Five years ago, in October of 2013, I suffered a back injury that sent me onto a path of forced self-improvement. All injuries are different, and mine was coupled with a terrible ending to an emotionally abusive relationship. Going through both of these things simultaneously is not something I wish for anyone, but in hindsight, it gave me an incredible opportunity. Think about it: every experience you have is on a spectrum. You don’t know your strength until you face your struggles.


MRI results showed my back injury was fairly common: a few disc herniations in my lumbar spine giving me sciatica in both legs. Because I ignored the pain for a year before I was diagnosed and continued to workout even harder, I made it worse. Eventually, I had to stop all exercise in September of 2014. The intensity of pain skyrocketed, magnified I’m sure by the depression I was experiencing from the breakup. All of the muscles in my core on the right side of my body tightened, and I was stuck hunched over for about seven months. I was literally crooked, and couldn’t breathe very well. I relied on crutches to get around, and spent most of my time trying to find a comfortable position on my floor.

Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah, Stayin’ Alive

Because of an outside influence, I declared war against pain meds and took nothing until it was too late. I regret this the most. Listen to your doctors and take the medicine. I spent plenty of time at the sports med doctor, osteopath doctor, the physical therapist, the acupuncturist, the E.R., and the counselor. I did it all, and I did it all by myself. I don’t recommend it, and this is one of the main reasons I am passionate about what I do. No one should ever have to feel like they are alone in a terrible experience.

The Comeback

After a lot of patience, hard work, and five months surviving on my floor, my body miraculously started to straighten out. The day came in May of 2015 when I was able to get back on my bicycle and ride along Mission Beach. It was then that I realized nothing is worth being in that much pain. There were a lot of “nevers” in my self-talk as I recovered. I said I would never pick up a barbell again. I would never touch a hundred pounds again. I would never go back to my old gym. I vowed to never let it happen again.

The problem is that my self-talk was coming from a place of fear. I was very grateful, yes, but I was secretly scared. I did not do any physical therapy because I was completely uneducated about it. Instead, I enrolled in grad school to study Performance Psychology. While in school, the gym sucked me back in. The following summer, in 2016, I did yoga teacher training and I fell in love with yoga practice. The pain was gone, and I finally went back to my old gym. Nervous was an understatement.

Oops, I Did It Again

Things went really well at first, and I pushed to get my strength back as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, I started to experience pain again a year after I returned, right when I started a new job at a physical therapy office. I was working a stressful job full time, finishing school, and lifting hard five days a week. While it’s crazy to think that I could ignore pain again, I did. It was almost as if I could will it away.

In December of 2017, the pain pushed me to see my Doctor. I was prescribed Prednisone, and it worked! The pain was gone. What I didn’t realize is that the drug just soaked up the inflammation. My disc was still herniated and pressing on my left sciatic nerve. I went back to the gym, and the problem came back immediately.

What the Heck Were You Thinking?

While this may seem like pure stupidity, you have to understand the mindset of someone who is used to being very active. Fitness can be therapeutic, and you’ve trained your brain to push through tough physical endeavors. But, there’s a huge difference between pain and soreness.

So, I begged for another round of Prednisone. It did nothing! I was screwed and felt dread wash over me. This time, I went two more months before I called it quits in February of 2018. Once again, everything seized back up, but this time I was crumpled over to the left side in a ton of pain. I was so inflamed that I could barely move.


It could be easy for me to be hard on myself for letting it happen again. Instead, I chose to learn. I also sought out social support from friends and professionals. I waited a few months until I was finally able to start physical therapy. My initial Physical Therapist was scared to hurt me, and my therapy wasn’t good, so I switched over to a friend who understands the nature of training I enjoy. When it was time, deadlifts and squats became part of my therapy. Shocking? It shouldn’t be. Learning to not fear any movement again is important. In fact, it is everything.

Now, almost six months after beginning my training again, my strength is back. I have chosen to make new goals and not worry so much about the weight on the bar. Luckily, I don’t have to do anything crazy to get in a good workout. I’ve chosen longevity this time around.

Thank You for Sharing

The point of this self-disclosure is for you to understand that I can help because I have been there and made all the mistakes. Recovery from injury is not glamorous and it’s horribly depressing, but it’s NORMAL. Athletes, you will probably experience an injury at some point. Seek out help, physically AND mentally, and then do what you need to do to get better. You have one body. Make sure your choices are aligned with what you want for your whole life, and not just for what you want right now.

If you’re an injured athlete, send me a message about what you’re going through. I’d love to help!



One day, the looming cloud of doom will hover over you and everything will line up juuust right for you to get hurt. You can’t predict when and maybe you can dance around it, but most of the time if you rough it up you’ll get roughed up in return someday.

Injury takes you to a heightened state of arousal and stress whether you like it or not! It shines a spotlight on every part of you that is weak and what you thought was indestructible. You’re not just getting old, either. While you may feel pain physically, it takes a larger toll mentally. Insidious onset or traumatic, an injury creates stress, heartache, pain, fear, anxiety, and depression. It is an all out war in your mind. So, what can you do?

First Things First: Get Out of Pain

Pain is different for everyone. Someone else may be able to easily cope with pain that you are disabled by. It is simply a different experience. Intense pain may feel like it will never end, but you have to believe that it will. The good news is that there is usually a projected timeline for returning to play. If you are normally a stubborn person, it may be time to adopt a new outlook. Do I speak from experience? Maybe. Anyway, discuss said timeline with your medical professionals, but play a role in your recovery. Do your research, meet with your doctors and physical therapists, and form a game plan. It can possibly evolve based on your response to treatment. Make sure that research you do includes finding a good provider. I’ve been to Physical Therapists who were too afraid to touch me and those who were too aggressive. You have to understand your pain and then learn how to communicate it to those helping you. If you are apathetic, you will get the same response from your body. Put in effort and recover faster, plain and simple.

Loss of Identity & Coping

Your identity can easily become wrapped up in your sport. It’s going to suffer a bit if you’re out.  Realize that you are going to experience some of the stages of grief depending on how long you are sidelined. Once the initial trauma is over, things will begin to settle down and you can plan your recovery. Physical activity might allow you a place to work through challenges in your life. When that is taken away at the level that you are used to, you’ll be forced to deal with life’s stress in a different and new way. Contrary to popular belief, there are other healthy ways to deal with difficult emotions. Don’t get caught up in self-medicating or isolation. The desire to find something to drown out or mask your feelings will hit you like a bulldozer and run you over leaving you in a pancake shape. Imagine recovering from that! This is the time to remember who you are and how temporary this is. Try to keep a normal schedule with teammates, training partners, friends and family. People care about you even if they don’t fully relate or understand.

What You Can Do for Your Mind

The following skills have not been tested on animals. Only humans…

Relaxation & Breathing

Your energy may feel low and you’re going to need mucho rest. Learning how to relax will be key for your mind. Check-in with yourself and notice how you’re breathing. Shallow upper chest breathing is a stress response to injury. This can lead to a lot of anxiety, as well. In response, diaphragmatic breathing can provide a ton of health benefits for your nervous system. When everything is tightened up from inflammation, your body will welcome your deep breath like a warm hug.

Goals & Overcoming Fear

Set goals for your return. This can be a return to health, a return to sport, or return to a specific race/game/meet. Having something positive to focus on is going to shift you into a positive mindset. It will feel good when you start to see small progress in your well-being. You can measure your progress in numbers and photos so that you can actually see how far you’ve come.

You may be fearful of re-injury or losing ground. Let’s get one things straight: you wouldn’t be human if you weren’t concerned about this. If all you know is balls to the wall, let this injury teach you that it’s not the only way. Work from the inside out. Your coach will understand, but your communication with them is crucial. Maybe you’ll always be the one to sacrifice everything, but let yourself heal first.

Visualization & Imagery

Your body doesn’t forget how to ride a bike, so you’re not going to forget how to play your sport. In the meantime, if you just had ACL surgery and you need to regain strength in your leg, you can use vivid imagery skills in order to help your body get there more quickly. How does this work? Visualization is not just sitting on your couch, closing your eyes, and seeing yourself throwin’ down on the court. This is a skill that needs attention as you would practice a layup drill. It is a skill that requires all of your senses and will strengthen over time the more you practice it. If you work on imagery techniques, your body will start to respond as your mind starts to believe you are healing. Your mind is a powerful tool, so don’t downplay or dismiss what it can do for you.

Human & Athlete

Many injuries aren’t that severe, and you may be upset because you have to be out a few weeks. Remember that pain is a warning sign, and if something isn’t right then you need to take a step back and get it looked at. Use the support available to you. Hiding an injury from coaches might seem like the only way to keep your job. In some cases, I’ll let that slide. In many others, you’re just going to fuck yourself up for the worse. Why would any sane person do that to themselves?

The spectrum of the life of an athlete ranges from extreme lows to the ultimate highs. Injury is going to be on that spectrum, and everything you experience is normal. Even the “I’m not okay” part. It’s okay that it’s hard, but if you know that you will overcome it then focus on learning from it. My intent is to make sense of what injured athletes go through, and spark discussion about how we can make the recovery process positive and more manageable. You are a human being with needs. You are also an athlete. Human, first. Athlete, second.


I’d love to hear from you if you’re dealing with an injury. Send me a message with what you’re going through and the biggest challenges you are facing. Have you tried any of the methods above? What works for you, and what doesn’t?

Let me ask you a question: Does your athletic career define you? Recent research has suggested that concussions can have a negative effect on mental health later in life. Along similar lines, it’s not uncommon for a professional sports team to have many of its players competing anywhere from 70-85% of their full physical health. Elite athletes lay it all on the line and forge into some dark places when it comes to physical and mental health, and it’s no secret that operating at these levels is not reflective of optimum health. Injury, pain, and other limiting factors are swept under the rug in order to win and be the champion. So I ask you: where do you draw the line, and when does your health come first?

Many of the competitors I know are all working their tails off to hold their spot amongst the best. They sacrifice and don’t make excuses. They live and die by their game. Their vision is pin-pointed on the goal and blinders are set to prevent any distractions. They practice consistently and fight hard when it counts. These are not robots, or super-humans; they are real people with talent, drive, and insane work ethic. So, are they defined by their sport?

Eight-time Mr. Olympia winner Ronnie Coleman is famous for getting under or over a barbell and yelling “LIGHT WEIGHT BABY!!!” to hype himself up before lifting some heavy-ass weight. In his recent documentary on Netflix, we learn the former champion has had at least eight back surgeries since his retirement, due to the strenuous training regimen he maintained over the years. My theory is that, if you asked Ronnie if he would repeat his successful past despite his current condition living in extreme pain, he would say yes in a heartbeat. Most people could and will never understand that kind of thought process, but some champions assume all risks, and live and die by their game. Is that what it takes to be the greatest? Is sacrificing your vessel in the long run worth it for the immediate future?

All sports at their highest levels have risks of injury. As athletes you know this, and it is part of your job to do your prehab with your strength and conditioning coaches in order to compete with a strong body. I don’t know about you, but if I played soccer and knew hamstring injuries were a common injury in my sport, I would be diligent in strengthening them to help keep me playing for as long as I could. You’re invincible…until you’re not. We don’t know our fate, but taking precaution and doing the preventative work can ease the mind and help you feel confident while you train and compete.

Regardless of what level you’re at, there are some important questions to ask yourself, and keep revisiting, throughout your athletic journey:

  1. What are my long-term goals?
  2. Do I want to be the best and will I sacrifice my life in order to do so?
  3. Where does longevity come in? Is family and personal health a motivational factor?

Longevity is certainly a goal if you designed a career in sports. Have you really thought about it, though? Contact sports like rugby have a shorter lifespan than baseball because of the degree of beatings your body can take. Each ding or injury you suffer will promote an engine that runs at less than 100% over time because you more than likely won’t recover fully before another beating. On the other mitt, sports like baseball have more games so there is a different type of risk. This is your career and your identity. Recovery, sleep, nutrition, relaxation and de-stressing are just as much a part of the blueprints. Without them, your game would be shit. Do you have the proper team around you and are you taking advantage of the opportunities you have to gain an advantage? Longevity comes as a result of doing good and feeling good over time.

Think about your limits. A year ago, mixed-martial artist Georges St-Pierre suffered a debilitating neck injury during in November 2017.  Recently, he was diagnosed with another medical condition, ulcerative colitis. When asked about fighting again, he stated his health is his number one priority right now, so things are up in the air. Compare him with Ronnie, and you have two different champions. They have the same goal- to win- but GSP has apparently defined a limit. For many of you, your identity is wrapped up in your athletic career. It is who you are and illustrates how you live your life. You may compete briefly, or for many years, and you have to consider how much you are willing to sacrifice. Injury is part of your sport, but when do you declare your limit?

The culmination of your blood, sweat and tears is about to be exposed and laid all out on table. It’s showtime. You’ve trained, you’ve sacrificed, you have given your all to get to this moment in time. This could be your first performance or your hundred and first, but afterwards you will be faced with the same questions: Did you do your best? Did you believe in yourself? As an athlete, you show up every day whether you want to or not, right? Your body is there, but is your mind? On those tough days, what do you say to yourself? How do you get through them? What you think, say, and feel is your self-talk. If you are thinking negative thoughts as a result of stress, social comparison, or anything else, you will not perform at your peak. You cannot doubt yourself or feel badly about the work you put in. This is your life, your goals, your dreams, and your time to shine.

Negative thought patterns can creep in from your every day life and feelings of insecurity will follow. It’s the competitive nature to strive for greatness, and in a sense “never be satisfied.” As an athlete, you tend to be innately driven and it is a quality trait to have. However, be aware of downsides to this such as perfectionism, polarized thinking, and distorted thinking patterns. What kind of thoughts do you have? If you notice reservation, fear, and uncertainty, there is work for you to do. Let’s begin…

How to create a Self-Talk Script

Affirmations can help to drive mentality. The more you hear things the more you start to believe them, and the more you believe them the more they become your truth. What are you thinking about; success or failure? Your beliefs create an emotional reaction, or consequence, and this will turn into your behavior.

Writing a self-talk script can be short and sweet, written or recorded for playback, and have added elements such as music or images. Focus on the following steps to create a basic and short script, and from there you can enhance it and tailor it as you find out what you like best.

Step 1: Decide the purpose(s) of your script.


  1. Remind yourself of your assets, strengths, and desirable personal qualities
  2. Priorities and goals plus action plans to achieve them
  3. Recall past successes, particularly in similar situations or when overcoming obstacles, failure, or adversity
  4. Emphasize the quantity and quality of your preparation
  5. See all situations as a challenge versus a threat and have problem-solving strategies in your back pocket at all times
  6. Reframe negative thoughts
  7. Attribute your success to hard work and developing your skills and failure to to internal and controllable factors such as the need to improve your mental preparation and develop your skills more fully

Step 2: Identify specific thoughts for each purpose


  1. Assets, strengths, and desirable personal qualities
  • I am a talented person with skills and abilities that allow me to be as successful as I want to be in life
  1. Priorities and goals
  • Dreams become reality through hard work and sacrifice
  • This is a “can do,” “will do,” and “get things done” day
  1. Past success and how you overcome adversity
  • Overcoming failure helps me eliminate my weaknesses
  1. Quantity and quality of preparation
  • My physical, mental, technical and tactical training were carefully designed to prepare me perfectly to excel in this competition
  1. See situations as a challenge versus a threat
  • Everyone encounters failure and adversity. Champions rise above adversity by viewing problems as opportunities for excellence
  1. Reframe negative thoughts
  • Life is often unfair, and that is OK. I will continue to work hard because persistence pays off in the long run
  1. Attribute success to hard work and failure to the need to develop skills
  • This failure is temporary and can be overcome with hard work and persistent skill development

Step 3: Arrange your thoughts in an order that strengthens the impact.

Put the specific thoughts for each section in an order that you like

Step 4: Arrange the sections to create the best overall flow

Put your most powerful purpose(s) from Step 1 first and last.

Step 5: Develop a catchy introduction and a powerful conclusion

Get creative with the language and use vivid words with impactful meaning. Record your script over music or add it to the beginning of your playlist. Remember, you want to invoke passion and pride. This is for you and no one else.

Scripts should not be longer than 1-5 minutes so they can be repeated or listened to at least 3 times per day, while still being specific enough to trigger visual success and desired performance.

Take some time today to spend on your mental performance. This is not a difficult task, but you shouldn’t rush through it. If you put effort and energy into it, it will fuel you for it’s intended purpose. Go all in with your dedication and drive. Get out of your own way, because your performance is up to you.

If you need help creating a personal self-talk script, or you don’t even know where to start, I invite you to reach out to me on my contact page. There’s a reason athletes have coaches. Like I always say, why wouldn’t you want to give yourself an advantage?


It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, what you did, as long as you love me. Wait, what? Sorry, the opportunity presented itself. Anyway. It doesn’t matter what sport you play, whether it is an individual or team sport, or if you are just a regular human doing your best to be your best, fitness and athletics is mental just as much as it is physical. Just getting to your workout or practice can sometimes be the hardest part of it all. Though most of you understand that it is a mental game, do you really understand how to handle or take control of that? Today, I want to talk about goal setting and habits. They work together well and here’s why…

Create desired habits

A habit is a cue, a routine, and a reward. Your cue is putting on your workout gear, then you head to training because that’s your routine. Your brain anticipates the feeling you get from working hard, competing, and doing what you love. That feeling is your reward. Even if you head to practice and you have a terrible day or you’re not feeling great, you keep showing up because you have already created a habit that usually gives you a positive feeling. “You never regret a workout,” they say. Showing up physically is the habit, but the reward is mental. If you train your brain to create new habits with goal setting and mental skills, you will react accordingly prior to, during, and after your performance.

Put it into practice

Goals are the bread and butter of mental focus and if you want to see progress, setting goals will get you there. If you set goals, you will then create habits of training to meet those goals. Get out a notebook, nothing fancy, and let’s get started.

Step 1. Create a vision for yourself. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Don’t make this complicated. Go with your gut. If you truly don’t know, shorten the time frame to 3 years.

Step 2. Mission statement. What do you want to accomplish? Define it.

Step 3. Conduct an assessment. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. What strengths can you use to your advantage? What weaknesses are critical to improve upon to accomplish your goals? Keep your goals focused mainly on the positive. If your goals include specific numbers or percentages, set them 5-15% above your current performance capabilities so that you are 90% confident you will be successful.

Step 4. Prioritize. If you have 15 goals, that is fine. List your goals in order of importance from 1-15. Pick your Top 5. Remember that achieving short term goals will ultimately help you achieve your long term goals. Now that you have your top 5 goals, drop the other 10. Cross them off. Until you meet those Top 5 goals, none of the other goals matter.

Step 5. Get feedback, and reward yourself. In order to help develop goal commitment, tell others about your goals. Social support with help keep your eye on the prize, especially when you have a tough day. Emotions are part of the process, so don’t let them control your overall progress. When you evaluate your goal attainment, you will find new areas to address.

Monitor your progress closely. Make adjustments if needed, and understand that effort and hard work are required to succeed. Reward yourself so that you create those habits for success.  If you are inexperienced with setting obtainable, measurable and specific goals, please send me a message. I encourage you to reach out via my contact page for a free consultation!


Returning to sport after a serious injury is known to cause extreme excitement. Excitement is desired because you finally feel good again, but be mindful that it can also take the form of fear or ignorance. As a competitive athlete, playing your sport is your passion and drives all other areas of your life. Now that the piece is put back into place and the pie is whole again you are ready and rearin’ to go.

The longer you were sidelined the longer things will take to return to normal. The period of regaining strength, endurance, agility, and skill can feel frustrating if you were out for longer than a few months. Just because you no longer experience pain does not mean you are immediately back to your previous level of play. Muscle tissue and your central nervous system need time to adapt to become strong and quick once again. This is a time to really focus and dial in on your form and compensatory patterns. Gain strength in the basics.

Here are three common return to play concerns.


If you were cleared by your surgeon, doctor, or physical therapist, then you are ready to go. Athletic trainers and coaches will be useful to you now as a proper set of eyes. Graduating PT should give you confidence that your body is responding well to stimulus. It is extremely normal to be fearful of reinjury, but if you let that fire sit in your mind it can take a very long time to extinguish. Fear can lead to altered movement patterns and compensation. It can lead to excessive worrying and not enough doing. It can lead to another injury because of tense muscles or stress. Like Elsa, let it go, let it goooo!

100% Performance Level

Being on the sidelines for an extended period of time can feel like prison, and when you are set free you will want to get right back to the peak of your performance. It will take some time to get back to a high level of strength, power, agility, and endurance. Whether it was one month or six months your body needs time to adapt. This does not change if you are a paid professional athlete or playing on Varsity in high school. Frustration can lead to poor performance. Be patient. Have a strategic plan and adjust it as necessary. Put your focus on your goals and what you need to do to get back to your level of play.

Support of the Coach and Team

Your team also had to adjust while you were recovering. Psychosocial support is important and it is shown that athletes who have support of their coaches and teammates recover faster and have less depression and fear. Feeling like athletic trainers, coaches and teammates understand and support your recovery process rather than pressure you to return before you’re ready gives you an opportunity to feel like you can eventually reach your goals together. Not everyone will be on board or relate to you. They may have never been injured and therefore will not understand the recovery process. Educate them. This is a good opportunity to improve communication and work together for the goals of the team.

If you prepare yourself physically to return to play, it would be a disservice to yourself not to prepare mentally. Setting recovery goals can not only keep you focused, but also help you feel confident and accomplished. Goals show you on paper that you are getting better. Practicing relaxation techniques can help you reduce stress and muscle tension as you get used to your intense training once again. Guided imagery and visualization techniques can give you confidence in integrating back into competition when stakes are high. Make up your mind to use your mind and gain control over your return.


As an athlete, being injured is heartbreaking. Lifting, training, running, or competing is your lifeblood, or at the very least, it keeps you sane and happy. It is a form of meditation. Moving your body is therapeutic, fun, and helps your heart stay healthy. Your sleep is better, and you can eat more food because you need it to sustain your activity level. You can do more activities because you are fit. The reasons you train should matter, and because they matter, when it’s taken away from you it stings.

Injury comes in many forms. I work in a physical therapy office, and I’ve met the young, the old and the famous. Some have chronic pain, some are recovering from surgery, some have never addressed their pain, some have had cancer, and some have spinal cord injuries and are paralyzed from the waist down. No matter what it is, they can make up their mind to get better in some capacity. Unfortunately, fear surrounds pain in the form of mental blocks.

I want to talk about some of the critical mental blocks that come with injury:

Change in Activity

If you are very restricted, focus on what you can do. Even if you can’t do much, you can still do something. I’ve experienced injury both with and without a support team. I cannot tell you how important it is to find people who support you. Talk to people about what you’re going through, and let them help you. Find a doctor who you connect with and trust. They will tell you the truth and they will tell you what you need to hear. Talk to your friends and continue to hang out with them even though you’re probably depressed and want to sink into your couch. They might not completely understand, but they still care about you. Can’t lift or go to the gym? Walk someone’s dog. Can’t walk? Do seated exercises or get in a pool for some swimming. Just do something, because it’s far better than nothing.

Changes in your Body

This can feel the worst. When you work hard in the gym or on the field and eat a healthy diet, it most likely shows and you probably look good naked. Your body becomes a pristine machine and you feel good about yourself. It takes a lot of discipline to develop beautiful muscles and you’ve probably become attached. So, when your muscles start to atrophy and you look a little more fluffy than you’re used to, stop right there. This is a critical moment and I hope it doesn’t happen in the ice cream isle. Usually it will go one of two ways: you stop caring about your diet and gain twenty pounds denting a cushion in your couch, or you can accept it and know that if you keep your diet on track you will be able to get it all back when you’re better. It may not be easy to accept, but you could work a little on your personality so that at least people don’t like you for just your body. 

Change in Diet

Well, sorry to say you need to eat for less activity. If you track your macros or calories, sit down and plan out the changes you need to make so that you can be successful. Let go of some of your carbs if your activity level drops, but keep your protein about the same. This can vary per individual, but your body needs to heal and needs proper macronutrients to do so. Don’t eat less. Whatever you do, do not go crazy on the sweets or start the booze diet. Sugar fuels inflammation and depression, and those things go against the healing process. You don’t need a kale smoothie every day, but be mindful and remember how good you feel when you eat well.

Outlet for Energy

Find something to do that makes you feel good during the time you would normally go to the gym. This is kind of a game changer. Use that hour for yourself to do something that releases endorphins. If you can’t sweat or get your heart rate up, it’s going to be ok. If you can, go ride your bike outside or go for a walk. A little vitamin D will boost your mood. Use the time at home to work on business goals, or something that enhances your life. Really, though, pushing through pain and continuing to go to the gym when you are hurting will prolong your injury or make it worse. Stop doing that. This is the time to accept that you have to slow down and you can’t exert energy physically in the same way or you will pay for it later. Find something new for now.

Managing the Pain

We will address the pain cycle separately later, but this is probably the number one thing to get a grip on.  You could stock up on pain meds and lay on the couch while they take over your personality and spirit. Not a great idea. Rock-stars eventually get old. Try to take the bare minimum necessary to function fairly normal. If you must take a high dose of ibuprofen multiple times a day for months, take it with food so you don’t get an ulcer. Utilize physical therapy, massage, dry-needling, acupuncture, and ice or heat. If you can stay busy, the pain doesn’t present as much. Sleep is where healing occurs. Go to bed earlier and rest as much as possible. Even though it feels like you will never get out of pain, you will. Have that be your first goal, and when you meet it, celebrate.

Fear: Will I Recover and Be Able to Train Again?

Fear will hold you back big time. You might not even realize it. It is important to work with a doctor and coach to find safe movement. Yes, you will get better, but only if you make yourself top priority. Taking time off and allowing your body to heal and rest may seem like the hardest thing in the world. At first, it will be. Maybe it’s because you fight yourself. You don’t want to accept that you need to just stop completely and rest. Maybe it’s because you haven’t fully assessed or determined the problem. Research your injury. Play a role in your recovery decisions. I can’t tell you enough about your friend Patience.

Recovery times can be short, or take as long as six months to a year. With all of the variables, it’s a little different for everyone. There are some excellent and highly-effective mental skills tools you can learn and utilize to get a major one-up on this injury. Research shows that visualization, self-talk, and setting goals are a few tools you can use to help you accept, process and recover faster from an injury. These tools have shown to significantly speed up the healing process, and decrease the chance of re-injury in the future. Combine these tools with working on the mental blocks I discussed above and you are going to be better in no time. Why wouldn’t you want to give yourself an advantage?