Missing the gym …
Okay, I promise this won’t be a “boo hoo” post or anything, but I’ve got to tell you having a boxing related injury plain s-u-c-k-s! I mean really, I can’t even put a jacket on these days without a yelp, never mind shadow box! Even my old shower favorite, slip the water streaming out of the nozzle isn’t exactly cutting it and I’ve got to tell you that attempting a run with one arm pasted to the side of your waist is ridiculous!
When I have gone to Gleason’s Gym over the past three weeks, I’ve been downright wistful. I mean there were tons of women there last Saturday for the second annual All Female Boxing Clinic — exciting right? — and even saw my friend, wait for it blogger Amy Scheer, who’d come in for the clinic, but was I elated? The answer is no, I actually felt kind of sad.
Well it seems I am not alone in all of this. Medical scholars are pursuing research in the psychological effects of sports injuries on Saturday athletes like myself on through elite practitioners.
In a journal article for the Journal of Sport Behavior (1994), authors Nancy Quackenbush and Jane Crossman have written that:
… athletes experience feelings of separation, loneliness, guilt and a loss of identity and independence, because they feel that they are no longer vitally contributing to the team and that they are reliant upon others in the rehabilitative process.
The fact is that athletes and fitness enthusiasts get injured all the time, when injuries necessitate time away from cherished activities, however, it is important to understand that recovery is not only physical. There can be a psychological component as well. And just as it takes a long time to build-up skills to a level of one’s own peak performance, rehabilitation of the injury doesn’t happen overnight either.
If I use my own recovery as a case in point, my shoulder rehabilitation is actually progressing. During my first week of physical therapy, I could only use one-pound weights for certain of the strengthening exercises, however at the onset of my third week I progressed to three-pound weights. And sure, it still hurts, and on some days worse than others, but I can actually lift my right arm straight up which I couldn’t do at all in my first week.
And I guess that’s part of the secret. Realizing that progress is relative. That, and giving yourself a kick in the butt for feeling sad at those points when being in a place like your favorite gym usually brings you nothing but joy!
I also came across a helpful article on coping with sports injuries that may be of interest to anyone going through the same thing. The link to the article by Elizabeth Quinn is here: Coping with Sports Injuries: Sports psychology strategies for coping with and recovering from injury.
It is worth the read!