When you workout, or play sports, this is bound to happen. You’ll be very lucky if you ever go for 2 years without an injury. Nevertheless, that is one’s goal. To be fit and strong enough to live and play without hurt or pain.
Overtraining is the biggest cause of injury in the world today.
There have been two really big injuries in my life, one of which persists even today.
I got my first one when I was 14, which basically put an end to my cricket career. It happened because of sheer stupidity. We were playing a match where the opposition cheated, and the umpire did not notice. Infuriated, I tried to get back at them by bowling as fast and as recklessly as I could. I put undue pressure on my back, and ended up tearing a muscle in the left side of my lower back.
The second one happened when I was 17, and this was on my right thigh. It happened because I went into a squash match with absolutely no warm up. I was running late, reached the venue 5 minutes before my match, and by the time I registered and got to the courts, it was time to play. I won that match, but the next one, I could hardly stand. I’m happy that I’ve recovered from this.
A lot about dealing with injuries is a mental game. There is a lot that goes on in the mind when this happens. Doubts, fear, anger, disappointment, restlessness. It requires a lot of mental strength to deal with this.
So, how can you prevent injuries?
From my experience, it’s by making sure you do two things-
- Warm up and cool down– It is extremely important to stretch your muscles and make them flexible and ready to work. If you don’t they will be brittle and more likely to break. These injuries can be irreversible and has ended careers.
- Make sure you don’t do anything you are not ready to do. If you are lifting weights, don’t jump from 30 pounds to 50 pounds in 1 day. Undue stress/excessive stress on the body can lead to serious injuries.
- Rest! Overtraining is the biggest cause of injury in the world today. You have got to realize that the body, like any other machine, is prone to developing glitches in the long run. Resting, helps it repair itself.
Even after all this, if you do end up injuring yourself, too bad. But here’s what you should do.
- Stop. Stop whatever you are doing and whatever you think caused that injury. This is not the time to be brave and push yourself.
- Seek help, professionally. Or you will regret it.
- Take a break, and a long enough one for you to recover. Again, a doctor’s words are the law in this case.
A lot about dealing with injuries is a mental game. There is a lot that goes on in the mind when this happens. Doubts, fear, anger, disappointment, restlessness. It requires a lot of mental strength to deal with this. I’ll dwell more on this in my next post.
Until then, train safe!