Posted by: courtneywhalen | July 20, 2012

Did not expect this?

I just posted good news about my recovery but I have another topic I would love some help with. I am finally back to a place where I can workout with friends again and resume some normal activity. Funny thing though.  People are scared of me and my injury. I tried inviting myself back to work out with my old trainer, friends, track workout, etc. I tell everyone that I am taking it slow, paying attention to my body, have clearance from PT…..but I can see the hesitation on faces. And, they are not really inviting me back?  They don’t know much about this injury, other than it is incredibly debilitating and scary and they are afraid I am going to re injure myself with them. The downside is that I primarily workout by myself, and I think it will be this way until I am 100%. Just curious if anyone else has run into this? I expected a lot of reactions to me getting better but I did not expect fear. It makes sense to me now but it is kind of a bummer. People think I am more broken than I am. Anyone else experience this?  Right now, the thing that is motivating me is this dream I have of showing up to a workout or run and just flying past everyone else, as the “injured” girl. I know it is a way off but it is keeping me going.


Hi Courtney

I think that I’ve experienced this twice in the last week or so. To get fitter, stronger etc I joined a local gym at the suggestion of my hospital’s PT. I did the intro session having explained why I was there - the injury and wish to improve general fitness too. First couple of sessions were ok although little guidance when I had some difficulty with x-trainer. Ended up stuck with the bikes and treadmills. Most recent 2 sessions the trainers have just disappeared from the scene - around when I have arrived but during the session no progress check or anything.

As I started with a sports physio this week I now have a new regime and can go back to the gym with a training schedule, needing little or no help from the centre’s staff, although hopefully someone will be around to ’spot’ any seriously wrong stuff on my part.

Pool exercising also recommended by my new physio but when I called my local open air place, the guy said that they didn’t really do that there. I explained that I didn’t need help from their staff (like you, I’m at 20 weeks) but he said that it was just lane swimming, using the width of the pool. He sounded very nervous and certainly not welcoming - there was certainly no “come down and try it out here”. Maybe I’m being paranoid… May go in any case.


That didn’t happen to me, but then I didn’t wait for an invitation. I just showed up at kickboxing & karate. When people asked me if I was supposed to be doing this I told them, “My doctor never said that I couldn’t”.

I’ve had people tell me that they’re amazed at what I can do with this injury. My usual response is that “I never told myself I couldn’t”.

Bottom line is that this is your injury. You own your recovery and don’t need an invitation.

I had a rupture of my left Achilles on May 21st…doing box jumps at Ross Valley. After surgery I am now 8 weeks post op and dying to get back to regular workouts!!! Hang in there - people ARE scared of this injury because it sidelines a serious athlete for so long with so much pain. Keep plugging along and showing them you are not going to push it - they know how hard you’ve worked to get to this point!


I think in an effort to be supportive, a friend of mine commented once that it was best to baby these kinds of things. I then proceeded to educate him that recovery from this injury takes controlled and progressive stressing of the tendon and calf muscles along with the supportive muscles. Perhaps people aren’t so much afraid but rather they don’t understand as much as we do what it takes to recover from this. Maybe what you need to do is have a detailed discussion with your friends about the recovery process and why working out is an absolute necessity. At best they will better understand, at worst, they will change their behavior so they won’t get another lecture. LOL

Damn those box jumps! Seems to be a few too many of us injured on these. Go figure there are so much more extreme and explosive movements we do @ XFit.

I expect the exact same thing when I return to sport, in fact knowing how conscious everyone is about these things and a lot of people are scared of a re-rupture ‘on their watch’ so to speak.

I planned (when I was ready) to go to the gym and just do my own thing for a month or two…..

The people around you are maybe worried for you coming back too soon and are potentially scared of being there (and somehow feeling responsible) if you injure yourself again….. I can understand their point of view for that…. my missus cringes everytime I do something different, like walking around the living room without the boot on.

We trust our bodies and we know we can do things, others just are not as confident as we are…. or (with thanks to reading this blog) do they have all the information required to give them some confidence when we say we’re ready…. when they see athletes returning to their sport 9-12months later.

Point is I see the ability, confidence and the faith in your own body like Scott and others here and you are obviously ‘chomping at the bit’ to get back to normaility…… you just got to find a (safe within your own limits) way to bring your friends up that same level of confidence :)

Try having a heart valve replaced! Most of my sports pals seem to ignore all of my injuries and repairs, but those that look at me funny mostly do so after they hear I’ve had open-heart surgery. I’ve got one sailing buddy I think I never should have told. . .

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