Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Whatsoever. At all. So, this piece is simply written from my personal experiences. In no way should you neglect medical attention. Nor, should you take what I have written as a piece of medical advice. It’s not. Please don’t. Please take care of yourself.
Have you ever been so stressed that your body takes out that stress physically? Maybe you stop eating, or eat too much. You may not be able to sleep at night or you oversleep and miss your alarm every morning. Sometimes, you get sick because of a weakened immune system. You may spend an excessive amount of time in the bathroom… if you know what I mean. If not, let’s not go there. Anyways, stress is a sucky thing. I’ve talked about how stress hurts your mental health, but what do you do when you’re already stressed and you end up physically injuring yourself, which in turn causes more stress?
I’ve always been extremely thankful that I’ve never gotten injured. I’ve heard of athletes and fellow runners who have had to opt out of races or games or tournaments, because for one reason or another they were injured. I could never empathize with them because, one, I’m not an athlete, and two, I’ve never been injured. But, I would do my best to sympathize. I’d imagine what life would be like if I couldn’t run because of an injury. Then I’d brush the thought aside, because it was too scary to think about.
I think I mentioned that the past few weeks have been terribly stressful (minus an amazing trip to Nashville. Y’all NEED to go if you’ve never been). One thing seems to be piling onto another, and generally when that happens, I am unable to sleep, and things begin to spiral out of control. As they have been recently. So, when this happens, I run. Clears my mind. Burns off some stress. And it gives me something to focus on.
Well, about a week ago I realized I had plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is heel pain caused by inflammation of the band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot. And let me tell you, it hurts like hell.
This is the first time that I haven’t been able to run because I’ve been in pain. This is the first time I’ve had to opt out of a race. This is the first time I’ve been stressed and haven’t been able to utilize the one outlet that makes that stress go away.
I should be panicking. But, I’m not.
Stress is a natural part of life, right? Stressors are literally everywhere, but when you’ve let those stressors cause you physical pain, as I have, it’s time to STOP, take a step back, and reprioritize your life in order to diminish stress, and get yourself healthy.
What do you do when you’re already stressed, and an injury kicks you right where it hurts the most?
You take the situation in front of you, brainstorm your little butt off, and find other alternatives to alleviate that stress.
And that’s why I didn’t panic. Clearly, my body is trying to tell me something. It’s tired. It’s overworked. And now, it’s injured.
So, no half marathon for me, I guess. But, that’s okay. I’m going to take this time off to cross train. I’m going to swim, and cycle, and lift weights.
I’m also going to relax. I’m going to sleep. I’m going to read and write. I’m going to do all the things my body is craving, so that I can fully recover and come out of this period stronger.
Are you injured too? Do you need someone to talk to? Do you need someone to motivate you to cross train? Or, do you simply need a friend to drink wine and watch countless hours of Netflix with? Reach out. I’m not doing much of… well, anything. Trust me, I need it too.
So, the moral of this little piece is to take care of yourself. Listen to your body. Identify the stressors in your life, and combat them as best as you can. Rest. Sleep. And be happy. 🙂