Injury Strikes: How Do You Respond?


Injuries stink – but you can keep going!

Let’s face it.  Injuries just suck.

Man, do I hate to have my plans interrupted because of injury… but who doesn’t?  It’s frustrating, debilitating, throws off schedules and plans, and more.  And of course, there’s the pain factor, too.  That’s not a great thing at all.

So… last Wednesday, I ran some hill sprints for the first time in a while.  I was jamming, it, too.  Was pumping the “Promontory” track from the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack (I love it.  Don’t judge) and totally going crazy with the effort, the huffing and puffing, the burn in my legs, etc.  Feeling great and exhausted, you know?

But my heels were a little sore afterward from the extra stretch on my calves from the experience.  I didn’t think anything of it at the time, and even had a great workout at the obstacle course at one of our local metroparks on Sunday.

Then Tuesday, I went for a slightly longer run than normal.  It was about three and a half miles, and unlike previous runs I’ve been doing, I didn’t break it up with stops to do any calisthenics.  It was just a run – mostly to just put in some mileage and work on the endurance factor.

And after getting home… my Achilles tendon on my right foot started to get sore.  By the end of the day, it was very sore, to the point where I was trying not to walk.  I put some heat rub on it before bed, and upon waking up Wednesday morning it was slightly better.  But it was still sore most of the day, despite the application of more rub.

Here’s the thing:  my plan for getting ready for next season revolves around two main items:  building up my endurance base and working upper body strength.  I was off and running with the endurance stuff, had a plan in place to go, and the whole nine yards.  Now a lot of that has been put on the back burner for a couple of weeks (at least – I’ve dealt with Achilles tendinitis before after my first foray into the world of minimalist shoes.  It sucks a lot), and it had me down for a few minutes – especially since the run had otherwise gone so well.

Time for the Alternate Plan

Lifeline USA Jungle Gym

Lifeline USA Jungle Gym

I had TWO main items I want to work on, right?  So the upper body stuff can still be done.  I have what I consider the perfect tool for that at home:  a suspension trainer.  You may know these by the brand name of the most popular model, a TRX.  The one I have is from Lifeline USA, and they call it their Jungle Gym.  I’ve had it forever, and it’s a great tool because you can basically just find something strong enough for you to hang from and then do so.

The one I have is the first-generation model, they have a model now with foot holds as well for a whole new bit of training options, as well as as system where there are two separate bands and you can move them around for different types of resistance.  I may have to upgrade soon because the thing looks awesome.

The other part of the plan (and hopefully my wife is reading this because it involves our backyard) is to potentially build an American Ninja Warrior type apparatus in our backyard.  You know, Salmon Ladder, monkey bars, etc.  I found plans from a company called Ninja Warrior Blueprints that I would like to build and it’s nice and compact – perfect for a small backyard like ours.  It’s an apparatus that I could use, but so could the kids.  nd I could even  have friends come over to train with me on this and have even more fun.  Win-win-win, right?

Don’t let things get you down.

So here’s the key thing:  I have an alternate plan here.  And I had two plans for stuff to work on this off-season, so now it’s just a matter of switching gears.  Yeah, I’m disappointed to not be able to run for a while, but I can still swim or bike and do lots of body-weight exercises and such to keep the endurance work going.  And that’ll help with the upper body work as well.

And yes, be disappointed for a little while, but be ready to change directions quickly.  The obstacles that an Obstacle Course Race brings you are not just the ones on the course.  They’re also the ones in life, in your mind, in your emotions, etc.  All of these are things that you can overcome and conquer, and improve yourself as a person, a parent, a spouse, or whatever.

Find another way. Use that intuition and creativity to get the job done any way you can.  If you hurt yourself, figure out what you can do – even if it means you’re just doing breathing exercises or something like that.  Immerse yourself in conquering your goals another way – there are tons of ways to prepare for your goals, and just because one road is taken away doesn’t mean that another road isn’t going to open up for you.

Remember: the final goal is improving you – the race and the training are just an avenue to get you there.  

How have you overcome injuries or other setbacks?  Share below in the comments, and please share this article with friends on social media with the links below!