The $#!T Nobody Tells You About Having an Injury


A few weeks ago, I revealed the reason why I’ve been absent from writing. For a while, it was because I only had one hand to write with and I felt as if I had nothing to contribute to the fitness community as an injured athlete.

As the initial injury travels further and further into the past, I’m beginning to realize that injuries are a very real and very imminent part of any athlete’s journey – you can do countless shoulder pass-throughs or have a physio on speed dial and still experience injury in some shape or form. If it’s so prevalent, why don’t we talk about it?

In the online fitness community, you won’t find many posts about failures, missed reps, or sub-par eating. That’s because content that solicits anger or sadness as responses doesn’t yield the same type of virility or shareability that inspiring or joyful posts create. Although failure and off-days are a part of any training cycle, it’s just not talked about because it is just plain ugly. We don’t discuss failure (injury or otherwise) because it’s not ideal or convenient.

I’ve been talking about my injury for a long time now. 3 months and 3 days, to be exact. I’ve become comfortable about talking about the uncomfortable and there are a few things I’ve learned about dealing with an injury psychologically. When you’re an athlete or just active in nature, injuries don’t just impede you physically. The mental recovery can be the hardest journey yet. You can follow exercise programming and a nutrition plan, but no one gives you the mental toolbox to deal with emotions post-injury. This post aims to expose the ugliness of injury recovery, mainly the things your doctor or physiotherapist can’t equip you for – the things Fitness Instagram hides in the attic for no one to see. It’s honest and real and to those that have been injured doing what you love, I hope you find this relatable. For those that haven’t experienced a major injury,

This post aims to expose the ugliness of injury recovery – mainly the things your doctor or physiotherapist can’t equip you for, the things Fitness Instagram hides in the attic for no one to see. It’s honest and real to those that have been injured doing what they love. I hope you find this relatable and for those that haven’t experienced a major injury, I hope you will never have to return to this page for advice.

You’re not the only one that’s hurting

This part of the process took me way longer to realize than it should’ve. Whether you’ve been under the knife or are just nursing a dislocated what-have-you, your caregiver (partner, SO, mother, father, sibling, roommate…) is probably in just as much pain as you are.

I thought I had it bad. After all, I waited 18 hours in a hospital to be knocked out, cut open, poked at, and yanked back into consciousness in the span of three hours. I was in rough shape, to say the least. But Andrew, my fiancé, waited with me all night in that dingy hospital bed and helped me do just about everything. His once independent, strong fiancée needed him to help her get to the bathroom or change her clothes. Looking back, I know now just how upsetting that must’ve been for him. When I asked him later, he admitted to shedding a few tears in the back of the ambulance when I first broke the arm.

For the first time, your caregiver is absolutely helpless. They can send you all of the bouquets and boxes of chocolates in the world, but it still does nothing to accelerate the healing process. They can’t make this injury go away.

Communication with your partner is more important now than it ever was. Be kind to each other, and don’t be afraid to talk it out with your SO. They’re your biggest fan, and they’re sure to lend a listening ear.

Asking for help doesn’t get easier

For ladies who lift, we know the struggle. Unwanted gym bros often interfere with our sets with bullshit excuses like “let me spot you on that” or “let me help you with those.” If I needed someone to spot me, I would go and ask.

After my injury, I found myself struggling to muster the courage to reach out and ask for help. I went from being able to do a solid 80lb Overhead Press to not even being able to lift a 45lb empty barbell. Asking for help became incredibly tough – especially in a room full of strong people. This became even worse when my cast came off. I looked capable, but I was only prescribed loads weighing in at 10lbs max. Would people look down on me for asking for help? Why even walk into a gym if I couldn’t lift a barbell properly?

Asking for help didn’t get easier, but the ability to swallow my pride eventually did. If anyone gave me guff about helping me re-rack plates, this was a prime opportunity to flex and show off my scar and that usually persuaded any nay-sayers.

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Fiber will become your favourite food group

Fun fact: the first hospital I visited after my break gave me absolutely NO PAIN MEDICATION. This hospital was about 3 hours from my home. That car ride home was agonizing, to say the least.

When my family doctor finally wrote me a prescription for a kick ass painkiller cocktail, I was all over that ish… until I sat on a toilet a few days later.

Constipation is no joke, let me tell you. Pre-injury I was so regular, I could schedule it in my calendar down to the minute. If you’re prescribed any pain killer, I recommend pairing it with a stool softener. I won’t go into detail about my own bathroom experiences, but it is humiliating to try and unclog a toilet with one hand. It’s even more humiliating to call your dad to come home and help you unclog said-toilet. Ahem.

Nobody said injury is the most glamourous thing to ever experience, but these are some of the things no doctor will spell out for you. Above all, try to remember to be kind to yourself. You will get impatient and irritable, but no amount of screaming or physical therapy will help you heal faster. Focus on activities you can do for now, and let your body do the thing.

How to deal when everything goes wrong


Hey hi hello, welcome back to my fitness blog. I’ve been neglecting this outlet – not because I’ve been dead – but because I’ve been uninspired. Why? Well…

September 25th, 2016 my life was flipped upside down. Most followers remember I was training for my first powerlifting meet. Between cutting weight, shoulder injuries, and overall stress, my meet prep was everything but sunshine and rainbows. In fact, despite all of the encouragement from the powerlifting community, despite all of the “you’ll do great” speeches, my meet ended in the most horrible way possible (and I’m not being a drama queen when I say that). 

The lift that quite literally changed my life forever

I didn’t bomb out on all of my attempts. I didn’t get bumped up a weight class.  But I did break my damn arm. On the platform. During my third squat attempt. In front of everybody. 

I will save you the details (you can ask any of the spectators – they all heard the snap). I don’t remember feeling any pain, just some good ol’ mortification. To this day, I am still embarrassed it happened and what’s even more embarrassing is the way I’m handling this whole recovery: tears, meltdowns, feelings of hopelessness. 

Let me preface this by saying that I’ve never been a particularly positive person. And let me follow up on that by saying that I strongly believe that being “negative” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I’m a firm supporter of all personality types. What would the world look like if we were all hunky-dory? Sometimes, a pessimist adds perspective. Expecting the worst allows me to have the element of preparedness when things go awry and even sets my standards low so I surprise myself when things work out. My mind reacts to situations differently. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just my way of thinking and processing. 
So after the surgery (yes, surgery), after the dozens of X-rays, I find the recovery process so much more difficult now that I have set foot back in a gym than it was when I initially broke the arm. I went from training six days a week, to three. Celebrating my own PRs, to being a professional set-watcher… and I am hating every single moment of it. I am probably Exhibit A of how NOT to react after a bad meet, but nevertheless, I am “dealing.”

My incision after surgery and cast removal

I am probably Exhibit A of how NOT to react after a bad meet, but nevertheless, I am “dealing.” 

So how do you “deal”? I’m not sure if I can provide a tried-and-true, one size fits all approach. Truth is, I’m still trying to figure out my own working-through process now that the weights are gone. What I can say is that we all handle adversity in our own way. And so long as that way isn’t criminal or endangering, I believe it’s totally okay to honour your process and work at your own pace. 

This post probably wasn’t what you wanted to hear from me, nor was it necessarily eye-opening. It is, however, authentic and from experience. My goal in starting this blog was to remain transparent with my journey, and I do genuinely believe I’ve captured that transparency in writing this post. No one really knows for sure the right way of working through adversity. You can agonize over the same event for months, or dust yourself off the next day. Neither of these processes are better or worse than the other. They are just… different.

Have an injury or bad meet story? What were some of your gut feelings and reactions? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear them!