Learning How To Be Grateful Through Sports Injury

Learning How To Be Grateful Through Sports Injury

There is a huge difference between not be willing or motivated to exercise and not being physically able to.

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Last weekend, I went on my final long run of marathon training before tapering down. I ran 18 miles at Silver Comet Trail in Smyrna, Georgia just outside of Atlanta. I was so proud to have completed the distance. I was hurting and in pain but super happy to have run that far. I knew that if I could do that I would be fine to complete a marathon in three weeks.

But later that afternoon, I was sore. Unusually sore. My left leg hurt in the top of my calf and bottom of my hamstring. It hurt to walk and stretch and straighten my knee. I was so worried. I rested for a few days but the pain wouldn't go away. After a few very stressed phone calls to my mom and a visit to the Emory Sports Medicine complex, I found out I had strained my hamstring. While this may not sound very serious (and in the grand scheme of things it isn't), I was frustrated that less than 3 weeks out from my race I was injured. My doctor told me that I will be fine to run come March 17th but I probably shouldn't run until then. When I got this news, I was surprised that the physical pain of my hamstring was less annoying than the thought of not being able to run for two weeks. I've always been interested in sports medicine and the psychology behind sports injuries but it was especially intriguing experiencing the emotional effects firsthand.

I think it is pretty well-known that humans don't like not being able to do something. We are competitive by nature and our society tends to disapprove of failure. Most people always feel like they have something to prove and when others doubt them, they often make every effort to prove them wrong. However, humans also have deep desires for self-satisfaction and pride. For example, in the fitness industry, people like to push themselves to complete tough feats like a marathon or heavy squat PR because of the psychological feeling of accomplishment afterwards. I personally am running this marathon purely because I want to prove to myself that I am capable of doing something like that. If you had asked me two years ago if I would ever train to run 26.2 miles, I would have laughed and told you I hated running and couldn't understand why anyone would ever do that voluntarily. But now, I can't imagine not having running as part of my life. While I still wouldn't call myself a "runner," I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment it brings me when I complete a difficult course or finish a significant number of miles.

I think this might be why my injury is affecting me so much. There is a huge difference between not be willing or motivated to exercise and not being physically able to. It is even more frustrating when one small setback is inhibiting you from working towards your goals.

I understand that my injury is absolutely nothing compared to what some people are going through but it has taught me a lot. I have learned how lucky I am to have a body that is capable of doing these things. I have learned that as much as these physically tough feats bring me a sense of accomplishment they should also bring me a sense of gratitude. I should be grateful that I can exercise in the way that I do.

When I run my marathon in two weeks time, I know it will be painful. I know that I will have to push myself physically and mentally. But I am so thankful that I have the ability to do so. Right now, I am frustrated by my injury but it won't be long before I am fully recovered and ready to run again. I feel blessed and excited to keep being grateful for my body and all that it can do.

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.

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Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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5 Ways To De-Stress That Don't Involve Bath Bombs

De-stressing guides often say "take a bath," but that isn't always what you need.

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There are tons of ways to deal with the stress of everyday life. If you look up "how to de-stress," you will often find lists that include things like "take a long, warm bath." While this may work for some people, it definitely does not work for everyone.

Personally, sitting in a bath and trying to forget about the things I need to do makes me more anxious than actually doing the things I need to do. I have five different things I do when I am stressed that help me to relax before trying to be productive.

1. Make a list, but prioritize three things.

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

One way to de-stress is to make a list of tasks that are stressing you out. By making a list, you are emptying your brain. This "emptying" can help you to focus on other tasks or aspects of your life.

For me, making a list of all the things due for the week on Sunday definitely reduces my stress about getting them done or forgetting about something. After making the list, prioritize three things for each day. By prioritizing tasks, you are breaking down the big thing(s) that may be stressing you into smaller, manageable sections.

2. Propagate a plant.

Help improve the health of a plant by propagating it.

Image by Eelffica from Pixabay

One thing that helped me de-stress in college last year was taking care of my plants. My roommate and I had about thirty plants on our windowsill. I always joke that keeping something alive other than myself made me feel better, but it really did.

When I got overwhelmed during finals, I propagated one of my succulents. This definitely helped me focus on something other than organic chemistry for a few minutes. Focusing on something other than my finals for a few moments was healthy for me and my plants.

3. Try a new craft.

Crafts such as knitting or embroidery can be extremely relaxing.

Image by Mabel Amber, still incognito... from Pixabay

Once I finished finals and was waiting on final grades, I found myself stressed about grades and being unable to do anything about it. I tried, but ultimately couldn't not think about it, so I decided to learn how to knit. YouTube is a beautiful thing, and it taught me how to knit in five short minutes. After I learned a few basic stitches, I already started planning projects for myself and my friends. Learning how to knit didn't let me stress about my final grades and it taught me a new, useful skill.

4. Make a new dish.

Trying a new dish in the kitchen can be a relaxing way to try local flavors.

Photo by Megan Hodges on Unsplash

After I came home from college, I found myself at home for most of my meals. I had to cook anyway, so I started trying new dishes using produce from a local farmer's market. I also started trying new kinds of spices and styles of cooking. I didn't realize how relaxing it was until I started cooking for some friends. It was really easy to talk to my friends and comfortably cook a meal for them.

5. Have a Netflix binge.

Photo by Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash

Every college student knows the struggle of sitting down to study and finding yourself four hours into a marathon of your favorite show. The Netflix binge is completely effective at taking your mind to another place for as long as you allow. Personally, I only let myself watch Netflix before bed or while folding laundry while I was at school, but it was one of the most relaxing activities I found at school. If you are stressing about an event this weekend or the grade for the paper you just submitted, find your favorite show and some snacks to de-stress.

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