Monday, 7 May 2012

Combating an Injury - by Karen Varga

The culprit route! "Fun in the Sun", 8a, Geyikbayiri, Turkey
Combating an injury is never easy, and the longer the projected recovery period the harder it is both mentally and physically.   That’s why it can often be a saving grace that you don’t know at the time of the injury exactly how long it’s going to be before you can climb again.  If someone told me when I dislocated my kneecap on an 8a route in Turkey last year that it would be 2 surgeries and 7 months before I would be able to climb again, I would never have been so upbeat and optimistic!
Not being able to climb, or do the sport you love, is mentally very hard.  But not being able to climb, and constantly fighting it and wishing you were climbing, is even more mentally draining.  What I’ve learnt from my experience with injuries that have taken me out of climbing not just for weeks, but for many months and even up to a year, is to let go of the want and need to climb, accept what is, and find other ways to express and release yourself.  Don’t be swallowed whole by the seemingly infinite recovery time, take things day by day and have faith that when you do finally start climbing again, you will (hopefully) look back on the time out and realize that it wasn’t that bad.  Heck, maybe it was even good for your body! :)

The day after the injury - getting a flight back to the UK
I’m not sure who started the trend, but it seems like the way to go in life is use our experiences to help us grow as people.  And having had the last 6 months to reflect on an injury (once again!), I’ve realized they are a big growing point.

Have you ever really stopped and thought about what your body is doing so easily and effortlessly for you?  Take it away and I can assure you will appreciate everything in a whole new light.  Right now while I’m typing this I’m acutely aware of the fact that I’m sitting normally with my leg bent at 90 degrees, and it’s feeling comfortable with no pain!  I can walk up stairs.  I can drive a car.  I can sleep on my side at night.  I can go to the movies. I can kneel (but still can’t sit back onto my heels).  All of these things which I took for granted before now feel like a luxury. :)

2 mnth climbing trip to South Africa - spent by the pool instead!
My point being, an injury helps us to appreciate both the big, and the small, things in life.  I’ve found I don’t take as much for granted anymore, I have a bigger awareness for what I have been blessed with, and how much could be taken away all too easily.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karen, I was so sorry to hear about your injury (we were wondering where you had got to).I do hope you make a full recovery very soon,and judging from you positive remarks that can see the whole picture you will be back much stronger. All the very best. Steve.