How to Learn from your Injury

I used to hate rainy weather, especially weeks like this where the grey seems to drag on and on. But as I plugged away at my office work today I couldn’t help but feel, warm, cozy and productive. Now I don’t mind rain so much. I find beauty in its calmness and the growth that it creates, its the perfect weather for working on projects inside (blogging, cleaning, working….waiting for this baby to arrive ūüėČ ).

Coping with an injury

I went through a similar transformation in how I feel about being injured. I had never really been injured so I never had a good understanding about what other people were going through when they got injured. And often, I blamed the injured party in my mind, annoyed when they struggled or couldn’t keep up.

That all changed when I had my first son. He was breech so I ended up needing a C-section. That was my first surgery, I was terrified! I had planned on having an unmedicated natural delivery and in my mind I felt like I had failed. I was mad at the irony: fit, healthy, young, Pilates instructor who “should have had a great delivery” was forced into having major abdominal surgery.

The first 5 weeks after surgery were rough. Any movement that used my core (which is pretty much any movement) hurt. I spent the first 4 weeks barely able to walk. It took me a few more weeks to feel ready to get back into physical activity. It was a truly humbling experience and one of those experiences where I feel like life handed me exactly what I needed to learn.

Eventually, I found a strange sense of gratitude from my surgery. I learned a lot from my experience. It taught me what it feels like to deal with pain¬†that prevents you¬†from being active. I had to learn to pull myself back from pushing too hard because if I didn’t, I could cause more complications. And, maybe most importantly, I learned compassion for others who¬†had been injured.

If you are injured, you can turn it into a positive experience too. Depending what your injury is, you can learn about yourself and grow as a person.

If your injury was the result of something in your control, like an overuse injury, look at the cause and see what you can do to prevent future injuries. Look at your patterns and habits and figure out if something needs to change. Don’t beat yourself over what you could have or should have done, but look forward to what you can do now.

If your injury was totally out of your control, you might have to search a little deeper. Ask yourself what you can get out of it, and it may be more abstract: More compassion? The ability to let go and surrender your own control? The courage to slow down and appreciate what you have and what you are able to do?

By approaching an injury with a sense of curiosity and a desire for personal growth, you can turn something negative into something positive.

Have you ever been injured? What did you learn from the experience?

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