The 12 Steps of Injury Acceptance

It should come as no surprise that I’m frustrated at my recent injury. Anyone with a passion for something can understand what it’s like when you suddenly can’t do what you love to do. For me, that’s running. There seems to be 12 steps to most things in life so I’m pretty sure I’m in the midst of my own 12 steps right now. I’ve been through the initial shock of realizing that what I was feeling wasn’t going to go away with a good night’s sleep and fancy pink compression socks. There was the sadness in being told that I was indeed injured and needed to take some time off running to heal. There was the anger and the “why did this have to happen NOW when my running was going to well and so close to Fall race season?!”, followed briefly by the denial phase: “what does this guy know anyway? I’ll be fine in the morning. My bachelor of arts degree trumps his meager medical degree.” Let’s not forget the brief lapse of reality phase (see previous statement) which finally brings about my current phase: acceptance.





I went to my first physiotherapy appointment and thankfully, the news wasn’t all bad. The injury is isolated and with some intense (ready: painful) methods, I will hopefully be back on the pavement before the end of the month. If visit number one is any indication, I will be earning my running stripes through this therapy. I’m essentially getting some serious deep tissue massage to flush out the junk that’s building up from all the inflammation in my knee. Yowza. I won’t be at all surprised if I have bruising.


Right now, I’m on complete rest for a least a few more days and then I might be able to start back slowly with some cross training. Part of me in panicking because Fall races are just over a month away and I had my heart set on running at my best.

It’s time to hit up plan B. Actually…it’s time to think of what plan B needs to be. Regardless of if I run or not, I’ll have to adjust my original plan depending on how much time off I end up needing. I still have lots of time to regain the ground I’m losing and I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

In the meantime, I need to discover the remaining steps in recovery and find something to do with my restless energy aside from stuffing large amounts of comfort food into my face.

Your Turn: How do you deal with injury when you’re working toward a goal? Do you go through a 12-step-like process? Which part is the worst for you?


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Stephanie is a Canadian Mom of 3, Runner, Certified Functional Strength Coach (CFSC), Christ-follower and all around reeker of awesomeness. When she's not chasing after her kids, you can find her dreaming big dreams and bringing them to life.

4 Responses to The 12 Steps of Injury Acceptance

  1. Boo – that completely sucks! I’m really sorry :(

    Injured athletes actually do go through the 5 stages of loss and grief, so what you’re feeling, as awful as it is, is completely normal. You’ve worked really hard for the fall race season all year, and the good news is, the body is incredibly forgiving, and you may run this fall WAY faster and better than you expect – just look at the half marathon I ran this past spring with a month off before hand due to my injury. This time off is just a speed bump and will give you the time to focus on some of the other important parts of running – flexibility, core and upper body strength etc. As well, it will also allow any other soft tissues on the verge of injury to heal.

    You’re a tough bad-ass mother runner and I know that you’ll be back kicking ass in no time!

    PS – that IFC thing is no joke – it really does hurt! Hugs!

    • Thanks <3

      And yes…no joke indeed. I have a pretty good tolerance for pain but holy crapballs, I forgot how much it hurt. The things we do to get back to the pavement lol!

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