Today on the Doc On The Run podcast, we’re talking about how there is no shame in a running injury unless you make it shameful.
Yesterday I was out for a run and I was listening to the Not Your Average Runner Podcast Episode. Specifically it was episode #111: Fear of Finishing Last. But don’t worry, I will put a link in the show notes episode at docontherun.com under the podcast tab so you can check out Jill’s podcast when you’re done here.
In that episode, the host Jill Angie was talking about the fear of finishing last. She was talking about how it doesn’t really have to be a negative thing at all when you finish last in a race, about how we should view these things as a neutral circumstance and how your mindset really does affect your results.
During that podcast, Jill said something I think is truly useful for all runners. She said, “There is no shame in being last, unless you make it shameful.”
Whenever I talk to injured runners, they are understandably bummed out. And frankly, many of them do have some sort of sense of shame about their current injured state. They’re embarrassed. Sometimes I even feel a little humiliated because they did something they knew was really stupid in training that resulted in a running injury.
But like Jill says, there is no shame unless you make it shameful.
We all make mistakes. We all have accidents.
And If you’re active long enough sooner or later you’re going to get injured.
But the worst thing you can do as an injured runner is to attach some sort of negative emotion like shame or embarrassment to your physical ailment.
An over training injury is nothing more than to much tissue damage in one specific anatomic part. It’s just a problem that has to be fixed. And it’s important to get about the business of fixing that problem so you can get back to running.
It is widely accepted among athletes that our mindset, visualizing a specific outcome and working toward that specific outcome are all interconnected.
No one wins a race without believing they can win.
And I believe no one heals unless they believe they can heal.
Whether you have a metatarsal stress fracture or an Achilles tendon injury, you have to understand that your mindset will either help or hinder your recovery.
Being injured is not always the worst thing. I work with many runners who are injured and then wind up with a new PR as soon as they do their next race.
Just last weekend, Angela Neath won Ironman Chattanooga. She recently broke her wrist in a car accident and had to have surgery. That would take most people out. But not Angela. She was doing workouts with an external fixator holding her repaired and realigned wrist bones together. And not that long after she had it all removed, she won an Ironman and scored a slot to Kona for the 2020 Ironman World Championships.
I guarantee you Angela fully believed she could win, even though she suffered all those setbacks.
There is no shame in finishing last and there should certainly be no shame in recovering from an injury.
It’s all about your perception.
Focus on the goal. Focus on the positives. And above all else believe in what is possible.
And even if you finish last, that just means you got the most value out of the race, as you spend the most time on the course.
And if you aren’t already, follow Angela Neath on Instagram.
If you have a question that you would like answered as a future addition of the Doc On The Run Podcast, send it to me PodcastQuestion@docontherun.com. And then make sure you join me for the next edition of the Doc On The Run Podcast!