You are training your stand-up with your partner and suddenly you step wrong and sprain your ankle.
We all have been in this situation sometimes. A freak injury that happens during practice caused by no one or nothing, it just happens. It’s also annoying when you have to step off the mat and sit there with your foot taped up and leg elevated, cursing yourself and wondering how long you’ll be out.
Now, a sprained ankle isn’t the worst thing. You will probably be back in a day or two. Might not do any stand-up, but you can tape it up and drill other stuff. But other injuries can keep you side-lined for a long time.
When is it time to throw in the towel?
As martial artists we can be a bit dumb because we deal with a sport that deals pain to others and ourselves. Therefor we are used to pain and have a tendency to push through and continue. It is not bad to have grit, but you must learn when it is time to rest, too. Most importantly, you have to learn to listen to your body. I learned this the hard way when I trained with a broken hand for a whole year before getting it checked out. I thought, ”It’ll get better”, taped it, and just pushed on. I got lucky the bone healed the right way, but it could have healed improperly and caused a lot of problems. So learn to listen. Your body tells you when it is time to throw in the towel.
Training while not training
Being injured sucks, but it doesn’t mean you can’t train your mind. Get your ass down to the gym anyway, watch the classes, and take notes. Not only for the social thing, but this will also keep your mind on the mat which will help you later when you come back. Jog your mind through the positions and continue to train mentally. Depending on the injury, you can also find other ways to train. A sprained ankle doesn’t hinder you from working your upper body, and a broken hand doesn’t stop you from running. It might help to do drills on the mat that don’t involve the injured body part, if you’re lucky. But stay smart and continue to listen to your body. When it says stop, you stop!
The comeback will suck
Another thing you must prepare your mind for is that the come back will suck! I’ve seen so many people getting injured and quitting altogether after one session. Reason being, their body didn’t respond as it used to before the injury. It sucks, but you just have to deal with it. Also, as I say so many times, stop comparing yourself to the person next to you. This goes x10 when you are back after an injury. The only goal in your mind should be to make progress against yourself.
Hope everyone is having a good summer. Mine has been busy, hence why my blogs are slacking a little.