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How to cope with a fresh injury that stops you doing what you love

Marc wrote to me saying: I've just been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and have had to stop running, which is really annoying since there are a few races coming up I was really looking forward to, and loads of my friends are racing but I can't. Can you offer any pearls of wisdom?

Well Marc, yes I can but they might not be quite what you expect...

In addition to physical treatments such as a bit less running for a while, rolling your foot over a lacrosse ball and doing exercises like picking up a pen with your toes, offloading your foot by mobilising your toes and ankles, dealing with plantar fasciitis (and many slow-onset injuries) is often helped with a mindset shift...

Of course injuries that get in the way of us doing the things we love are incredibly frustrating. Often the more frustrated we get, the worse the problem gets and the more we suffer. So here is something that can help a lot with the frustration:

Usually when we get injured we focus on what we can’t do, and the meaning we associate with this is what makes us suffer more than the actual injury itself.

So changing the meaning can often help. This goes for injuries or pain of any duration.

For instance, try to focus on what this is allowing you to do instead, eg spend time with your family & friends, deal with anything you might have been putting off or avoiding (or running away from😉), read, enjoy some rest, focus more on work, explore other movement forms (swimming/cycling/yoga/whatever you fancy) and see it as an opportunity, basically. Make a list of all the things you can now do, plus things that you couldn't do before because you were spending time running.

Then also think what the other runners are missing out on or losing as a result of being able to run, or the problems they’ll have from the running. Doing that can help calm down the envy and frustration that they’re able to do something that you currently can’t. Also relate this to yourself - what would you be losing if you were able to run? Make a list of all the drawbacks to you of being able to run.

Sounds bizarre but it helps take the frustration away and is a slightly different way to think about it. The shift in mindset can even help you recover more quickly.

It can be tough doing this process alone, so if you want help with it, give me a shout and we can book you in for a session.

I hope this helps!

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