My mindset got me injured…….and I should know better

When I was away for one of my recent keynote presentations I ran into a client at the hotel gym…

Client: Are you injured?

Me: Yup.

Client: Shouldn’t you of all people know how to avoid that happening?

Me: Yup.

I went on to explain how it happened and realised how silly it sounded when I said it out loud……at that point I said mmmmmm I think this could make for a good blog…….. and here we are…..

So what happened?

Well the injury is peroneal tendinopathy – inflammation of the peroneal tendon resulting in a sharp stabbing pain in the side of my ankle when running.

It can be caused by weakness in the tendon and surrounding muscles, relative to the amount of use, especially if taking time off that particular type of training and then going back to it without building up.

And what did my mindset have to do with it?

I have a mindset that I’m a runner – and a pretty good one.

Now while I no longer feel the need to be in the top 1% of female half marathon runners, my mindset before my injury was that I could always run 10kms.

And not only was my mindset that I can always run 10kms – I’ll admit it was more like – and why would I bother getting into active wear to run anything less……..

And that mindset pretty much worked for me to hit my previous goals – except I kind of forgot that the reason I could always run 10kms was because I would always actually run 10kms.

I should also mention I’m a bit of a fair weather runner so normally if it’s raining, I just go out the next day.

Until of course, La Niña hit Sydney and I just didn’t run, because it just kept raining. And I have a Peloton bike at home so that was more entertaining than running 10kms on treadmill, I just cycled for my cardio workouts instead of running.

Still got my sweat on, still kept my brain in tip-top condition, but not using the same muscles, tendons, ligaments etc as running.

Yes I should have known better…

So when I said that out loud of course I couldn’t believe I was saying it. Of course I should have known better.

You can’t go from not running for a couple of months to just going out and giving 10kms a red hot go – well not without significant risk of injury anyway. But my running habit was so engrained, that I didn’t really think about it – I just did it, until I didn’t.

I always encourage people to start really small when building any form of habit and especially when building up a training habit.

Of course when I went to the physio for treatment, he gave me strength exercises first before I was allowed to run again, and even when he did let me run, I could only start with a 2km run and no faster than 5.5 min / km pace.

Yikes – again my first mindset of “why bother” kicked in.

So my running certainly didn’t feel like a workout as I built up again, but I had to do the work. It’s a journey. And of course, the work works. You can’t fast track it – you just have do the work and trust the process. Like so many things in life.

So now if it rains I jump on a treadmill. And if I only have time for 5kms, then I only do 5kms. And I don’t need to break land speed records. I just need to get it done, because it’s better than nothing at maintaining my strength for running.

So I’m excited to say I’m back on track now – and I’ve tweaked my mindset accordingly. Sometimes we all need a mindset tweak here and there.

My ultimate purpose for running is optimal brain function – so I always remind myself of that if my old mindset tries to creep in. Shorter runs still serve my purpose. And that’s ok.

Mindset should always match the goal.

And as a side benefit, I learned some more great strength exercises from my physio.

And of course, mindset isn’t just important for physical exercise, working on your mindset every day is important for success in business and in life. So often our mindset stops us from really hitting our goals, or from even setting big enough goals.

Mindset matters.

And that’s a whole other topic for discussion…….

If you are interested in learning more about mindset for yourself or your team to set you up for success at work, why not book your Performance Call with us.