There is nothing “good” about injuries. But they do happen and it’s useful to think about them in an empowering way for yourself.
I just had this thought randomly come into mind. As you know I tore my ACL last year. I am back now in full training mode.
I got a list of 3 things off the top of my head that injuries can teach you:
1. Injuries Teach You Long Term Patience
When you are injured you can’t train for at least a few weeks. You pretty much have no choice but to be patient.
That’s something that I have had issues with. I am impatient so sometimes I rush back into training after an injury or don’t give my body time to adapt. I have been getting better at that.
It took me a while to be more patient.
2. Injuries Make You Appreciate BJJ More
A serious injury will flush out people who are not serious about the sport. For a lot of people BJJ isn’t that important to them so they choose to quit and do something else.
There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you gave BJJ a good try and saw that it wasn’t for you.
But if you decide to stay in BJJ. Your desire/hunger will grow a lot. Especially if you are a competitor.
There is nothing that stings worse than seeing your friends and rivals keep progressing while you are stuck on the shelf. In my case, I had to sit out for a bit less than a year before I could start training BJJ again.
If you stick it out and make it back to the mats you will appreciate the sport a lot more. You won’t want to miss practices because you know that it can all be taken away from you at any moment.
For me personally I thought, “Shit, I am 27 and going to be 28 after this injury heals. I might compete seriously until like 35. I don’t have a lot of time left! I better get my ass moving.”
3. Injuries Force You to Go Through Mental Barriers
Whether you like it or not injuries will force you to overcome fears. Here are some fears I had coming back after ACL surgery:
What happens if I tear it again?
I got over it by looking at Dominick Cruz. He’s an MMA fighter. He tore his ACLs 3 times (2 on one knee and 1 on the other). He came back and won the world championship. There are also a ton of football players that had 3 ACL surgeries and came back to play in NFL Superbowl finals. So that made me feel better.
Am I the same athlete? Will I ever be as good as I was or better?
There were a lot more but I can’t think of them right now. But basically the solution for all of them is the same: Just turn your brain off and keep training.
Obviously you should be careful and listen to your body – especially when you just get back. But for the most part if you keep training these fears eventually subside and you kind of forget about them.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you are injured it sucks balls but you can come back and you can take some positives out of the experience.