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Staying motivated when injured

Hi all

I've been doing tris for a couple of years now, was getting pretty happy with the way things were going in the 2011 season and looking at IM entries for 2012 until I did my shoulder a rather serious mischief in August. Now I'm on the other side of shedloads of physio, scans and nerve conduction tests, waiting on a diagnosis with the potential for surgery in the New Year. Physio, doctor and surgeon think it's either an impingement or a torn rotator cuff, but come up with a new diagnosis every time I see them.
Worse than this is the fact that I can't do any form of training without ending up in a fair amount of pain. I thought spinning and low-level core exercises would be alright but apparently not. So my doctor has signed me off all things physical and I'm going crazy. Also getting paranoid about the fitness I'm losing, especially with Christmas approaching and all those tasty mince pies just begging to be eaten!

Has anyone else been in this sort of situation, and how did you deal with it?


  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Last year after completing IMUK I went through hell with injuries and its really hard but you have to face up to the fact that we are not robots and that injuries can and will happen.

    I tried in vain to train through my knee problems and I was heading to Abu Dhabi the following March and with the weeks passing and fitness dropping like a stone I was seriously struggling to get through the issues. Eventually I had to just stop training as it was only making it worse but i did receive from superb advice in respect of my injury from Conehead who no longer posts here.

    The best thing you can do is to stop trying to train through. Go away and get to know the wife/ husband/ or whatever. Do something different but you have to stop thinking about the injury as the harder you try to get over it then it will eat at you.

    The issue with the fitness is that you will lose base fitness that is in no doubt but you will have good muscle memory and it doesn't take too long to get it back so take the worry about fitness out of your mind. Focus on getting the diagnosis correct. I had 4 and the one that was right was from Conehead so don't just stick with one person - I had to pay for mine as I was getting nowhere with the NHS.

    So don't look at this as a neg period, use to get things out of the way or do something different.
  • If you want to look at a parallel then take Darren Fletcher of Man Utd who has been trying to carry on with a disease in what I suspect has been a case of trying to maintain his professional standing. He has had to face up to the fact as has his club that at times despite having resources which we hope will sort out things quickly our health has to take priority.

    In my late twenties I suffered a double prolapse injury to my spine which took me out of work for a couple of months threatening my mortgage and took me out of all sport for nearly a year. It made me sit back, well lie down to be more accurate and ask the question did I really need competitive sport in my life. I made the decision that i did and worked my way back to playing competitive rugby but droped out of triathlon as the training was so much more demanding.

    Over the next few years through hard work I managed to get my dream job in one of the top establishments in the country as a very young senior manager and started on the first Monday in January, the following Saturday captaining my club rugby team at kick off in a collision I suffered a tripple fracture to my cheekbone/skull and went off after a further hour once the game was won throwing up dried blood. The surgeon who opperated on my face putting it back a few days later pointed out he was amazed that I still had my eyesight intact after being so stupid as to carry on. I guess it showed how obsesed i was about my sport. Did I learn my lesson?

    Under imense pressure from my partner and family I backed off for a year or so and concentrated on work and family life eventually creeping back into playing again untill I retired in my late thirties as my body couldn't take it any more, was taking till about Tuesday to be pain free and people were asking questions at work.

    The point I am making is I fully understand that sport, competition and fitness are very important things to many people, but there are other things in life. If triathlon is that important then not jepordising what you will be able to do in future is foolhardy and selfish by going against advice and trying to train in the short term. Last winter I had a crash on the bike and could have come very close to going under a van coming the other way in what would have been a 70mph collision and somewhat messy, I understood in an instant that I am a very slow learner as I had been pushing it too hard for weeks in some very bad conditions and had already been down a few times with the odd bruise and cut to show for it. The doctor at the hospital said I should be off the bike for at least a month or so, I ignored him and was on the trainer in about three days, fortunatly I got away with it, but it does not make it the right thing to have done.

    At the end of the day you have work things through in your head and make your own decisions. You also have to live with the consequences of those decisions. Many would say live to fight another day and take a break, me I'm an idiot and would be on the bike trainer and out running as I hate not being in control of my own destiny but as they say a fools luck runs out eventually.

    If you want a bit of inspiration read Chrissie Wellington,s article in this months 220 and then try and feel sorry for yourself!
  • Chrissie Wellington's article. Wow. Inspiration found, just got to hold onto it!
  • I recently had a few weeks off ill. Nothing anywhere near as bad as what you are going through. But it was enough to drive me (and others around me) up the wall. I tried to occupy my time with doing more reading about training etc and plan some training to give me something to look forward to.

    Hope you get better soon

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