You will get hurt

Decided to pursue a sport?

You will get hurt.

Testing your limits carefully and following best practices hopefully will minimize the likelihood or severity of injury.

But you’re going to get injured.

The driver who ran a red light. The unseen rock. Wet leaves. You ran the light. Five pounds too much on the bar. One last lap. One wrong step.

There’s no way to avoid injury. Believing this now will make it easier to deal with it when it happens.

Because the only cure for injury is not exercising.

This is difficult when the sport has become a large part of your identity. If you think you can sneak in a light run, or a slow ride, or just lift very carefully, you’re probably wrong.

Go rest. Relax. Think of the things you’ll do when you’re healed. Sign up for a new race that’s achievable. Depending on the severity of the injury, think of a new sport you could try.

Take a few minutes to think about what you could have done differently, determine which of those would have made a difference, then stop thinking about it.

It happened. You’ve learned. Do what your sport-aware doctor tells you to do. [1] Watch what you’re eating. Relax. Call a friend, write a blog entry, read a book, watch a show.

As for me, I’ll find out if/how many ribs I broke later today.

[1] If your doctor is unaware you do sport, let her know. If she’s not positive about your sport, find a new doctor. [2] The answer to “My shoulder hurts when cycling” is “Let’s find out why”, not “Quit cycling.”

[2] If every doctor you meet has a negative view of your sport, it may be time to find a new sport.