Embrace Your Injuries

By Mac Dompor

Before reading this post, I have to preface this blog by stating first that I am not a health professional. My advice here applies to those who are able-bodied and have a doctor’s approval to workout. Do not do anything without clearance from your doctor first.

When you have been working out long enough, whether it is through weightlifting, powerlifting, CrossFit, or simply running, you are going to get hurt. It sucks, you never see it coming, and always question why you have been cursed with this nuisance. Regardless of the reasons, it happens. Nothing can change that. Yes, it is frustrating, depressing, and demoralizing but the quicker you accept the fact you are injured the quicker you can work on improving your situation.

Three months ago I sprained my wrist awfully on a clean. I had no timetable on when it would be fully healed. Any overhead movements caused pain. As someone who only does Olympic weightlifting this was devastating. Or so it would seem. I could have gotten depressed about it, given up, and waited until I could do the full movements again. But I didn’t. Instead, I viewed this as an opportunity to work on other areas and weaknesses. No overhead movements? Fine. I shifted my focus on plenty of squatting, pulling, and light technique work. I worked on building leg and back strength while still maintaining my technical skills. Recently, after three long months I felt confident enough to try snatching heavy again. I was able to snatch the most I have in almost four years.

Now that I am done tooting my own horn, what lessons can be drawn from this? Having an injury is a double-edged sword. You will not be able to do what you want to do but the thing is nobody is a finished project. Unless you are The Rock. I don’t know why he even works out anymore. The point is that for us regular people there is always something we can work on to improve. You have a leg injury? Use that time recovering getting your upper body stronger. Hurt your shoulder? Get those legs stronger. Do not ever let an injury bring you down and stop you from working on your weaknesses so that when you return you will come back in full stride right where you left off or, optimally, even better.