SparkPeople Blogs  •  running  •  injury

I'm Injured. So Now What?

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I’ve blogged many times about how running is an important part of my life and something I really enjoy. For the past 6 weeks or so, it’s been anything but enjoyable. I started having pain in my Achillies after a particularly hilly run. Instead of resting like I knew I should have (and like I would tell any SparkPeople member who asked for advice), I decided to just keep pushing through the pain. After a few weeks it was obvious that the pain wasn’t going away, so I made an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor. It took three weeks to get an appointment, so silly me kept running.

I started to dread runs instead of looking forward to them, but what else was I supposed to do? Running is a big part of who I am. How would I feel if I had to become a walker or a swimmer for a little while? The very stubborn side of me wasn’t willing to find out. I was also afraid that they were going to give me some terrible news, like I had a massive injury that would take years to heal. (Can you tell I get a little paranoid about these kinds of things?) So I wanted to get in as much running as possible before I had to hear that diagnosis. Dumb, I know.

I’ve been diagnosed with Achilles tendonitis and have started physical therapy. My doctor said he hopes to get me to the point where I can walk/jog a 10K by Thanksgiving. I was secretly hoping he could cast a magic spell that would get me back to running in a week. But realistically, I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

My family and friends all know how much running means to me. When I tell someone I’m injured and unable to run, their first reaction is usually "Oh no! I bet you’re fun to live with right now!" But really, it hasn’t been quite as terrible as I expected. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally bummed that I’m injured. But there are things I can still do, and activities I have more time for now that I didn’t before. I’m doing more strength training and trying some of the workout videos that have been collecting dust on my shelf. I’ve also started taking daily walks with my dog, pushing my kids in a double stroller. It’s not the greatest workout, but everyone enjoys the time out side exploring new parts of our neighborhood.

In a way, this injury has been helpful because it forces me to get more creative with my workouts and find other things I enjoy doing. It’s easy to have tunnel vision when you find an activity you love, focusing only on particular classes at the gym, training for the next event, or walking the same route around your neighborhood each day. There are lots of ways to get exercise, and I’d encourage you to try new activities that you might not have considered lately. It can help improve your overall fitness level, break a weight loss plateau, or just become a new activity you learn to love.

Has injury ever forced you to try new activities? Have you recently broken out of your routine to try something new? How did that work for you?

See more: running injury changes