Coming Back from an Injury

It’s never easy to come back after an injury. Depending on the severity of it you might have lost fitness, motivation or confidence...maybe all 3! Trust me I know. 3 weeks before my big race, my worst nightmare came true when I didn’t unclip from my bike in time and broke my wrist.

It wasn’t just the breaking of the wrist and all of the physical damage I had to repair. It was more the mental one. Falling off my bike has always been a big fear of mine and so for it to happen in such a dramatic way was really hard for me to take. The bone healed but mentally I couldn’t cope. The thought of my bike scared me so much for a long time. And by long time I mean around 5 months. That probably sounds quite dramatic but I just couldn’t do it.

So how do you get over it? The most important I learnt is to wait until you feel ready. So many people kept telling to just get on with it and that the longer I left it, the worse it’d be. That’s great but even just looking at my bike made me want to cry. It took me 5 whole months before I finally accepted that it was a freak accident and that every time I fall (which I will), it won’t result in a trip to A&E.

I’ve made adjustments too, so while the thought of my bike isn’t so awful now, the practical side is still a struggle. As it was my clip in shoes that did the deed, I’ve been riding in my trainers. I probably look like a bit of a wally but it makes me feel better and that’s all I really care about right now.
This is quite bike specific but the same principles apply; take your time, there’s no rush to get back to it and adjust for your body. Don’t feel like you have to get right back to it right away, it’s not going anywhere. Yes you’ll lose some fitness, that’s inevitable but you will get it back. (I could have ridden on the bike at the gym or done something else to keep my fitness if I’d really thought about it but I was more interested in what I’d missed in training- wine and chocolate!) Don’t go crazy when you do get back to it, ease yourself in. Don’t forget your body has forgotten the movement so go gently until it comes back other you risk doing yourself another injury.

Finally, there is nothing wrong with being afraid. I made up hundreds of excuses for not riding before I finally admitted that I was absolutely terrified. Once I said it aloud to my boyfriend and he didn’t laugh, I realised that there is nothing wrong with being afraid. It’s natural to be scared after getting back but to quote the old saying, don’t let the fear of striking out stop you from playing the game!

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