A couple of weeks ago I fell over running and hurt myself pretty badly. 6 stitches in the knee and an inability to drive or walk up stairs. It rather hindered my life and business for a while.
I am an active person and my work depends on my physical fitness, largely because I am encouraging others to feel the joy of fitness and movement too.
I allowed myself just under 24 hours of feeling sorry for myself and then went to work. Not on my physical fitness but on my mental response to the injury.
I did my best to frame the injury and immobility as an opportunity (to rest, to work on other things, to do some thinking).
My days are usually pretty active, whether teaching classes or one to one sessions, or just the ins and out of life with two kids and a house to run. I had to delegate the school run, the cleaning (what a shame) and the cooking (this IS a shame). But I know how important movement is to my body, so I would find other ways - stretching where I could stretch, moving all the joints I could, lifting weights in ways that didn’t mean I had to use my legs.
Using the outdoors
As with movement, I couldn’t spend as much time as I normally do outside - getting in and out of the house was awkward and it was raining a lot of the time for the week I was more immobile. So I would sit anywhere where I could watch the outside. Even in the rain there was plenty of wildlife in the garden, and it was a good way to take a meditative moment between admin tasks.
Rest as an investment
I have to heal well. My business, my clients depend on it, right. And so I had to rest. And rest is surprisingly difficult. But I found that often the only place I was really comfortable was lying down. And I was surprised that the shock of the injury, the healing process, felt SO exhausting. So I re-framed the rest as an investment in faster recovery, not just a waste of time.
Accepting help and enjoying it
My clients, friends and family all helped. They ferried me about (I couldn’t drive), carried my bags and equipment, sent cards and supportive messages, the children cleared up after themselves without fuss and I actually ASKED for help. One lovely client picked me up at 6:15AM so I could teach my early bootcamp class! And those that offered and responded were glad to help. I like helping other people, and recognised that I wasn’t being awkward or a burden, but helping me out actually made others feel good. And that has to be a good thing.
Delegating more and allowing it to be
I had to delegate more. It also showed me some important places in my business as well as life that I need to delegate or have clear systems to follow or it will fall down without me. And life didn’t fall apart by me not doing ALL the things.
I took the healing as a lesson in anatomy and physiology, feeling the improvement on a daily basis, seeing how my body responded to the healing and to the rest. Seeing the injury as something to learn from rather than something to get over as quickly as possible definitely helped.
Finding the lessons
There were a lot of lessons to learn. In how I communicated to clients, in how my systems work (definitely room for improvement), in how I rearrange things, in how I ask for help. I’ve had to describe rather than demonstrate exercises and activities, I’ve had to rethink my lesson plans, sessions with clients and travel plans. And it is ALL good.
I am grateful for my good health, for the fact that normal for me is to live without pain and with good mobility. That’s not normal for everyone. Gratitude is a daily practice of mine anyway, but this highlighted some things that I hadn’t really appreciated before!
All this has helped me so much, so I thought I’d share it here, because you never know, it might help you.
Or it might help me should this happen again (altogether likely, based on my track record!).