Wednesday, August 6, 2008

the five stages of an injury

With injuries being a common concern amongst athletes, runners included, I'll put in my two-cents worth. I'd like to propose that most go through 5 stages of coping with an injury not unlike the K├╝bler-Ross model of the 5 Stages of Grief and Loss.

1. Denial - at first we deny that we are injured. "I feel fine. This can't be happening."
2. Anger - we suffer a certain amount of resentment that we are unable to run. "Why me? It's not fair."
3. Bargaining - we try to to make a bargain with ourselves, our doctor, the higher being. "If I can just make it through the next race, I'll take care of myself next time, and not let this happen again."
4. Depression - with the realization that we are going to be sidelined for a period of time, we go through some moments of despair and sadness. "I'm so sad I can't run. How will I make it through?"
5. Acceptance - we reach a level of awareness and understanding of our injury and accept that we are injured and will need some sort of recovery period. "It's going to be OK. Rehab, although painful, will allow me to run again."

And so I have this calf thingie that's been bothering me. It started a few weeks ago, and I was able to keep it under control during the TRT Run. I gave it a rest for over a week, but I felt it again when I ran last week's VTR.

So which stage am I in? I think I've gone through the denial stage (1) in the beginning after which I was pissed at myself (2) for not taking the time to get proper shoes and stretching before my runs which I'm sure was the culprit for this. I did make some sort of bargain (3) to take care of this calf if I could just make it through the TRT 50K. I think my spirits might've been dampened about all this (4), but fortunately, my Bahamas trip took care of that. And well, now I've accepted (5) my situation that I need to get my leg checked out should this persist.

And just in case, some of you might take this too seriously...
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Don't say you haven't been been "disclaimed." ;)

8 comments:

Pete Vara said...

E-Rod you are such stud- Are you back from your vacation yet?

e-rod said...

pete... yep, i'm back. i was gonna join you guys this morning, but i decided to sleep in. surprise, surprise :)

bEnMChAn said...

ey eric!

My friend also had a similar problem just right below his right calf. He changed shoes to something with more cushion (nike:pegasus). Next training run the pain was gone. I hope your problem is just as simple as my friend's.

sfrunner said...

e-rod, thanks for sharing this. I know your situation well although mine is an achilles tendon.

I did see a doctor last Tuesday and there was no damage from the half amrathon on Sunday. There will be caution over the next several days however.

e-rod said...

ben... hope new shoes will fix it, though i'm not so sure. but i gotta get out to my local fleet feet shoe store soon though.


sfrunner... actually when i think about it, i may still be in the denial phase, because i'm beginning to think this problem is related to my achilles tendon. we'll see.

Greg said...

dude, that was a nice post.

Jaymie said...

Hey e-rod, so what did the doc say? Hope it's nothing serious.

e-rod said...

greg... thanks.

jaymie... i never did get myself checked out by the doc, but it seems to be ok now after some rest. i keep it wrapped everytime i go for a run though and that seems to help.