No one likes to be injured. In 2009 I had to quit running for 8 LLLOOONNNNGGGG WEEKS due to a stress fracture.

Can you say “Hit the panic button?!”

8 weeks of no running is like taking a bottle from a baby, a bone from a dog, Excel from an accountant. I mean, I NEED it, right? You need it, right? I jokingly refer to my running as “child protective services,” but the truth is that I am more patient, I think better, I am happier, and more content. It is often my social outlet as well. When you take that outlet away, there is a certain level of terror that surfaces.

Fast forward to today.

I’m not sure how long I will be off this time, (insert big sigh) but my left foot has been bugging me for a few weeks now. To this point, I have been able to run through the irritation (yes, I now know that might not have been smart), but last Saturday, that irritation elevated to real pain that didn’t go away after I ran.

Ugh!

I have been off now for a week. Bye, bye good mommy, friend and wife, here comes crazy.

What to do?

Black and white kids 2013

If you are injured or have been in the past, you are all too familiar with this feeling. You are likely convinced that you are going to gain 20 pounds, lose your sanity and possibly never get back to your current running shape. Whatever our fears are, we can’t completely lose it. We all have more important things to do in life, and we have to hold it together, injured or not.

Since I am a make-lemonade-out-of-lemons type person, I thought I would share 5 ways that I make the most of my time being injured.

Step Back and Make Sure You Have Your Priorities In Order:

I really don’t like to admit this, but running or working out is so important to me, that I will neglect a lot of other things in order to fit it in. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. To make room for the good stuff in our lives, other things will get neglected. We all have to choose what we are going to neglect. But, sometimes we all need to step back and make sure we aren’t neglecting the really important stuff like time with God or time with our family.

Fine Tune Your Diet:

Let’s be honest. A lot of us exercise to eat. Rather than adjust our diets (notice I did not say “go on a diet”), we exercise enough to eat whatever we want. True? While this might work for a while it won’t work forever, AND it’s not good for us. We all need to be eating as much nourishing food as possible while keeping the empty, dare I say poisonous, calories out. When we are injured, it becomes all too clear, that the exercising to eat won’t always work. This is a great time to “clean up” one area of your diet.

Stretch and Foam Roll:

How bad am I at this one? I need to do both of them on a regular basis, but when everything is sailing along smoothly, I don’t. Isn’t that so true of everything in life? When things are good, we often ignore the really important things like saving money, doing a date night with our spouse, or going to church. Geez. Anyways, now that I am “almost injured” I am taking the time to stretch and roll out my legs and back. My hamstrings are so tight! Maybe if I had been doing this all along, I wouldn’t have gotten injured?

Do Other Activities:

Let’s be real, unless I absolutely have to, I am not going to sit around and do nothing. I’ll do some yoga and ride my bike. But, one of the reasons I run is that it is super convenient. Yoga and biking riding aren’t as easy to fit into a busy schedule. So, more than likely I will do some dorky home workouts. I call them dorky because I have been told that most people don’t do things like this. But realistically, you can get a really good workout in your driveway if you want. I will walk some driveway repeats combined with pushups, squats and lunges, maybe some lateral shuffling, burpees, and planks. Normally I am more than willing to skip strengthening exercises, even though I know I need them. While I can’t run, I’ll try to maximize that time by becoming stronger.

Rest and Get Refreshed:

We all need breaks. We all need rest, but we once we get going we are often afraid to stop, afraid we won’t start again, afraid we will get fat in a week, afraid we will lose fitness, or maybe we are just stubborn. In every area of life, our minds, souls and bodies need a break every now and then. It is essential to being our best. An injury or an “almost injury” provides that time when we aren’t wise enough to do it ourselves.

Are you injured or have you been injured recently? How did you make the most of it?

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