Trying to do it all: When you don't take stock, you get injured
Are you trying to do it all? Is your FOMO always on high alert? Does your excitement make you forget to take a breath once in a while?
Me too. So now I’m carrying an injury.
Somehow, even while making a conscious effort to take myself off on a much needed trip to clear my head of London, work and sport, I still managed to cram a million things in right up to the last minute. And, to make matters worse, I thought it would be a good idea to roll off the plane and straight to a Tag Rugby Tournament.
So, even though I felt fatigued, I was determined to hit the field with all the effort I could muster. I didn’t want to let the team down!
BAM. I hyperextended my right knee and jolted it while sprinting which forced me to come off and stay on the sideline for the rest of the day. My knee is now swollen and unstable. All I can do is elevate and ice it as I can’t start treatment until the swelling comes down. I won’t even know the extent of the damage (and how long I will be sidelined for) until then.
So what should I have done?
Firstly, not booked flights to arrive just in time for a tournament. I should have had a full night’s sleep to prepare. Adding to that, flying is very dehydrating. This all adds to the injury risk.
Failing that, when I got to the pitch, what should I have done? It takes being really honest with yourself (easier said that done, obviously!) and understanding your body.
I’m a very competitive person, we were short of players and I didn’t want to let the team down. I knew I was tired but didn’t feel like I could sit out. But the end result was a preventable injury.
Even though I am physically strong and resilient, I didn’t recognise the factors that increased my injury risk. I didn’t even think to ask myself “should I do this?”.
The reality is that, had I been conscious of the increased risk and sat out, it would have been a little annoying for me and for the team, but by pushing through and playing, I ended up taking myself out for much longer than one match.
Although it’s too early to say exactly what I’ve done, due to the swelling, we suspect that it’s a stretched LCL.
So now I’m forced to actually take a real rest and refocus until I can start my rehab program.
The initial lesson learned here (and this is a lesson I keep having to learn again and again) is the importance of listening to yourself when you’re fatigued, especially when it comes to exercise and sport. Preventable injuries are the worst!
Take stock, do a quick scan of your body. Am I really feeling good to go? What factors might be increasing my risk of injury right now? What is the risk/reward here?
And I’m pretty sure I will continue to learn more lessons through this minor set back.
Watch this space if you’re in need of knee rehab programs - I’ll probably be doing some soon!
Photo’s of Tag Rugby - Taken by Steve Devonshire from Try Tag Rugby