By Athlete Ambassador, Spring McClurg of Pebbleshoo
It’s likely happened to you or at least to someone you know. The day you discover the difference between good pain and bad pain. The kind of pain that stops you in your tracks and you know means you have to stop doing the one thing you love because it only makes the pain worse.
The word alone used to make me cringe. An injury can set the grieving process in motion and you can grieve for a deep loss of something that you love, something that makes you feel whole; it can feel a lot like losing a part of yourself. I know that this is personally how I have felt and continue to feel at times.
However, in dealing with a recent chronic injury that has encouraged a forced break from trail running, I have also had the chance to realize that the injury doesn’t define me. It doesn’t mean I won’t get back what I lost. Rather, it’s given me a shift in focus and allowed me to reassess my goals, to really think about why I do the things that I love and the opportunity to realize how much I really do love them. Taking a forced break is an excellent way to look at your life from the outside, a different perspective that allows you to dig deep within yourself.
Away from the miles on the trails, away from the focus of goal setting and away from the thick of it all you can create, rediscover and even reignite the passion for the activity that you are not able to do or find a new activity to love. This shift in focus has made me realize I am more than the activity that I choose to spend my time doing , that my body deserves time to rest and that it’s ok to take a break.
Most importantly I am doing my best to think about this injury as an opportunity rather than a setback. It’s not easy, but just like trail running or any other physical pursuit, it’s more about the process than the end goal. That’s where we learn, where we become better and where we gain perspective.