Friday, April 29, 2016

Ouch!...and then what?

We all get injured at some point of our training, and not necessarily in training. Still, even if the injury is a result of some accident or actions in our daily life, it still affects our training efforts. So, how do we deal with it?

Of course, ideally we had done everything to avoid and prevent such problems - training smart, having good general fitness level etc, but we all know life is never ideal. I think the first important thing is to acknowledge the issue. In the field where the macho attitude is still highly valued and whining discouraged (rightfully so), it is easy to be somewhat reckless. Nobody likes to deal with the type of people who are moanin' and bitchin' at every little inconvenience and the first sign of discomfort. It is crucial, though, to be able and tell the difference between discomfort and actual pain - the first is a message from your ego, the second from your body. Learn to differentiate between the two and know which one to listen to.

Next, get to learn as much as possible about the problem (but keep it pertinent, you don't need a medical degree), and what is the right course of action...if any. The thing is, sometimes the right thing to do is to do nothing, whether it means to just keep training as usual or literally do nothing - total rest. Refrain from using the former approach as an excuse to be stupid, and using the latter as an excuse to be lazy.

Finally, learn how to train around the injury, if at all possible. When you do that mindfully, it could teach you a ton of stuff. About your body, about your character, about the tactics, techniques and mechanics of your chosen fighting system and  so on. Compensate for any lack of physical training by reading and researching, digging deeper into the "software" portion of your training. This is when you analyze your performance to find out what went wrong and lead to the injury in the first place, but also how to prevent similar things from happening in the future.

Make sure to begin the rehabilitation process as soon as possible, but NOT too soon. Such decision requires certain maturity from the practitioner and responsibility from the instructors/coaches. When pondering the situation, keep the long-term goals in mind and err on the side of caution.

Most of us normally only think of injuries when they happen to us, especially at younger age. While that is probably normal and expected, it is unacceptable to not learn the lessons contained in times of trouble. It is those exact lessons that will help you most in the long way and enable your training to continue in progress for a long time to come.