There are a multitude of articles out there on how to cope with injury as an athlete or someone who wants to be a competitive athlete. I think an article in WodTalk describes it best:
“Injury is devastating. It happens in the blink of an eye. You have been training consistently, your goals are defined, and your schedule, diet, job and relationships are structured around the time you spend in the box. You are happier than ever. Then, one pull-up or thruster and ow! Shoulder hurts. Or that deadlift and Ugh! the hammie, the back, something is not right anymore.”
In my case, one box jump too many and “POW” a ruptured right achilles. One minute you’re training daily to achieve your goals and the next you’re dependent on people for almost everything you do. You need crutches to get around because you can’t apply any weight to your injured foot. You need someone to drive you to and from work because you can’t press the gas nor the brake. You’ve got to ask people to carry things for you because you not only have a useless foot, but you have no hands because they’re bearing the weight of your body on the crutches. Of course you have the option to hop around on your good foot, but hopping around with a hot cup of coffee or a warm meal hardly seems like a good idea even without an injury. Although, you’ll try. You’ll try very hard to stay as independent as possible in these trying times, but you’ll quickly realize that you need more help than you’re willing to admit.
"...hopping around with a hot cup of coffee or a warm meal hardly seems like a good idea..."The psychological battle that an injured athlete fights is an uphill one to say the least. The loss of independence, being sidelined in whatever sport you were participating in, the fear of re-injury or injuring the other foot, in my case, from using it more than it’s used to. All of these things can lead to a low self-esteem, anxiety and or depression according to the Invictus Blog: Coping with an Injury. It recommends finding a way to stay connected to the sport and perhaps write about it. So here it is.
The lesson I’ve managed to learn in the two and a half weeks since my achilles injury is that it’s easier to be physically strong when everything is going right in your training, in your relationships and at work than it is to be mentally strong when things aren’t going as planned. It’s at these times we have to have a Greater State of Mind. We have to elevate our mindset to see past the injury and what awaits post-op and post therapy. The goals have changed, but the mindset to achieve those goals remains intact. We cannot...we should not try to figure out why this happened when it happened, but instead embrace the current situation and move forward. This is what Greater than my PR means to me at this particular moment in my life. I am Greater than my injury.