Aside

How To Avoid Getting Depressed While Injured

My blog is typically me putting my best face forward. I avoid complaining and revealing my negative emotions. Not because I want to fool anyone into thinking I am always happy and perfect, but because writing positive posts makes me feel more positive. I write what I want to feel or do or think, if I don’t already.

So to be real for a minute: I am really depressed right now. I’ve got this orthopedic shoe on my left foot that is about as fashionable as a goddamn fanny pack. I walk like I’m drunk and can’t really do anything that involves putting weight on the ball of my foot. AKA… EVERYTHING. I want to go to CrossFit. I want to lift heavy barbells. I want to run.

First of all, it might just be a little banged up, but it may be a stress fracture. Only time (or an MRI) will tell. Second of all, the first thing I saw when I walked hobbled out of my organic chemistry midterm this morning was Hobie. Hobie is a male student at UC Davis and is blind. There is no way that this was a coincidence. He came to speak to my sorority about the blind experience a few weeks ago, and left us speechless. He doesn’t consider himself disadvantaged or weak, he has simply adjusted. I saw him and was reminded of what a baby I am being. I am incredibly lucky and must be more thankful.

So, it is time to stop the wallowing and negativity and GET POSITIVE.

The plan: Do all the things that I have been putting off for “lack of time.” Read Outliers. Read more about starting your own business. Begin studying for the NASM personal training certification test. Watch Pretty Little Liars and the CrossFit games (hopefully without crying). Go to the movies, like Savage (I want to see Blake Lively get her hoe on), Brave, and Spiderman. Get back into reading Al Jazeera and the news. Go volunteer various places!! Keep sending obnoxious, self-promoting emails to possible job and internship outlets. Get creative in the kitchen! Write more blog posts.

The fitness: I am aiming for 30 minutes of activity everyday. For now, sit ups, V ups, fire hydrant kicks, kick backs, decline pushups, tricep dips, handstand holds, back extensions, pulls ups, and anything else that won’t put any stress on my foot. Perhaps swimming with a buoy and paddles will be appropriate a bit later. Please give me more ideas. Especially ones for booty-loss prevention.

The nutrition: Obviously, I don’t want to get teh fatz while not working out, but I would rather gain a little bit of weight than lose any muscle. Muscle is strength, and strength is sexy. To prevent muscle degradation and promote healing, I am thinking extra protein each day. I need to read more about how much though and will report back! The best study I have found so far recommended 1.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight for healing bodies. Obviously, lots of veggies and nutrient dense foods should be consumed. The podiatrist recommended I take two Ibuprofens (an Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug) three times a day, but I think I am going to nix that. I have found several studies that indicate that NSAIDS decrease COX1 gene expression and COX1 is involved in the bone building pathway. So, if I do have a fracture, taking NSAIDS will possibly decrease the healing. Not cool. However if I don’t, avoiding NSAIDS may actually lengthen the amount of time that I think I am injured… For anti-inflammatory action, I have been doubling up on my fish oil. My supplement is from Vitamin Research Products and is pricey, but if there was ever a time to take them, it is now. And just in case it is a fracture, I am taking my Calcium-Magnesium-Vitamin D supplement. I should be taking it anyway since I have a history of amenorrhea, which is a monster risk factor for osteoporosis. (If you are interested, read my blog post about it!)

If anyone has any recommendations for healing, staying happy, etc, please leave a comment or email me!

Also, to all those out there using barefoot running-type shoes, BE CAREFUL.

19 responses to “How To Avoid Getting Depressed While Injured

  1. Well it seems we are on the same boat right now. I have an injury on my feet too (ankle) and I’m not allowed to run, play squash, walk too much, ride horses for at least a month !
    So the doctor told me to swim, lift weights (upper body), do some elliptical (and I hate this !), and maybe some cycling too :(

    You should swim too =) Hope you will feel better soon.

    I’m kinda depressed too because i wanted to do the half marathon in september, but the doctor told me “next year” :(

    • I am so sorry laurence!!! It is SUCH A BUMMER. I wish you a super speedy recovery – us both! I cant elliptical or bike because that would be too much pressure on the front of my foot… But I am about to post some injury friendly workouts you could totallyy do with your ankle injury. Lets keep in touch about this!

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  2. Lauren, so sorry to hear about the injury! Honestly, I would be devastated too! But I’ve read it is MUCH harder to lose muscle than you think. Also, muscle memory is a pretty great thing so when you get back into your workouts it will not be that hard to gain that muscle back. Whenever I am in an uncomfortable/painful/distressing situation, I try to reframe it as much as possible and KNOW that these kinds of situations are not always bad – I know I always learn more about myself and grow as a result of painful situations.

    It’s really great that you’re focusing on things you’ve been wanting to do – that’s the way to be positive! I’ve read Outliers and enjoyed it – I would highly recommend that, along with another book written in a similar style called Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. Also, go watch Magic Mike! That will cheer you up. And still enjoy ice cream!! Think of this time as a time to discover new things, maybe even new lifelong passions… when one door closes, another opens!!

    I hope I’ll be seeing you soon!!!! =) Stay well! Do lots of stretching! Maybe some yoga!

    • Thanks natalie! I am trying to stay positive but its a struggle… every… hour… I cant wait to see you again! Do you have any more book recommendations for me along with Predictably Irrational? I already devoured Outliers! XOXO

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  3. DEFINITELY up your protein intake while you’re healing. That will make a huuuuge difference. Continuing to be gently active will help too.

    Back extensions do recruit your booty a bit =) Try glute bridges – they may not hurt.

    Keep yourself busy and don’t dwell – it won’t do a darn thing for ya. Fingers crossed that you’re feeling better ASAP!!!!! <3

  4. I’m so sorry! I have had serious pain issues for a long time so I don’t really exercise, but I can imagine that this must be so hard given how active you are. I had a suggestion for the “booty exercise” request – clams! I do them every day to help with my leg pain and they are such a good hip and butt strengthener!

    Definitely take this time to do all the things you didn’t have time for before. This time off could turn out to be a gift! I believe that our bodies do crazy things that we don’t understand sometimes, but there is a deep reason for it (more than just the physical injury).

    Keep on keepin’ on!

  5. I feel ya and this post is just what i needed as a pick me up! I have had a lower back injury for about a month now. It really was quite depressing the first few weeks as i felt so “useless” not being able to do my usual lifting. The doctor says 6 weeks or longer for healing and while it sucks, i can at least focus on improving on my other workouts. Here’s to a speedy recovery for both of us!

  6. Hope you get well soon :( I would be so frustrated too! I use minimalist shoes too, so I’ll definitely try to take more precautions now

  7. So sorry to hear, Lauren! But maybe this break will be good for you? Maybe it will give you time to do all the other things you have wanted to do. My sister is actually just getting over a stress fracture in her shin. She is used to working out for 3+ hours a day and it has been hard for her to step away from tennis for a while. But she still swims, uses those swim “floaty” things, and works on her abs and arms. So now she has some pretty buff arms, which is something she wouldn’t have done before.

    Take time to heal, don’t get down! It will get better and you will be fine. It’s not the end of the world, but I know it isn’t fun! I’ll be thinking of you!

    • Aw thank you alex!! I feel SO Bad for your sister – that has got to be a longer recovery than what I am looking at! I think? how is she doing? maybe she has some advice for not getting down about it… <3

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  8. Hi love, You know I understand this dilemma. However it took me much longer to except it, so the depression was winning most of the time. The one thing I learned from my experience is to realize that it DID happen for a reason. You’re going to do things that you wouldn’t have done if you hadn’t gotten injured, and who knows what opportunities will arise from those experiences? 6-8 weeks is nothing in the long run, and what better a time than now to break the routine and start something new? I’m preaching to myself right now because it’s a daily struggle ;) love you mucho and keep your head up girly!
    Zoe

  9. I’m sorry the doctor’s visit didn’t go well, but way to be positive about it!
    The story about the blind student is really inspiring. It’s so easy to get down on yourself when something bad happens, until you realize there are lots of people that have it way worse and yet they are still positive and it squashes all those excuses.

    And as for booty exercises, maybe some Pilates? Side kick series can work up a serious burn in the booty area.

  10. kathleen hetrick

    Speaking of starting a business, I work at a tech incubator and one of the girls here started a find your perfect “personalized” personal trainer company….you could totally do something in a similar vein…even bedridden ha.

  11. If it makes you feel better (and it probably won’t) I just made and scarfed down an entire recipe of your protein pancakes. Holy yum!!

    I am so sorry about your foot, girlie. Sending you hugs and all kinda good juju that you’re back to full strength ASAP!!

  12. but of course! So inspiring and amazing, what these folks can do. And I will push hard for you, girlie. :)

  13. Hey sweets! I am so sorry about your foot.

    Erm, digging into my cranial encyclopedia, I’ve heard that as long as you’re moving a bit or just doing something that generates resistance (like reorganizing a pantry) makes it much less likely to lose much muscle. Protein of course helps too. The main thing you don’t want to do is lie in bed all day. That’s why comatose people lose all their muscle mass.

    Since you lift weights a lot, you will probably lose a few pounds but it wouldn’t be muscle, just the mild pump you get from working out.

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