The Joy in Injury

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.” (James 1:2). Trials, challenges, failures, and yes injuries seen in a positive light are teachers of growth. The destination is a dead end if we lean on the world’s negative response to injuries. The fact is, injuries are a part of the athletic competition world. Flat tires are a part of the driving world. Failure is a part of the success world. The more we fail, the more we succeed. The successful paths always includes setbacks. Injuries are set backs and a set up to be a part of the success in competing.

“It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” -Bill Gates.  Bill Gates is considered one of the most successful businessmen on the planet, and he knows and promotes the important lessons of failure. It is not the failure itself, it is the lesson learned from the failure that has the power. Injuries should be viewed in the same light of understanding. We can learn much about our training plans and bodies if we pay attention to our injuries, and how they were created. Do not be scared of the injuries, don’t welcome them, but learn from them when we are introduced to them. It will be health to your flesh and strength to your frame when yielding to the lessons of injuries.

So we know that Injuries happen, and they are a part of our training process. We can have a negative response about them, but that doesn’t make the time spent in recovery move any faster. The other way is that we can have a positive response to them in which we accept the injuries, learn from them, and as a result develop growth to a higher level of performance. Injuries are the body’s communication system, whether an overuse syndrome or a high impact injury, the body is communicating that we need a change.

The end result is that with every injury of whatever type or whatever reason there has been a lesson learned, a new direction implanted. We become a better person, a stronger person with a new direction. Every injury if allowed opens the door for you to learn more about the body. Injury is the best anatomy teacher that one can have. Injuries teach patients, which can encourage creativity. Creativity is used to develop a new way to heal while keeping fit. New paths of treatment are introduced as well as new paths that open the mind to visioning and alternative movements.


Time off from injury can be used as the vision and mission path. This connection is very important, but often overlooked. For an example while recovering, I would visualize myself running. This vision in my head created a new process of training yielding a better outcome. The greatest speakers, businessmen and women, and athletes, often visualize themselves in a situation before it actually happens. Michael Jordan once said before a game winning shot, “I practice in my mind being in a pressured situation and making the game winning shot.” Vision is the fuel that creates success.


Injury promotes an understanding of the body’s movements. Our bodies are designed to move and operate in the most efficient ways possible. Every bone, ligament, and muscle in our bodies is designed for a specific purpose or movement pattern. When not moving or using your body in the most efficient and strongest way possible, you are predisposing yourself to injury. Thus injury analysis helps to provide the information that aids in adjusting our correct movements. The new knowledge of correct movements help to design a better training program.


We learn many topics on injury prevention such as: well balance training plan, hydration, rest, easy runs between hard runs, proper nutrition and proper warm up techniques and many more. Injuries strengthen our well balance training plans, which give direction on the design. Once we experience injury such as overuse syndrome our next stage is to rehabilitate. Let’s take a look at some common rehabilitation practices.

Treatment procedures after the overuse syndrome occurs are available. The most common treatment is called RICE. This is an acronym for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. The first and best thing to do is to rest the injury. Once you have allowed yourself the rest, elevate and ice the injury for 20 minutes at a time. Warm baths and applying heat pads periodically is also a great healer.

The lesson taught and principle learned is that without setbacks such as injury’s we cannot grow to the next level period. Injuries are going to happen, don’t panic, instead look at them as our teachers, teachers of change and strength. Next time someone comes to you with a sorrowful voice and face stating “I am injured” say to them “great!” now you can change for the better.

Happy Running!

John K Carlson
Coach RRCW