Working Through An Injury–Physically & Mentally

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Hey guys! So earlier this week I had my LAST dentist appointment! Okay, bear with me for a second..I swear it has to do with this blog topic…

Two summers ago I fainted, literally fell on my face, and ended up fracturing my wrist, my jaw, and then knocked out a bunch of teeth. Good times! So yes for the last two years I have had regular dentist appointments replacing a lot of my teeth. It’s been a process to say the least. But! This week I finally had ALL my dental work completed, whooo! As I was leaving the dentist office though, I started thinking of what it was like when I had those injuries, and what I had to do mentally and physically to work through them.

Just to give you guys some perspective–my jaw and wrist were both fractured but my jaw also had to be wired shut for 5-6 weeks. So I obviously only had use of 1 arm/hand, but also I wasn’t allowed to lift over 10 lbs due to my jaw being fractured. To make matters “worse” I had literally finished my first cut the day before I fell. And within several days of falling and not really being able to eat right away due to all the procedures–I lost 10 lbs. So imagine this–I just finished this cut and put in 6 months of hard work and then within days all that progress was lost. Now that I was 10 lbs down from my baseline, I needed to gain back that weight. In order to do that I would be eating in a huge surplus and then going back through the stages of a cut to reduce my body fat again. That was incredibly frustrating in addition to the injury itself.

I really want to talk about how I overcame the mental struggles of this situation because I think that is the hardest thing to deal with. But, let’s first talk about how I was able to workout during this entire time.

About a week after my accident, I was cleared to “workout.” As I mentioned earlier, I only had use of one arm and I couldn’t lift over 10 lbs. I also quickly realized that I couldn’t do any plyometrics training or anything with jumping motions (you realize how much jumping impacts your jaw). So yeah, I was a little limited haha, BUT it was something I wanted so I found a way to make it work. I think it’s very easy in these situations to make excuses for yourself. You find yourself saying oh well, I can’t workout because I’m hurt…I guess I just have to get back into my routine when I’m better. Or.. I have to modify my exercises so much that I shouldn’t even bother working out– what’s the point? With anything though, if it’s something that you truly want then you won’t turn your challenges into excuses–you FIND a way to make it work. For me, I was still following Paola’s program (SSBM) as much as I could. For the weighted exercises, I would only hold a weight in one hand and just perform what exercises I could without a weight with my other hand (for example, I would do bicep curls with a weight in my left hand, but just perform the motion of the curl with my right). If there were any plyometric or jumping movements, I would just substitute it for another exercise (ab bicycles, step ups, crunches, scissor kicks, squats, etc). Other days I would just get on the treadmill and walk, or go walk outside.

I was determined to keep up with my workouts for a few reasons. One being I just love working out! The other being is that it was the only thing in my life that seemed “normal” after my accident. I wasn’t able to work as a RN (I couldn’t perform CPR with my wrist), and I wasn’t really blogging at the time so most of my days were just at the house by myself (Stephen was working full time then). And clearly my eating was totally thrown of–I was only able to drink smoothies. So yeah, my workouts were my part of the day where I felt like I was working towards my old self–if that makes sense? Obviously it wasn’t ideal, but again, you just do what you can given the circumstances.

From a mental standpoint I definitely had moments of “this sucks.” But overall it was kind of funny because aside from a couple 2 minute cry sessions during those 6 weeks, I really tried to find the silver lining in everything. I think working as an ICU nurse and seeing chronically ill people that are literally dying in front of you puts things into perspective. So yes, having a fractured jaw sucked, having to have my jaw wired shut sucked, losing my progress of my 6 month cut sucked, not being able to work for 3 months sucked, having 20K+ of dental bills sucked….BUT they were all temporary. I honestly just adopted the mindset that “it is what it is” and I could either dwell on it and focus on the negative, or make the best of the situation.

It’s funny because I look back and feel like I was almost more positive during that time than I am now? Not to say that I’m not a positive person now but I feel like during those several months I really had to force myself to change my mindset and adopt a positive one. I constantly reminded myself of how much worse things could have been–that I was so lucky that I didn’t fall and hit my head, or that my injuries weren’t permanent, and that I had the financial support of my parents, the emotional support of Stephen.

When it comes to being injured and having to modify your workout routine, I understand how frustrating it is. I think it’s important to remember though that life happens, and your workout routine (like many other things) are not going to be linear. You have to adjust and adapt to the current circumstances. I think during these times it’s best to focus on what you can do and what you can control. Use this time to focus on your diet, to maybe spend more time outside just enjoying the fresh air–or focus on things that you’ve been wanting to devote your time too but you’ve just been too busy with other priorities. Use the time to strengthen yourself mentally because there’s always going to be things that come up in life that throw you off your game! So you do what you can and keep pushing through 🙂

Would love to know your guys thoughts on this post, and anything you’ve found to be helpful when you’ve had to work through an injury! xx C



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  1. August 25, 2018 / 4:20 pm

    First off, I absolutely am OBSESSED with this set! It looks so gorg on you! And secondly, I completely understand the mentality it takes while injured to keep pushing while your injured. It heads not to get down on yourself because you want to be back to “normal” or control what you can but it’s so amazing that you were able to stay positive throughout! Kuddos girl! ? And you are so right, you must focus on the things you can control after the injury. Great read and excited for more from you!

    • Claire Guentz
      October 21, 2018 / 2:17 am

      Thanks so much Dana!! I appreciate that! ???

  2. Ashley
    August 28, 2018 / 3:34 am

    Claire! Thanks so much for sharing this! It was really encouraging to me as I am in the middle of recovering from a broken ankle and surgery which consisted of getting a plate and 9 screws on the outside of my ankle and 2 screws on the inside. I just got cleared to walk after 2 months of being non-weight bearing and this whole process has had me a bit down in the dumps if I’m being honest. I really wanted to use this summer to finally get in shape and become healthier but once I broke my ankle, I just kind of gave up. Like you said in this post, there are always ways to modify and work around the setback. I just haven’t been motivated enough to do it. Your post gave me the motivation to not let this inconvenience become an excuse to not workout at all. So again, thanks for writing and sharing this post! You continue to be a source of inspiration to me and many others! God bless!

    • Claire Guentz
      October 21, 2018 / 2:16 am

      Hey girl! I’m so sorry to hear about your ankle but so glad that this post came at the right time! I know how hard it can be to keep up that motivation but you CAN do it! It will be an awesome goal for you to work towards. Proud of you for pushing through!!????

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