Should we start an Injury Support Group?
By: Julie J. Fleet Feet Sports Madison
Hi, my name is Julie and I’m an injured runner. It’s been almost four months since I’ve been on a run.
You know that familiar feeling. First you try to ignore it, then you try to ignore it some more. “I’ll take a few days off,” you think, wondering if that is all it will take. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t.
We’ve all been there. Working at the store I’ve met a lot of runners over the years and many of them either come in with an injury, are getting over an injury or has been injured at some point. We have this thing in common: our love of running and our hatred of injuries.
I do my best to avoid getting hurt. I dutifully cross-train, do core work, go to yoga and use my Addaday stick and Trigger Point ball. I replace my shoes frequently, probably more frequently than most. I’ve worked on my Good Form Running and don’t run every day. Yet, sometimes, even with the best of intentions, even when we do everything in our power to stay healthy, we can still sustain an injury.
And, when you do get hurt, there are lots of things you can do. Plantar Fasciitis can be treated very effectively with inserts, a Strassburg sock and massage. IT Band Syndrome can be treated with a foam roller or Addaday stick. Sore, fatigued muscles can be helped with compression socks or CW-X tights.
But, despite our best efforts, sometimes what an injury really requires is rest.
I think I should start an injury support group (ISG). We can commiserate on how long it has been since we’ve been on a run, how much we miss that runner’s high and our running buddies. We can talk about what we have been doing with our free time and the food that we try not to eat now that we aren’t running and burning those extra calories. Maybe we can talk about our rehab and if it’s working, which physical therapist we like the best and our favorite chiropractor. We can talk about how long we think it will be until we can get back on the road again. Most importantly, we will know that we aren’t alone.
Recently my husband didn’t want to go for a run because it was raining outside. I pushed him out the door telling him that he takes his health for granted and to run for all the injured runners out there that wish they could go. What irritated me most was when he got home and had that happy glow and goofy smile that you get from a good hard run in the rain. Ugh. I should have let him stay at home.
The hardest thing about being injured is that you really don’t know how long it will be. I had to drop out of my spring marathon because of my injury but held out hope that a fall marathon would be in my future. Now, I’m not so sure. For now, I’m going to take on another support group mentality and tell myself to take things one day at a time. That, and live vicariously through all the wonderful stories I hear about races from the customers that come in the door. I really enjoy hearing those stories. It will keep me going until I can get out there again.