Rehab Your Mind
You’ll be focused on the direct physical effects of an injury, but don’t neglect the mental side
‘It became clear to me that the psychological impact of an injury is just as debilitating as broken bones, if not more so,’ says Ironman legend Chrissie Wellington, recalling the period following a bike crash. ‘For me the key coping mechanism was to maintain a positive outlook. I believe you can derive positives from any misfortune, and ensure that it makes you a stronger, more focused, flexible and resilient athlete and person.’
For Wellington, those positives included taking ownership. ‘Taking control meant preparing myself emotionally and physically for the road ahead,’ she says. ‘It helped alleviate some of the frustration, and fear that comes from not knowing. This meant receiving early diagnosis and looking at the range of treatment options, recovery time and the rehabilitation process.’
Shepherd agrees you must always focus on the end goal. ‘But ensure you time that end goal appropriately or you’ll become disconsolate,’ he says.
Also consider that your lack of energy expenditure could disrupt hormonal levels and sleep patterns, so make sure you get enough quality sleep.