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The Gift of an Injury

In this article I want to discuss the idea that an injury, if it is treated and acted on in the right way, can actually be a gift to runners. Some of you may wonder how one can possibly see an injury as a gift, when being injured can be the most annoying, and sometimes depressing, part of an athlete’s life, so let me explain.

Stretch wallI would never wish an injury on any athlete, especially not what I call a ‘serious accident’ injury such as a bone fracture or ligament rupture. Yet injuries are a reality for most athletes and so it is wise to learn to look at them in a positive way and see them as an opportunity to learn about your body.

How on earth can we look at injuries positively? All injuries have causes, but these causes can be many and various: they could be related to the training programme, the athlete’s technique, the athlete’s level of conditioning, the equipment used or the conditions. By identifying the specific causes you can make an objective assessment of what you need to do to ensure the injury does not recur. Then, by working on your weaknesses and making any changes to training or equipment once the injury has healed, you will be a stronger, better prepared athlete who has less chance of getting injured again. This is how injury can be a gift, because it offers an opportunity to discover what you need to work on and a chance to become more aware of your body. [Read more…]