Escaping the Injury Funk
Written by TJ O’Brien

Doesn’t life just suck sometimes? That’s how I’ve been feeling since that neck injury I sustained in Jiu Jitsu a little over 4 weeks ago.

The injury took away so many of the things I enjoyed. Jiu Jitsu itself, surfing, general working out, I even had to avoid dance class for the first couple of weeks.

Normally if I have an injury, I can go on the attack. My knee was bugging me a couple of months ago, but I devised a plan to rehab it and voila! It got better.

The neck thing though, that was different. ANYTHING I did seemed to make it tighter, even the rehab exercises I was prescribed. It was also the first injury that I’ve had that felt like it was 90% due to my emotional state. It was like the injury made me feel poopy and stressed, and then in turn, feeling poopy and stressed made the neck tighter.

How to Escape the Injury Funk

By no means is this a “hero’s journey” story, where I share how I overcame adversity and “you can too!” (vomit) This is one part, “I’m a real person who goes through ups and downs” and two parts, “Just listen to me bitch for a second.”

I’ve played with getting a “keep moving” tattoo for a while, and this is sort of why. It becomes my mantra during times like this. That, as well as “it doesn’t have to be fun.”

The former keeps me flossing, making the bed, and doing the dishes. The latter is good prep for when I finally go to dance class but it’s “just not the same.”

In terms of what I’ve been doing to work out, it has been one part neck rehab (including the cobra peel-offs that were programmed on the Fitness track), and one part general cardio maintenance (running and walking…that’s it).

I’m trying to practice what I preach here and “set the bar embarrassingly low.” I’ve managed to keep most of my life in order despite not feeling like a million bucks.

Help Yourself by Helping Others

Finally, I’ve been turning my attention to helping others through doing some volunteer work. Classic counterintuitive therapist advice, but it works. It’s been shown to reduce stress, produce dopamine and fuel a feeling of purpose. I can definitely attest to this.

So, if this message feels like a bummer…hey, it kinda is. No one operates at 100% all the time. And trust me, I don’t like writing that or admitting it just as much as you don’t. Before I sign off, know a couple of things that I will type in order to remind myself of them as much as it is to tell you: this is a part of life. This will pass.

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