Turning injury into opportunity
Dot-watching Jack Scott and Damian Hall pile-driving up the Pennine Way had me thinking back to some wise old words about injuries
At our Way of the Runner Chamonix retreat last year, we had a Q&A session with our resident coach, Tom Payn, a British international runner on the track, roads and trails (and one of the only people to have appeared in all three of my books). Someone asked Tom about injuries and how he coped with them. His wise words came back to me on Friday when, after testing out my injured heel on a slow run, I came home barely able to walk.
“I treat injuries as an opportunity,” he answered. I’m sure he’s not the first coach to put this spin on it, but it was his words that hit me on Friday. “When I can’t run,” he said, “I take the time to do all those other things I usually neglect, such as strength work, flexibility etc.”
After remembering this, my mood instantly lifted. I have the feeling - don’t ask me why, and of course I may be wrong - that this injury isn’t really that bad and that it will go away if I just stop running on it for a while. But when I stop running, usually I give up on everything else too. Bah, can’t run, sulk, do nothing. That’s my pattern when injured (or ill). But suddenly I saw the positive side. This was a few weeks to do the other stuff. Instead of feeling down, I got excited.