“Hi, my name is Gaby, and I have an injury problem”

AA MeetingWednesday evenings on BBC Radio 1 always have great conversations with lots of relevant topics about health and well-being. Last Wednesday it was about getting healthier through becoming more active, through sports as well as just little things as taking the time for a walk in your lunch break, for example.

One of the discussions was about injury. How do active people and even professional sports people deal with the massive set back that an injury can cause. The key idea here was that you cannot start your rehabilitation, your recovery, until you have admitted to yourself (and not to others for the sake of it!) that you have an injury and that at the time being, that injury has beat you, has got you down, knocked you of your feet. It’s almost like going to an AA meeting. You have to admit there is something wrong with you, recognise the symptoms and the underlying causes before you can work with these in order to overcome it; it is as much a mental barrier as it is a physical one.

Basically, the whole of 2015 I have been lying to myself. I knew I was in pain. I knew something was wrong, and I tried to convince myself I was doing something about it. That I was working with it, and getting back into it. But even after the diagnosis of my scoliosis and some warnings, I mainly listened to the positive things my coaches, body and my friends were telling me, while ignoring or downplaying the negative things, such as the tiny little fact that although it didn’t get worse for a long period of time (between April and October), but I still hadn’t addressed the root of the problem. I love running so much, and it gives me so much in return apart from general fitness, that it was (and is!) very difficult to let it go (for the time being).

So here I am, 2016, admitting I have a problem. “Hi, my name is Gaby, and I’m injured”. It felt easy enough to reply this to club mates when they asked why I wasn’t running. But I always used it as an answer to others, not myself. The last few months I have come to term with this realisation, which seems to be working at the moment. I went for a few tiny mini almost non-existent runs, and even went out with the speed session last Wednesday which was absolutely brilliant, and things seem to be stabilising, as long as I keep my core exercises and stretching in. Speaking of which, time to read some papers in pigeon pose.

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