Training Through an Injury, By: Ann A. Helmus, Ph.D.

ann-helmus

I loved training with Artemis in 2011 but subsequently got derailed by the demands of my business and my teenagers as well as some medical issues.    This spring, I was determined to get back into shape and started training twice weekly with Artemis and Eric.  Just as I was starting to feel, and even see, some positive results, I broke my foot while walking in the woods.  My tears were not only out of pain but also frustration at this set-back to my program, just when I was getting some traction.

As I lay in the ER waiting for my X-ray results, my first email was to Artemis and Eric, telling them how upset I was that I wouldn’t be able to continue training.  They wrote back immediately, saying, “Oh, you’ll be able to train! Don’t worry—there’s plenty we can do!”   I was so happy at their response, the pain in my foot vanished (well, almost).  I suggested keeping my session that was scheduled for two days later.  They wisely counseled that I rest the first week.

The first obstacle to my return to training was the stairway at the gym; being somewhat narrow and steep, I was afraid to attempt it on crutches.  Eric met me at the door, helped me figure out how to hop up the stairs using one crutch and the railing, a good warm-up.  My first week back, they gave me lighter weights than normal, knowing that my body was still fatigued and stressed from the acute injury; a good call because I had to nap after both of those work-outs.  But it felt wonderful to be moving again, particularly after a week of bed-rest.

Artemis and Eric have been very creative in identifying or adapting exercises to my needs so that I get a good work-out without interfering in the healing of my foot.  We are focusing on core and upper body with exercises that can be done lying down, on the bench, or kneeling.  They are both quite experienced in working with injured athletes, which is very reassuring.

I’ve just finished my third week on crutches and in training with my injury.   My energy is returning and today I discovered that I can increase my weight on some exercises, which made me feel great; while there are many exercises I can’t do, I’m actually making progress in the ones that I can do.

I had never used crutches and, initially, found it very difficult and tiring to get around on them.  Then I applied some of the principles learned in training about engaging my core and keeping my shoulders down; being conscious about how I move on crutches makes it much easier.  Now I don’t mind the crutches, although I will be very happy to say good bye to them in three more weeks.

In addition to helping me continue to exercise through this period of being injured, Eric and Artemis have provided a much needed emotional boost and given me a lot of information about ways to help the body heal, including diet, rest, acupuncture, and bone stimulator, all of which I’m doing.  It isn’t hastening the healing process but Eric predicts that it will allow me to make a faster recovery to full functioning when the boot is off.  I hope he’s right and I’ll soon be backing to swings and deadlifts.

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