Recovery from Injury
Psyched to Return
11“Things that help you return: understanding recovery process, good relationships, realistic but positive attitude, being prepared for setbacks, connection to other athletes, learning/being proactive.” Kristen Dieffenbach, Cycling Coach and Sports Psychologist
There are two kinds of riders: those who have injury and those who will. Besides impact in racing, causes of injury are many including muscle imbalances and horseplay. Cycling culture celebrates toughing out pain but as stressed throughout these contemplations, it’s important to decide which pain is a part of improving fitness and which contributes to more problems.
The mind is as important as the body in sorting out pain and its solutions. Injury has many practical implications that contribute to mental distress wrought by its immediate imbalance of lifestyle. Financial obligations may suffer as well as self-esteem and profound sense of purpose. The cumulative injury cycle aggravated by scar tissue and inflammation has as much to do with a wounded soul as with inflamed emotions. Anger and anxiety are considered risk factors that predispose an athlete to injury as are the way one views stress, ongoing frustration, previous injury and poor coping techniques.
Serious injury takes away one of a cyclist’s greatest coping skills – the ability to ride with pleasure and let the wind blow off the hassles stuck to your spirit. If not possible to enjoy gentle rides, create a sanctuary of contemplation, a prayer chair, a quiet place where you can remember good times and dream of new things to come. As part of a grief process eventually accept your predicament as a benefit to body and soul.
Delayed gratification builds desire and discipline. You can come back with fire but let it heat back up slowly. Listen to your team of experts: doctor, coach, rehab therapist, loved ones, and adhere to your program of recovery. Be realistic about time to return and set new goals. Life is beautiful and full of other wonderful things – think on these things.
Prayer for Injury Recovery
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” 12Philippians 4:8
We are glad even for forced times to remember what’s important. We pray for complete healing to injury so we can ride again soon.
Ponder What hidden benefits can come from this catastrophe? Affirm I am going to come through this a greater person. Watch cycling appreciation refine and come forth in a blaze when it’s your time again!
11“Psychology of Injury Management,” by Kristen Dieffenbach, PhD, CC, AASP, West Virginia University, a webinar by USA Cycling on 3/08. Quotes and some practical information in this daily are from Kristen’s presentation; others from experience.
Another great resource is:
“Toolbox: Recovering from Injury,” by Marvin Zauderer, Monday, August 27, 2007 posted on www.pezcyclingnews.com
12The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society