It’s every gymnast’s worst nightmare –an injury that forces you to take time off to recover and press pause on physical activity for a while. It seems like the worst thing that could happen to you, but sometimes it can be the best! Having something happen that forces you to take some well-deserved rest and recovery has mental benefits as well as physical. We got in contact with some of our Instagram followers that have experienced injuries resulting in time away from the gym and were overwhelmed by the extent of positive responses.
The key to a positive mindset regarding injury is reminding yourself that you are capable of recovery and that this moment is only temporary. Instagram follower Edie suggests that the best way you can stay positive when in recovery is to reflect on the cause of your injury and use this obstacle as a learning curve and as something to grow stronger from,
“keep the past in the past and learn from your mistakes to set new goals.”
Edie also acknowledges the importance of keeping an active mind to speed up your recovery. Kirstyn, another Instagram follower, supports this.
After suffering from a hamstring tear that took surgery and 8 weeks of nursing and recovery to be gym ready again, Kirsty learned the importance of keeping an active mind and body even when injured. To occupy herself when her hamstring was not quite gym ready yet, Kirsty found a unique way of filling her mind with positivity –she adopted a baby duckling to raise and care for! This quirky idea worked wonders for Kirsty as it reminded her that feeling nurtured and safe is important to any growing body therefore she was able to apply this thought process to heeling herself! Adopting a pet obviously isn’t an option for everyone, but the mentality behind being caring and having patience can be applied to the situation of your own personal injury.
To further reflect on the process of injury recovery, we’ve contacted one of our ambassadors, Hunter, who has extensive experience in this field. Hunter has had multiple injuries over the past year, but most recently, has received major surgery on an elbow injury that led to the discovery of Osteochondritis Dissecans –a bone disease in which small pieces of bone or cartilage separate from the surrounding region due to lack of blood supply, resulting in the loosening, cracking and sometimes breaking of bone (you can read more about Osteochondritis Dissecans here). This experience has forced Hunter to step back from the amount of Gymnastics he was participating in and take time to give his body the rest and recovery it needs. During times such as this, it’s important to try and stay positive and motivated –here’s how Hunter does that.
What is the hardest part about taking time off due to an injury?
The hardest part about taking time off, for me, was not being able to do the things I enjoy doing on a day to day basis.
When feelings such as this occur when injured, it’s important to take a step back and focus one something that steers your mind in a more positive direction.
What was something that you told yourself in order to keep positive while having time off?
The main thing I did in order to keep myself positive without training was to set goals so that when I returned I could easily aim for them.
What is your number 1 piece of advice for someone recovering from an injury?
Maintain your core strength and flexibility, otherwise it will take twice as longer to get it back. Also make sure to do your physio! It’s definitely worth it. Continue going to gym so you can still be part of your team and socialise.
How did you feel returning to gymnastics after your injury?
I felt very excited, positive and glad to be back in my second home.
How did you stay motivated whilst being injured?
The way I stayed motivated whilst being injured was trying other things out. Soccer, footy and hanging out with friends more helped me a lot and I was glad to have more time to do school work –these things kept me physically and mentally fit while not training in gymnastics.
In summary, Hunter sees the most important element of injury recovery as finding things that keep your mind and body active without placing a strain on your recovery process.