Hi friends! For those of you keeping up on instagram and snapchat (first of all, thank you!)... I've decided to keep fff alive (thanks for the extra push, Athena :)). For those wondering where the heck I've been... well, it's been a tad bananas. Somehow I handled my job, my blog, planning my wedding, getting my nutrition certification, and taking the Boxfiit certification pretty well until... I got promoted and pinched a nerve in my neck and finally said to myself... STOP (at least for a minute). Which leads me to the premise of this post: What to do when injuries or something else throws a wrench in your day-to-day.
If you read this blog, I assume you are likely someone that works out on a somewhat consistent basis. You likely have a solid schedule and when something interrupts it, you probably get at least a little bit annoyed. You may also be scared of getting injured because HOLY COW, what to do if you can't WORK OUT?! Fire the alarms!
I'm here today to share the emotional process I went through so that hopefully, if you are the person I just described... it helps when injury or a busy schedule or a life event prevents you from keeping up your preferred routine.
First things first, let's just thank all the goodness in the world if we are blessed enough to have working limbs and the ability to exercise, hike a mountain, run, climb, bike, garden, swim, and drive. There are many that cannot, so let's recognize that FIRST.
Next, I just want to say that I was only completely "out of commission" for about 2-2.5 weeks. This is no where near the recovery time of surgery, a broken bone, a sprain, etc. I was, however, in constant worst-pain-of-my-life for a solid 7 days. I was also scared shitless that it would never go away. I also didn't know, and still don't know, what necessarily caused it, if it's chronic, or how long it would take to recover.
So... what did I learn?
1. When you are seriously injured, at first, the only thing you care about is resting and making the pain stop. That first week, working out wasn't even close to an option or a desire. I just wanted to lay on the floor for the tiniest bit of relief.
2. I've always been a little nervous that if I took a week off from working out, I might actually enjoy and get used to it. Um, this did not happen. As soon as I started feeling a bit better, I wanted to MOVE my body.
3. I learned that I need more consecutive rest days. I used to pat myself on the back for taking 1-2 rest days a week. For the most part, that's fine but, sometimes take the full weekend of or 3-4 days in a row. Your body will thank you.
4. You will not get fat, you will likely lose weight (hunger goes down and a little bit of muscle loss may happen). Remember your body is recovering from injury, keep it nourished.
5. Sleep... SLEEP! I slept 9-10ish hours a night that first week and was able to take hour long naps on my days off. You know what that taught me? That I need A LOT more sleep. I couldn't really use my phone because it bothered my neck so tiredness came on naturally and I slept and man, it was glorious.
6. When you are able to work out again, you'll want to do everything... don't. At first I took walks, now I'm running and today I took my first boxing class (I didn't hit the bag very hard). Each accomplishment has been amazing, but, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to hit the weight room and pummel the bag. I just know better, I've learned. I need time and I NEVER want to be in that kind of pain again.
7. This too shall pass. If you follow doctors orders, keep up healthy habits, have a positive attitude, and most importantly realize how truly lucky you are that it's a temporary problem not a life-altering situation, you'll be back to your routine before you know it.
8. If you are in good shape, you won't lose it. You've worked hard, it doesn't disappear. I've been running and I boxed today and my endurance was FINE. And if it does go down a little bit... so what? You'll have more goals to accomplish!
9. This may be the most important one: LEARN from your recovery period. If you feel tired and like you need a day off from working out, don't push it just because it's "Wednesday and I always work out on Wednesdays". Listen to your body, know your limits, and give yourself a frigging break every once in a while. I'm going to be 33 this year... my body probably isn't recovering as quickly as it used to in my 20's. My x-ray showed some slight degeneration in my C6 and C7 disks. That knowledge has grounded me a little. I'm still going to push it at the gym, give myself goals, and aim to be in the best shape possible. The process to attaining that might be a little different now. It definitely means more sleep. It probably means more rest days and it certainly means that I need better posture at the computer! haha (if you slouch - don't!)
Last but not least, be grateful for that body and take care of it.
Have an awesome week! xo