As an athlete I have dealt with injuries throughout my life, I have recently been sidelined with three bulging discs and stenosis in my lumbar spine, causing sciatica pain in my legs and feet. In addition to significant strength loss in my right leg, the lack of strength and pain throughout my lower body has made it challenging to perform basic tasks such as walking, sitting, laying down, and bending over. However, I have been fortunate to have a great support system, including my wife, three daughters, son-in-law, family, and friends who have stepped up to help me and my family.
I am also grateful for the wonderful staff at the Performance Ranch who have trained several of my clients over the past few weeks and kept the business running smoothly. My mentor always talked about the “getting hit by a bus” test, and I can certainly say that I have been hit by a bus.
Despite the challenges, I have been slowly easing back into incorporating movement this week while being mindful of getting plenty of rest and recovery time. I have added a simple seated band workout to my daily routine on top of my McGill “Big 3” exercises and am optimistic that I will be able to get on my indoor bike in the near future.
Dealing with pain can be demotivating, but I have had to refocus my priorities and develop strategies to not let the pain and inability to live my normal life interfere with my mindset. One of my clients, Ray, who is partially paralyzed and missing a leg from a hiking accident six years ago, shared with me his mindset for getting out of bed every day: “I can either choose to stay in bed and not live life or I can choose to try to improve and get better and still make the best out of the remaining life I do have.” His words resonate with me every day as I struggle to get out of bed, but I feel my body healing every day and that is all I can ask for.
Here are the strategies that have helped me move forward:
- Give it to God. When I was waiting for my MRI results in the emergency room, I spoke to God and gave my pain to Him. Knowing it was out of my hands and in His gave me the strength to handle it.
- Set daily goals and make a plan to achieve them.
- Remain positive and help others achieve their goals.
- Control what I can. I cannot work out, so I am focusing on eating healthy and giving my body the nutrients it needs to heal.
- Let others help me. My family, friends, and teammates at the PR have all been crucial to my recovery.
- Learn more. I have taken up video games, read two books, and I am 1/2 of the way through a new certification class called Pivotal Coaching.
- Relax more. I spend time on the couch, in my gravity chair, sleeping, meditating, and praying.
Injuries can be a difficult and trying time for anyone, especially athletes who are used to being active and pushing their bodies to the limit. However, with the right mindset, support system, and strategies, it is possible to come out on the other side even stronger. I am grateful for this experience and the lessons it has taught me. It has allowed me to refocus my priorities, develop new skills, and appreciate the small victories along the way. As I continue to heal and progress, I am excited for what the future holds and the new opportunities that will come my way.