In my article, ‘5 stages of grief’ (read here) I had discussed the emotional turmoil we go through when we are injured. But what if you are out of the running scene for really long? I have been out practically for the last six months except a few decent 10kms and 5kms.
I have come to believe that an injured runner is like a caged animal. No matter how you might treat it, it will never be truly happy until it is set free.
However, this time around I have not struggled to reach the “acceptance” stage. Of course, it’s everything to do with how I choose to deal with it. I have finally realised that running is life long. It’s a way of life rather than short term obsessive goals.
So here are some of those things that help me and might just be of some use to you:
1) Find another recreational fitness activity – And there are plenty only if we runners are ready to give it a fair chance. It’s ok to not be out there for everything you choose to do. For me it’s stationary cycling which I find extremely boring but it’s safe and at least it tires me out.
2) Shut off yourself from running whatsapp groups if it’s making you feel miserable. Even though I’m still a part of it, I rarely ever check it.
3) There is no better time to meditate than now. I find I heal better when I mediate.
4) Portion control – And dessert control too. I usually don’t care much about how much I eat when I run a lot. But I stop my gluttony the moment my physical activity drops.
5) Read that book you have been meaning to – specially if it’s about running. No it won’t make you feel more miserable. Most endurance athletes talk about injuries or their low points in life. And that’s when you realise how relative misery is. If they could come back, we are mere recreational runners.
5) Pick up a short term course or just something new – there’s lots you can do because suddenly you have a lot of time, from art appreciation to ventriloquist let your fancy be captured by something off-beat. Well, I’m starting another blog in collaboration with a friend 🙂
6) Volunteer at running events or be a good cheerleader – we all know how much we need good volunteers. I haven’t managed to do that as of now but surely will.
7) Concentrate on the core – this will help you become a better runner than you ever have been when you bounce back
8) Enjoy this time off to spend time with family, celebrate, a holiday, party with friends or just recover without feeling guilty, without worrying that you have to set an alarm for 4:30 am for once. Let go.