Monday Motivation!

alarm-clock“A legion of voices are shouting their unanimous permission for you to hit the snooze button and go back to dreamland.
“But you didn’t ask their opinion – the voice you’ve chosen to listen to is one of defiance.
“A voice that says there was a reason you set that alarm in the first place.
“So sit up, put your feet on the floor, and don’t look back.”
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Crutches versus Glamour

Gratitude, as I said in my Blogiversary post, is a many-splendoured thing. gratitude

I had a glorious Guerrillas workout again this morning, as opposed to this time last year, when I was rocking the granny shoe look.

This unflattering form of footwear was the only equipment offered me, and I have a looked at many other accoutrements made available to others who underwent leg injuries.

For example I would’ve enjoyed the services of a knee scooter and so, I’m pretty sure, would my friends in the pub!f0c9ae3cfa7bd1d3445449e01db4150a

The magical Marilyn Monroe knew that crutches certainly were NOT a Girl’s Best Friend – but that didn’t keep her away from the cameras.

Note the interesting combination of stiletto heel with the bandaged foot shown right – she doesn’t look too happy does she?

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Marilyn out jogging in Hollywood in 1951

I had imagined that, as Marilyn was no stranger to the joys of exercise, (regularly going jogging before it caught on as a trend) her frustration could only be imagined.

She sprained her ankle whilst filming in 1953 and not happy with the conditions in which she was injured, reportedly insisted on wearing a cast and taking time out of the schedule – to get back at the director!

If I’m wrong on the above please let me know – I’m admittedly no expert on Monroe, but I like her spirit.

MEANWHILE!

Hopefully, most leg injuries are temporary in the great scheme of things, but – for those who do currently have a broken foot like I did – and/or need crutches like Marilyn – here are some questions to ask yourself/your doctor/your best mate etc etc:

  • Will you be able to rest your injured limb on the ground? If so, can you use it for balance while walking?
  • How can you bathe? Can you stand in the shower, or do you need to use a bath tub?
  • Can you just use one crutch as a cane? If so, what’s the best way to walk with a cane?
  • Can you go swimming?
  • What are the best ways to position your arms and maintain posture while using crutches?

Maxing Out

Inspiration’s never far away in blog-land – and Christian Boyles, of Maxed Out Muscles, has provided yet more proof.

Christian advises a sensible approach
Christian advises a sensible approach

The 21-year-old, from Illinois, US, created his website after suffering a lot of depression and flare-ups of Crohn’s Disease.

For him, the crunch point came last summer.

Christian told me: “I said “Enough is ENOUGH” and I started taking control of my life. I feel that too often we take life’s punches and we just allow ourselves to be downtrodden. I wanted to take control of my life and not allow myself to become sick again.”

At his senior prom
At his senior prom

So, as well as doing his best to improve his own fitness – he made it his mission to take others with him on the journey, possibly motivating them to turn their lives around.

Inspiring enough? Christian modestly adds: “I don’t personally have experience with being injured, but here are some ideas I have…”

Unfortunately his advice does include watching what I eat and avoiding running! Fortunately I’m past that stage now LOL.

Christian doing cross-country in his junior year
Christian doing cross-country in his junior year

Here’s my Q & A

What adaptations should I make to my fitness regime?

You’re injured, and that was possibly out of your control. Or maybe it wasn’t? Use this time in your life where you are somewhat forced to rest…as a period of reflection. These next few months can be months where you:

1) Ask other people for tips and tricks on finding effective ways to deal with injury and prevent it from happening (Which you’re already doing!) Good for you 😉
2) Spend a lot of time focusing on other aspects of your life. Take this time to re-educate yourself on the basics.

3) Look into other hobbies related to fitness.

Christian believes Elliott Hulse's perspective changed after he injured a tendon
Christian believes Elliott Hulse’s perspective changed after he injured a tendon
Do you know anyone who’s survived injury to continue their exercise regime? 
Elliott Hulse tore his bicep tendon when he was lifting heavy weights. He had to have surgery done on his bicep and he began doing work on just one side of his body…
What I found really interesting about this is, after he tore that tendon and went through the surgery, his videos on YouTube started to have a different tone.
elliott hulse - strongerHis personality started shifting into what was a completely different perspective.
Before he tore that tendon he seemed like the muscle man that had something to prove and was yelling at the camera, and after he tore the tendon he seemed much wiser.
Can injury make people who enjoy exercise feel cut-off and even make them drop out altogether?never give up
I believe it can and I hope the people that quit can learn from that experience in some way.
I personally don’t think that quitting is the most resourceful path and if anyone reading this is thinking about giving up, please don’t.
The only positive way I feel you can quit “exercise” is if you replace it with something that is equally beneficial like reading and researching something that interests you and creating a new hobby.
No matter what you decide to do in response to the resistance life has placed in front of you, make sure you’re maturing because of it in some way.

Does Yoga Heal?

Can I still do yoga? Here’s a Q & A session with my instructor Espi Smith.

Espi says painful moves should be avoided
Espi says painful moves should be avoided

Me: What adaptations should I make to my practice?

Espi: I guess that depends on how you define the word “yoga”. If you are looking at only the asana (postures), they you will need to modify your physical practice to account for your injury. In your case, you should avoid standing and kneeling postures as well as some seated asanas that involve the outside of your foot putting pressure on the floor. If it hurts, it’s a definite no-go!

She uses a greater understanding of internal energetics and anatomy since being injured herself
She uses a greater understanding of internal energetics and anatomy since being injured herself

However yoga is much more than a physical practice, its a way of looking at life. Pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, proper diet and positive thought will all help keep you happy and healthy throughout your recovery.

Me: Anything I should definitely avoid?

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”

Espi: Anything that puts unnecessary pressure on the foot. Remember to listen to your body and not your ego, if there is pain it’s a sure fire way of knowing that you’re upsetting a part that should be healing.

Me: Do you know anyone who’s survived injury to continue their practice?

Espi: Yes, me! A few years ago, before I’d let go of my ego and gotten over my competitive side I decided that I couldtry and jump from Down-dog to Crow (an arm balance that requires a lot of strength).

Good communication is the key to maintaining the fitness lifestyle
Good communication is the key to maintaining the fitness lifestyle

Turns out I had a lot more momentum than strength. I face-planted on the floor with all my might and wound up in hospital with a neck-brace on and some very worried-looking doctors. Luckily I hadn’t broken anything I just had soft tissue damage.

A positive attitude is important
A positive attitude is important
The injury left me with a huge fear of inversions and arm balances. It took a couple of years of very grounding practice to give me the confidence to practice my arm balances and inversions again. Under the careful instruction of my teacher during my teacher-training, I got back into it.
Me: Can injury make people who enjoy exercise feel cut-off and even make them drop out altogether?
Espi: I think this is very much to do with each individual’s attitude towards being injured. If you see it as being betrayed by your body and allow yourself to feel that you have been kicked to the side-lines then yes, your are likely to become isolated.
It's all about mind, body and spirit (artwork by Molly Pepper)
It’s all about mind, body and spirit (artwork by Molly Pepper)
However, if you adopt a positive attitude, respect the road to recovery and speak to your teacher/instructor about the things that you can still do, then you’ll still be able to enjoy the fitness lifestyle.

Me: How can meditation help?

Easier said than done!
Easier said than done!
Espi: Meditation allows you the time to get out of your conditioned mind. The one that tells you that injury means “being out of the game”.
When you do it, not only will you get the chance to clear all the negative emotions that surround being injured, you also bring a deep sense of relaxation to the physical body.
The muscles and the nervous system will get a well-earned break and this will help to relieve any built-up tension and waste products that come up as a result of injury.
Finally, thanks for giving me the opportunity to speak about this on your blog, Emma. Rest, relax and remember to breathe. You’ll be healed in no time.
For more information on Espi, check out her website here.
 

Way To Go

Hi!

Welcome to Em’s Way To Go – in which I invite you to join me as I explore how to cope when injury compromises your exercise regime/goals.

I like keeping fit. I’m not a leading athlete but I hope to meet plenty of them in the near future to see how they’ve conquered something that goes beyond mere inconvenience.

I also intend to get plenty of professional coping tips!

Please, doctor, pretty please can I run? Yep, that's me - and I'm not even in plaster
Please, doctor, pretty please can I run? Yep, that’s me – and I’m not even in plaster

My story?

Off goes the smoke alarm – I jump on the arm of the sofa, swiping at said smoke alarm like it’s a piñata – anything to stop the eardrum-splitting screeching. Result? I fall off – crushing my foot underneath me.

I know something’s wrong – my running, guerrilla training and even most forms of yoga are about to be a serious no-no for the next few weeks. A conclusion subsequently verified by a doctor in A&E after an X-Ray. Fractured metatarsal.

I can practically feel my cellulite-ridden thighs bulging as I write this.

And those bingo wings of mine are as good as cleared for take-off.

Nobody told Coneygree injury would compromise his chances of success
Nobody told Coneygree injury would compromise his chances of success

So? Surely I’m not alone in all this? Right?

Last November, an eight-year-old gelding called Coneygree was pronounced lame by a racecourse vet at the Plumpton track after a two-year convalescence from injury.

His assistant trainer Sara Bradstock explained: “I said to (the vet), ‘It’s not just any horse that you’re f****** me about with here… ‘

“And do you know what he said to me? He said, ‘He’s had two years off, he’s not worth anything anyway’.”

Reader, allow me to introduce the winner of the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Sara Bradstock didn’t give up – and neither did her horse.

I hope to be meeting plenty of human Coneygrees in this Blog – as they share their stories with me of how they overcame injury.

Meanwhile, if you have an injury recovery story – or any tips – then I’d love to hear from you!