Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Turning Injuries Into Opportunities

I am recovering from a pectoral tendon tear that was surgically repaired last week and have little use of my right arm. Among that inconvenience, there is also the thought of having to scale back on my weight-lifting, training clients, and everyday activities that involve my upper-body. Getting a piece of your body surgically re-attached to bone is a constant reminder that we are all susceptible to injuries. Big ones too. Injuries like that stay embedded in the back of your head every time you approach a loaded bar, look up at a chin up bar, or prepare to get under a squat.

I am taking it easy for this week to concentrate on my rehab and working closely with my physical therapist. I plan on being out of this sling in 3 weeks--although the doctor would like me to stay in it for 6. I'll do the best that I can and remain patient and diligent with my therapy. As for today, I have a guest blog post from Mark Young:

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein

Getting an injury sucks. Getting an injury from training really sucks. But the cool thing about life is that perspective can take a bad situation and turn it into an incredible opportunity.

From personal experience I can say that some of the best experiences of my life came out of circumstances that I didn’t appreciate for what they were at the time. A few years back my wife and I closed our training facility to cut down our work hours and focus on having a family.

At the time I also took on a position developing the exercise component of a bariatric medical program for the treatment of obesity. To say I wasn’t excited about this would be an understatement. It wasn’t my “thing” but in the end, that two year experience turned out to be the most pivotal moment of my fitness career and is now the foundation of my understanding of long term weight loss and all of my fat loss programming. It was one of the most valuable professional experiences I’ve ever had.

So if you’re the type to feel sorry for yourself then getting an injury is going to make you miserable and you’ll probably remain that way until you’re back up to speed again. Alternatively, you can choose to view the problem in a different way. You can turn that problem into an opportunity to bring up weak areas and come out even better than you started before you got the injury in the first place.

Never been as lean as you’d like?

Use the time you would’ve spent training to optimize your diet for fat loss.

Never really dedicated as much time as you should to cardio?

Get out and move. Heck, get outside and go for a hike even. Soak up some rays, get in some vitamin D, and get the heart rate up.

Upper body injury?

Experiment with single leg lower body variations. Spend some time on those calves.

Lower body injury?

Take some time for the upper body corrective work and foam rolling you’ve been putting off. Or bring up a lagging body part.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t sit on the sidelines and cry about your injury. Rather than taking a step backwards, use the opportunity you’ve been given to make a great leap forward in another area of training. I can assure you that you’ll come out on top and be an inspiration to others…and more importantly, yourself.

“Problems are only opportunities in work clothes” – Henry J. Kaiser

Mark Young is a personal trainer based out of Toronto, Canada. You can learn more about him on his website at www.MarkYoungTrainingSystems.com.

1 comment:

  1. I am clinging to this post while I wait for my stupid sartorius to heal.


Thanks for checking out the blog and commenting!