Getting back to training after Injury

August 2015 · 5 minute read

Just got news of the best result I could have asked for after dislocating my shoulder in my last Muay Thai fight. No fractures, no torn tendons, no structural damage, only minor bursitis which will go away if I don’t aggravate it. Now I’m ready to get my fitness back and keep training! The first week back after almost a month of binge eating and rest eating is something I know is going to be unbelievably difficult….

Day 1

I went to the gym today, having been twice in the last three weeks since my injury. I still need to be careful to make sure I don’t damage my shoulder again before it’s properly healed and I risk 2-3 months off training all together. I’ve done that before, it wasn’t fun… I tore a tendon in my wrist last year and couldn’t do too much in the way of Muay Thai. It was so hard to come back after two months off, all that work I’d done was gone, no technique, no fitness.

But I came back from it then to have my first fight. Now that I know what I’m made of after being in the ring four times, there’s no way I can let this stop me. This is nothing on the work that I’ve put in over the last two years.

The first day back is always the hardest, I definitely don’t manage to complete a full hour of training. Starting off with 10 minutes on the bag, I have to keep stopping to catch my breath. I’m sweating already, I’ve got a headache and I feel like I want to throw up. I don’t know how I’m going to survive this class… I get called into the ring straight away, now keep in mind the last time I was training it was during the lead up to my last fight, I was running and training two hours daily for four weeks, I was incredibly fit. Now, I only just manage to get through two rounds with my trainer laughing at me because I’ve lost all my power as I almost roll out of the ring with weak legs.

Now it’s my turn to hit pads with the class and I’m secretly ecstatic that we are up to the 7th rep out of 10 already. I still only manage to do it half-arsed though. I retreat back to the bag for the rest of the hour, which is kind of good because that way I can control my power, speed and volume of activity ensuring a reduced risk of further injury. It’s also kind of bad though because it’s easy for me stop and rest a lot…

What I know, though is that the only way I’m going to make a come back is to motivate myself. Motivation? I just felt so much better when I was frequently exercising. And have I ever mentioned that I like to be able to do things that other people can’t do? Even though I felt unfit and unco and I’ve got massive bruises on my shins because all the conditioning is gone, and it would be so easy to just give up right now, I’m going back tomorrow. If I can make the time to go four times in one week, I’ll be set.

Day 2

Woke up feeling an acute pain in my shoulder and knowing how high my pain threshold apparently is, have decided it’s not best to go to the gym today and risk more damage. Instead, it comes to the end of the day I opt to relax at the local finish sauna. This place is a hidden gem and has a ladies only day every Tuesday. The heat really helps my muscles relax and gives my mind a rest, try thinking hard about anything when you’re grasping for breath, almost fainting in 60+ degree heat. But, man it’s so good! By the end of it I feel like I’m drunk or high or something. My legs are like jelly, I’m slurring my words, rambling off on some tangent and I’m not even sure what I’m saying anymore. I’m definitely going to have a good sleep tonight, I need this….

Day 3

Back to acupuncture, this always helps. At least it makes me feel better afterwards anyway… Today seems incredibly painful, maybe I’ve gone soft because I haven’t been training or maybe I’m just stressed out. Either way, I can’t wait ’til it’s over! The thought of possibly getting full use of shoulder sooner is the only thing keeping here right now.

Day 4

OK, I’m ready to give the gym another go. My shoulder is feeling a million times better than it was before last nights acupuncture and now I’m pretty sure I know my limit. My theory is that training soft or training without 1 arm for a longer time is probably going to keep me more mentally sane than not. Although, in saying that it is very frustrating to be at the gym and unable to do most exercises. I don’t want to be difficult for everyone so I try to just freestyle on the bag, I know how difficult it is for people to try and hold pads for someone without the use of limb. (technically one arm counts as two limbs in the art of Muay Thai). Anyway, the point is that it’s frustrating for all parties involved. Especially when I’m involved too, everyone thinks I’m already angry because of my unfortunately uncontrollable resting bitch face.

After one hour of light training, I’m actually feeling pretty good. It’s also kind of cool to know that I can still do 100 sit ups in one set too! Anyone who thinks I’m bragging, you’re right. Isn’t that something you’d be proud of??! Well, lets see how it feels tomorrow before getting too excited…

Day 5

Today’s my day off from training, I’ve got other things on now, but my shoulder is feeling… Well, not sore. I must have gone the right pace yesterday, now if I can just maintain that maybe 3 days a week then I’ll be back where I want to be in another months time. Relatively fit, doing push ups, training 5 days a week and most importantly, I’ll be back at sparring class!