Cultivating the right attitude

Jess, smiling in her boot, at Boston 2012

Jess, smiling in her boot, at Boston 2012

Many of you have been kind enough to complement me on my “good attitude” throughout this injury. Thank you. I’m sure, however, that if you were with me in real life day in/day out, you’d see that I definitely have my low moments. Sometimes, beastly moments. But all-in-all, I have handled this injury much better than past injuries.

Truly, that all comes down to my very conscious decision to not let this injury beat me down. In the past I have wallowed, I have felt sorry for myself, I have thrown things, I have…not been all that fun to be around. I didn’t want to be that way this time.

I’ve been lucky enough to have wonderful examples to follow. A few of my running partners have gone through injuries in the past couple of years and have demonstrated true character and grace in light of it. The biggest example I can draw on is my friend Jess, who even when injured and not able to run Boston, accompanied us there, cheered us on, and enjoyed herself in spite of her situation. Impressive, no?

So this time through, I have tried to be like Jess, and others, as I have moved along. And you know what? You really, truly can control your outlook on something like this. Yes I’ve had my low moments, but they have been few and far between. Overall, I have felt upbeat and positive throughout this experience. And crazy as it sounds…I think a positive attitude also helps your body heal faster. You can call me a granola for saying that, I don’t mind.

I hope you don’t find yourself in my injured shoes any time soon–or ever. But if you do, remember, you can manage quite well with a little bit of a mindset change.

How about it–how have you managed injury if you’ve been there? 

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  1. says

    It’s so true – the mind/body connection is strong. I was much better through my sickness then I have been in the past. It’s actually helped me tremendously to think of others (like you) in my bloggy world who are dealing with the same thing. I tried to focus on the fact that I’m many weeks away from my first real race of the year and months away from my BIG race.
    Your friend Jess is beyond impressive. Not sure I would be able to handle that!!
    Allie recently posted..The RundownMy Profile

  2. says

    I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t been there often, but at the same time that makes dealing with it if it does happen more difficult. I’m not too good with this and generally end up being fairly grumpy about it. I usually cope by keeping my mind on long term goals.” That special ultra in two years time” is always a good motivator for me.
    Johann recently posted..Inspiration For The WeekMy Profile

  3. says

    I had a broken ankle back in 2000, right before my 30th birthday. I wasn’t really a runner then, so I didn’t have that to bother me. Still, some people said that leg would never be the same, so I was worried about that a little. I certainly had many negative thoughts and felt sorry for myself a lot, but I still managed to do a lot of things right. I decided to do everything I could to let it heal properly. I did everything the doctor told me to do as far as staying off of it when I got the cast off and I didn’t do too much too soon. I used common sense when rehabbing, and used my good leg as kind of a model for how I wanted the atrophied leg to feel. I ended up healing rather quickly because I was smart.

    I would say that I was often very negative about the experience, but the fact that I let it heal and didn’t do too much too soon was more important.
    bob recently posted..Keep those arms up!My Profile

    • says

      And I was also patient. I would say being smart and patient are more important than all this “positive thinking” stuff people love to talk about. Sometimes it’s OK to admit that you feel like shit and that something sucks.
      bob recently posted..Keep those arms up!My Profile

      • says

        Right around the same time, a friend of mine had another friend our age with some kind of really bad cancer. I asked about how this guy was doing. I did (and still do somewhat) believe in the power of positive thinking. So I asked if the guy with cancer was, you know, thinking positive and doing visualization stuff, etc. to help his body heal. My friend looked at me like I was an idiot and was like “no, he’s receiving the best treatment possible and doing everything they tell him to do.”
        bob recently posted..Keep those arms up!My Profile

        • MissZippy says

          I think it all comes down to individuality…what works for one doesn’t work for the next. I don’t think positive attitude is the be all/end all, but it certainly can’t hurt.

  4. says

    I think it helps to have a plan throughout an injury- knowing about how long you will be out, and what you can do to get better ASAP. Sometimes just doing the exercises and stretches that I know will help me get better make me at least feel like I am doing something to get back to running, instead of just sitting around waiting to get better. Also, trying new cross training exercises (if possible) can help to at least get some endorphins going!
    Lisa @ Running Out of Wine recently posted..Raleigh Marathon Training Week 4 (and a minor setback)My Profile

  5. says

    You are doing SO WELL! When I have had my big injuries, I was a beast 99% of the time, taking it out on everyone I loved! The biggest thing is to keep a positive attitude, and you are doing that! I admire the way you have handled this! Everyone has ups and downs in their moods, and that is expected, it is such a huge part of your life that has been taken away. As long as you do not get to the stage where it defines who you are, you are still you! I felt as though I had nothing to offer the world other than my running talent, and I was not in a good place! You are so much better than me, and have SO MUCH to give, especially to us readers!

    I found writing a journal really helped, it got my emotions out on paper (rather than other people) and I was able to sort through the negative, and write all the positive things in my life that I appreciated to change my perspective. Hope that helps you too! Hang in there :) This happened for a reason!
    Tina Muir recently posted..Mary’s Gone Crackers Gluten Free Products ReviewMy Profile

  6. says

    I absolutely agree that you can control your outlook on it and that it helps your body heal. I’m similar in that I often am not fun to be around when I’m injured. But the year following my knee surgery taught me a whole lot about patience and grace and I really surprised myself. Here’s to healing.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Coffee TalkMy Profile

  7. says

    I think this is one example that going a little crunchy/granola goes a long way! I’m so glad you’ve shared your experience with us. It will be a huge help to others when they find themselves in a similar situation. Your positive attitude is a great example to us! Hang in there, mama! I have no doubt you’ll come back from this injury stronger – both physically and mentally – than ever!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Optic Nerve Clover Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  8. says

    You are on the right track and will be back to running before you know it. I think as we mature (well sort of) or at least get older, we tend to take more of a long term view of the injuries we have and “know” that we are going to run again and that they are not the end of the world.

    We just have to be patient, which is not what a runner ever wants to hear, but is the way it really is. Enjoy the down time as much as you can, enjoy your return to running and I have a feeling that when you are back, you will appreciate it more than you did before your injury, but that you might approach it a bit differently this time.

    You will savor the runs more and enjoy/look at the other runners around you with a different perspective. :-)

  9. says

    I was actually in the middle of a major injury way back when I started blogging – reading running blogs was brutal at the time!! I had to be really careful because it was easy to get really down about it but I tried to keep telling myself that in the long run I would be able to run again and that is really all that mattered!
    Glad that you have had people to draw on and have been able to keep such a positive attitude through this injury!!
    Kim recently posted..Today We Honor a True American HeroMy Profile

  10. says

    I totally agree that your attitude can affect how quickly you heal. It might be that the time doesn’t drag so much when you’re more positive but it just seems to be that you’re rewarded for behaving well.
    Char recently posted..28 YearsMy Profile

  11. says

    100% agree and attitude was so much part of the healing. Don’t get me wrong, I wallowed and cried some days (also due to a broken heart at the same time as surgery) but for the most part, I was positive. It was only going to make me a better athlete in the long run and I can already tell the difference.
    elizabeth recently posted..Winter Hermit and TrainingMy Profile

  12. says

    I’ll bet you’re also thinking that if you start bitching I might slap you down real quick :)


    I just keep the faith because the pain can’t last forever, right? RIGHT???? I am now so excited about surgery.

    You sound like you’re doing great :)
    MILF Runner recently posted..Well…so much for my goals.My Profile

  13. says

    You have had a great attitude…one of the things I’ve noticed as I get older is that I can put things into perspective much better than even a few short years ago. For me, running, racing, etc is a part of who I am and what I love to do, but I have to remember it’s just one side of me and now my whole life. Plus, I cannot stand myself when I am in self pity or depressed mode!! Glad you are hanging in there.

  14. says

    Currently injured (calcaneal stress fracture in my right heel – which I always type as hell and it makes me laugh every time…) I was in a boot for 16 ish weeks. I started out saying four weeks and ended up in it for 16 weeks. I rode the recumbent bike and swam. I took up planking/sit-ups/push-ups and lifting weights again. I radically changed my diet (again). I am working getting more sleep (hard!) I am lighter, fitter, and stronger than I was before the injury. I am now doing a 12 week “training” plan for rehab. It is torture to run/walk for 20 minutes twice a week (that is the first week of the plan.) At the end of the day, after I went through being sad and mad and frustrated and bummed out and… well you get the picture I just had to do what I could do and be happy about it. I cheered on friends in their races and I learned a heck of a lot about what I was doing wrong and what I can do right and how I need to listen more to my body and again you get the idea. I actually needed the injury to slow down my running and get in better shape! CRAZINESS. SO that is that!