Enjoying a new normal

I am now in my favorite part of the injury rehab. The dreading throb and pain is subsiding mostly and I’m cleared to do more things. Yes, there’s still pain and discomfort. But when I can see the progress EVERY SINGLE DAY, why not love my life for it? I love making progresses and my progress curve is quite high right now. My body is relearning all the movements and balancing and slowly regaining the strength. I dreamed in my sleep I was running, jumping, climbing and dancing so I think I’m getting enough imagery training too!

Some of the progresses I made last week were huge! I went back to the floor with Thai massage and I feel SO GOOD. I went back to rope climbing in the gym. I was able to hike easy terrain for an hour and half (not discomfort free, but I knew what I was getting into). I have less swelling and pain and more flexibility.

Right now, the rehab and PT are my new sports and I enjoy doing them as much as running on the trails and climbing on the rocks. Well, I wish I were outdoors doing things, but I like to be realistic. And looking at my life with honest and realistic view helps me focus on my new goals. A new goal of rebuilding my foundation.

I think a lot of athletes and active people can get in a trap of being sad, getting lost and losing an identity (i.e. If I can not run 10 miles on a weekend day, I’m not worth) from an injury.

Coming back to my first blog post, I said adapting was one of my coping mechanisms for this injury. There are two components I have been working on: physical and emotional. The physical adaptation and recovery is an easier part. It’s mechanical and mostly logical and as long as I am listening to my body well and being patient, I know I’ll get better. Mental and emotional part of recovery and adaptation is harder on the other hand. It’s tricky though because body and mind are so well connected together so when my physical body is under the weather, my mind is weaker. However, I know that I am capable of turning that around by focusing on the small steps every day and observing the negative thoughts pass inside me but not reacting to them all the time.  I definitely went through stages of emotional recovery. I was shocked and in disbelief at first, and I felt angry to myself and to the situation. Then, I felt sad and down for a week or two while I was sitting at home staring outside the window thinking this was a miserable life not able to do even basic tasks at home. Somewhere along, I had enough time to think and adjust my attitude, and to move forward. I accepted the situation completely. I was going along with my new normal and was actually started to enjoy my new normal as an exciting and fresh view of my life.

I believe going through all these stages as a recovery is essential. You can not deny your emotions. My approach is to fully embrace and immerse myself in the current emotion and let it go, and that experience usually clears a lot of stagnation out of me.

“There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind – you are the one who hears it.” 
― Michael Singer