I ever had before (and subsequently got much better results and personal satisfaction from it) since I finally realized how long I had been taking just walking for granted. As you wrote, take this time to work on your perspective. I’m sure you’ll come out the other side a much better version of you! Get well soon!

  9. says

    Oh no! So sorry to hear this, Diana! Injuries really do suck, and back injuries especially. I’ve been battling a sore back for months and I can feel your pain.

    My friend Bo Hussey (@bohussey on Twitter) gave me the name of a sports massage specialist a few weeks ago. Bo has dealt with back injuries, too, and says she was FABULOUS. I forget her name, but I’m sure if you hit Bo up on Twitter, he’ll pass the name along.

    Hang in there, kid!

    • says

      Have you ever tried acupuncture? I’ve heard that can work wonders on back pain! Of course, a back massage is always nice, too. I may be hitting up your Bo friend. I wonder if he knows how to handle sports injuries? Thanks!

  10. says

    So sorry you are injured….I know how much it sucks. You are being smart, though and will probably be back to your normal, energetic self in no time. Hang in there!

  11. Lynne says

    Yeah, it is so easy to take stuff for granted. My husband is always telling me “Just Breathe!” when I get stressed……do you mean he is right??? : ) I hope your recovery is super speedy

  12. says

    Ohh Diana, I want to say I’m so sorry to hear about your injury but I don’t want you to view it as a bad thing because you are right…look at all the new things you can focus on! And when you are able to workout again (because you will be, with time!) you’ll have a whole new and improved mindset to tag a long, with it!!!

  13. Davinna says

    Diana,

    I’m sorry to hear about your injury. I had to quite a dance group in college due to a back injury that kept getting worse because I wouldn’t stop dancing enough to let it heal. Time and chiropractic therapy helped my back, even though I still have to be careful. I’ve know people who have really been helped by acupuncture.

    The quote that helps me during tough times is “This too shall pass.”

    • says

      My friend is a holistic wellness doc who does acpuncture. It’s pretty expensive unfortunately. I’ve been toying around with going anyways. :)

      Hopefully, your old back injury doesn’t keep you from rocking out Zumba!

  14. FoodCents says

    Everything can change in an instant, no doubt about that.

    Injuries/illness suck, but sadly it is part of life. In time, for some, it will make you have a great appreciation for what you CAN DO & when you get back to your “old self”, you will appreciate the little things much more.

    I know how hard it is to go from active to not active. Do what you can, but be careful. It really is better to take it slow & let the body heal, then re-injure. Walking is always a good way to get the circulation going. I also can not encourage swimming enough – it’s a godsend for me.

    Nothing but love to you, friend!!!

    • says

      Aww thank you sweetie!

      “It really is better to take it slow & let the body heal, then re-injure.” -> I’m definitely working on this. Phew…need to be patient!

      :)

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