Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Wait – are you telling me I can’t ride for the next 12 weeks?!

Approximately 2 months ago, I had an unfortunate accident. Nope, it didn’t involve a motorcycle. It didn’t even involve anyone else. It was just me and an esky on a slippery bit of ground. The esky won. My foot did not.

Crush injury + broken bone = 12 weeks recovery

I’d literally just finished an amazing day of riding at our company’s performance course and I was on top of the world. I was booked in to do my first track day the following week and I felt ready to go. BUT… the universe had other ideas in store for me. 

Why am I sharing this embarrassing and frustrating story with you? Well, it’s taken me a while to process what has happened, and I am hoping that by sharing this with you, it may help others cope in a similar situation.

As a Psychologist, I recommend the importance of having activities you can do that are just for your enjoyment. This is called “self-care” and it’s good to have a variety of things to choose from. Good self-care means that you can cope more effectively with stress, and let’s be honest, everyone is experiencing stress on a daily basis. For me, my self-care list includes riding: dirt, road, soon to be track and sidecar, as well as surfing, weight training, bush walking and reading. So, after the “incident” my list went very quickly from quite big to very small!!! 

Learning to cope with change takes time

Let’s just say in the first few weeks, I didn’t cope well with not being able to do my normal activities. I couldn’t even make myself a cup of coffee. But very gratefully I could still go to the toilet myself! I really missed having all those activities to help me cope with the pain and adjustment I was experiencing.

I was very aware of this for myself. However, this “awareness” did not change the fact that I still struggled. It’s normal to go through lots of different feelings, like anger, sadness, frustration, etc when life is turned upside down totally unexpectedly. But it took me a while to remember that.

If you have ever experienced this, I hope you were kind to yourself. It’s not an easy time and it’s important to be understanding of what you are going through.

Here are four tips that you can use for yourself to cope if you are every faced with a similar situation:

  1. Understand that it will take some time to adjust to the new normal. For me, I only have a 12-week recovery but for others, this may be longer or even permanent.
  2. Talk with your family and friends about how you are feeling. They will want to help and most likely will feel quite helpless as they can’t fix/ change what has happened. But by talking with them, it allows you to express how you are feeling and they will feel better that they are able to provide you with support.
  3. Look for alternative self-care activities that you can do. My list has become a lot more reliant on indoor activities such as watching movies, cooking, playing board games with my children. It’s important that you still get some enjoyment from these activities though!
  4. Be kind to yourself. What you are going through is hard and you need to focus your energy on healing, not being critical of yourself.

I am moving closer to the end of my recovery, and I look forward to gradually getting back into those things I love. But I know that this experience has certainly taught me that life will continue to surprise me!!

Despite the restriction, I’m still doing the stuff I enjoy.

Have you experienced a curveball that meant you had to be patient with yourself and your recovery? What were some of the strategies that helped you get through? Comment below and share your experiences.

Kim
Kim
After growing up in the country town of Warwick, plus a few more "way out west" towns during her 20’s, Kim became a country girl at heart. Her love of bikes started early riding dirt bikes around country properties. Today she loves to go exploring on her road bike, but it's her crazy love of F1 side-car racing that keeps her adrenaline flowing. It comes from her "give anything a try once" attitude. Which also led her to compete at National and State levels in Olympic Weightlifting. But as if that wasn't enough, Kim can add competitor on the first season of Australian Ninja Warrior to her impressive list of achievements. By day, Kim is a psychologist, passionate about working with riders on issues impacting their performance. Kim is proud to be Girl Moto's resident psych, contributing regularly to content related to all the mental stuff!
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