Okay soooooo I’m embarrassed to say my clumsiness finally got the best of me. Two weeks ago, I was cleaning up the gym to end my insanely long day and I was picking up a weight plate, making sure to use my legs instead of my back like any good trainer would, and something in my left hip just snapped. Let me tell you, I have an unusually high pain tolerance (This is a direct result of the grueling & torturous process of doing your hair before a cheer competition. Think tying a rope around your ponytail and being dragged behind a car, down the highway.) but the pain in my hip brought me to tears. I couldn’t walk, nonetheless sit down, without sending a sharp pain into my joint socket. In this moment, my ENTIRE career as a personal trainer flashed before my eyes, to put it dramatically. So I frantically searched the internet to find an orthopedic doctor that would willingly see my accident-prone self ASAP.
Thankfully, my injury is nothing too serious. Basically the tendon that attaches my hip muscle to my upper leg is totally out of whack and just simply won’t behave. *Frustration* Yet I was given strict instructions by the doctor in order to help the pain and hopefully diminish the problem all together.
First and foremost, good ole’ Dr. Brian prescribed me some anti-inflammatory medication, then proceeded to tell me that I shouldn’t be doing any sort of heavy lifting (over 50 lbs) for at least a week and I should refrain from any sort of lower body exercises for TWO FULL WEEKS. Y’all….. you know how I feel about rest days. The worst.
I also had to start seeing a physical therapist to help with the tightness in my hip muscles. Since my iliotibial band (AKA the stupid misbehaving tendon in my hip) became inflamed, all my muscles around the tendon begin to tighten in order to protect the injured portion of my hip/leg. The physical therapist is the one who helps release the tension in my muscles so that I can regain full range of motion in my leg. So basically I go into this PT’s office twice a week for a REALLY painful (but necessary) massage.
Ana, my absolutely wonderful physical therapist, gave me some instructions of her own. She told me I need to be stretching every day, even more than once a day if time permits. All I can say is UGH. Two of my least favorite things, not being active & stretching, are a vital part of my recovery process. Oh the irony.
And finally, I was told to rest. Like literally don’t-move-off-of-the-couch-unless-you-have-to-pee kind of resting. Both Ana and Dr. Brian said that resting my hip/leg as much as I possibly can will lead to a faster recovery. I knew this was true, but I didn’t like it. I was (and still am) impatient and wanted it all to be healed immediately. But unfortunately I don’t know any miracle workers so I’m stuck following the professionals’ opinions and suggestions.
Reluctantly, I did so. But man oh man, I’m glad that I did because here are the life lessons I learned through an injured a hip.
♥ It’s okay to ask for help. Let me lay out a scene for you. I’m working with a client and we’re about to use the leg press, but there are two 50 lb plates on each side and my client can’t lift that much with her legs. The weights need to come off of the leg press but I’m not aloud to lift that much weight because of my hip. So what do I have to do? Ask someone else to help me lift the plates off. To me, this felt soul crushing. I am a young (not to mention a woman) personal trainer with a sea of more experience all around me. So to not be able to do as simple of a task of lifting a weight, when I’m already being stereotypically looked down upon, made me feel less than everyone else. Thankfully this wasn’t the case. First of all, none of the other trainers minded at all and gladly helped me when I needed it. And no one ever looked down on me for being injured, they empathized. Mainly, I learned that it’s 100% okay (& encouraged) to ask for help when you need it. Being able to do that promotes self respect and emits confidence. So I wasn’t looked at as the stereotypical, young & girly trainer, but instead I was looked at as someone who is strong and can take care of herself.
♥ Rest days are actually a good thing. I feel like this was my New Years Resolution coming true all on its own. During my time resting both in the gym and at home, I realized that the reason I hate it so much is because I get bored. Personally, I hate watching mind-numbing TV for hours on end. I think it’s a huge waste of time (though I do indulge sometimes…whoops). So I ended up finding other & more useful ways to fill my time. I read a lot of books about badass people doing badass things with their lives (two personal favs: #GIRLBOSS & The ONE Thing) and it got me so inspired. I did every single piece of my laundry, which has literally never happened. On the same note, I started getting organized!!! Go me! I wrote a bunch of future stuff out in my planner, I organized all the random shizz on my computer, and I even did a little blog planning. I actually made time for myself. In all that resting, I was doing things for me while also being productive. And it doesn’t hurt to be laying under a comfy blanket either!
♥ Stretching is your best friend. But it is still oh so painful. Even though I was very hesitant, I gently stretched out my hip, as instructed by my PT, at least once a day. Slowly but surely, my hip started to open up & the tension started to relax. Now, this was not an easy process by any means and it involved a lot of cringing facial expressions. But through all the pain and agony that it put me through, ultimately stretching out my tight muscles was probably the most beneficial action I took towards recovering my injured hip. It goes to show that a lot of pain and discomfort (both emotional & physical) can lead to wonderful outcomes. I think this can be applied to a lot of life situations other than my malfunctioning muscles.
This entire process has been really humbling, to say the least. Most of all I feel like I learned not to be so hard on myself.
Well, I’m almost at 100% capacity now, so I’ll be back in action very soon!
On another note, today is my birthday! I turned 21 and I can already tell you right now it will be a blissfully boring celebration. And I’m totally okay with that. Basically my plans for the day are to make my daily green smoothie,go on a hike, force Sean into watching some Disney movies, and be in bed by 10 PM. I’m really living life on the edge, I know. HA.
Anyways, I’m going to enjoy my birthday. Remember to love yourself today!