THE ART OF HEALING
Polygon Bikes Malaysia ambassador, Hajar sheds some light on how to get back on the bike
Injuries are usually a matter of when and not if when you’re a mountain biker. Time off the bike due to injury is incredibly frustrating. Today marks the 8th week I’ve had off the bike due to a mountain biking related injury. It isn’t my first cycling injury, but it is one that has required the longest time for me to recover. Having gone through many ups and downs the past few months; here are some things I’ve learnt on my recovery journey so far, dedicated to my other “fallen riders”.
It can be the most annoying advice another person can give you, but it is also the most important. The most obvious trait I have, is to get it over and done with. But there is nothing worse than taking unnecessary risks, resulting in even longer time away from the bike.
So, another rider crashed the weekend you did, hurt the same part of their body AND at the very same jump… and they are back riding again. Yet you can barely hold on to the handlebars. It’s hard to resist feelings of anxiety about being behind in your healing progress. Similarly, it’s difficult to not beat yourself up for taking longer to heal. When these feelings arise, it’s important to remember that neither two injuries are exactly the same, nor two people. The other rider may be younger, didn’t crash as hard or is simply making foolish choices you should avoid while recovering.
Focus on your own healing process and steps you need to do to get better. Have lots of physio? Don’t skip your sessions or forget your “homework”.
HAVE A GOAL, STAY INSPIRED
When your scheduled full recovery date seems so long away, it can be a very defeating feeling. Having a goal or smaller goals throughout the recovery period helped make my whole recovery process a little less daunting.
I started starting small with things like being able to dress myself and being able to walk pain free. This progressed to setting up alternative ways I could get my cycling fix or going to the trails safely. I never imagined I would ever have an indoor cycling system nor enjoy walking instead of riding my usual trails. I caught up on cycling videos that I bookmarked and keenly followed cycling events that my friends were entering.
Just recently; feeling a little optimistic, I signed up for a fun race that still gives me plenty of time to recover and prepare.
If you have the luxury, some new bike bling never hurts. Knowing I had my Polygon Siskiu waiting for me at the end of the journey, was definitely a boost to my spirits...
Sometimes, watching too many cycling videos or following events and friends’ rides can also prove to be more frustrating than inspiring. Take a break from things that remind you of what you can’t do for now.
Remember how you used to have a life, before cycling took over? Take your sanctioned time off as an opportunity to catch up on those things.
Find the books you’ve been meaning to read, friends and family that you probably don’t see enough of or that DIY project you’ve been procrastinating on. Treat yourself.
Basically anything that doesn’t exacerbate your injury and take your mind off what you’re missing. I know I felt better when I was getting things done, rather than surrendering to the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
So to that, I wish my fellow injured riders a speedy and full recovery. I hope that this helps to keep the FOMO monster at bay and keep you in higher spirits during tough times. To those out on the bikes, stay safe and enjoy on our behalf.