I can hear y'all now: "Amber, how much booze did you consume on Thanksgiving to say that?" Answer: none. I'm just incredibly delusional and insane from only squatting and benching the last six months.
Whatchu Know 'Bout Injuries, Amber?
In all seriousness, if you've been in the sports world for any extended amount of time you're going to suffer an injury. When you've been in the game 14 years, you may or may not have suffered quite a few.
- Premature birth meant my shoulder bones didn't fuse all the way together and BAM! lots of dislocations and separations before I got it under control.
- Exercise bulimia caused me to run 7 days a week and left me with 4 bulged discs that sidelined me for 10 months before the pain ceased.
- Being a nerd studying for the Bar exam in 2015 caused me to develop a nasty desk slouch that has wrecked my subscap/neck, and trap...and forced me to only squat, bench, and act like I enjoy cardio the last six months while we fix it.
5 Ways An Injury Makes You A Better Person
1. You Actually Do Preventative Maintenance
Yea, yea. We know we're supposed to always stretch, mobilize, and see the chiropractor or massage therapist even when we aren't injured. You know-- to PREVENT injuries. But most of us are lazy creatures and don't do what we're supposed to (maybe I'm just projecting?). If the dentist can't convince you to floss regularly then it's safe to say your coach or healthcare providers may not be successful in getting you to do XYZ.
But when you're injured all of a sudden everything they say suddenly sinks in and you become Mr. Mobility. After you're healed up, you'll never want to suffer that injury again so you'll actually keep doing those stretches and drills.
2. You Promote Your Local Economy
This goes hand in hand with number 1. You actually set and KEEP appointments with your coach, massage therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, nutritionist, and whoever else you run to to heal your broken soul during an injury.
You may even keep the local ice cream parlor or coffee shop in business.
Regardless, you are the reason your town is thriving. Way to go! You are truly a god among mere mortals.
3. You Volunteer More
Or you should. If you're injured and can't compete, then I fully expect your butt to be in a chair, at a table, or helping coach at local (and national) meets. Seriously. You aren't dead to the community just because you can't snatch for the time being. Well, you may be dead to me but it isn't because you can't lift. It's just because I'm a jerk.
But seriously. If you don't volunteer for your organization, then you can't complain about anything. Even your injury. Ok, that isn't true, but just don't be a s**t human being. Our federations run on volunteers so give back even if it's for one session.
Trust me, if I'm having to announce, do cards, side judge, and tell the loaders what color plates go on the bar, and I see you Instagramming in the crowd, I will despise you and probably call you out on the mic. Don't even try to tell me "You must be a horrible meet director for having to do all of those jobs at once." You try and grow a nonexistent sport in a state that never had it and get back to me. SOAPBOX SALLY.
4. You Get A Life
Hopefully you already had one. But 9/10, an athlete doesn't have one outside the gym. Then when they get injured they have an existential crisis and spend hundreds on counseling..... Wait, was that just younger Amber? Awkward.....
When you're injured you may start to try new activities you never had time for before. Reading, socializing (lololol what's that), trying new exercises that don't hurt you, cooking...whatever you kept avoiding. Maybe you even go on dates and look like a human. But as Shrek's Cousin, I wouldn't be able to advise you on that. HEY OH!
You could actually buy a suit and step back into the courtroom like a real attorney. Your parents will be really proud of you even if you have linebacker shoulders and have to have everything tailored.
5. You Create Hilarious Videos
This one is specific to me and I'm 99.99% sure I'm the only one who laughs at them but I needed another item on the list. And a way to shamelessly promote myself.
Enter: Team Infirmary Pro Tips. What started as a one time goof on an Instagram story has turned into daily therapy sessions for me. I just like to be as dark, troll-like, and hilarious as possible. Even when I'm healed I will forever be on Team Infirmary.
If you want to join me during your injury, post your own Team Infirmary Pro Tips on Instagram! Tag @sheppardstrength and #TeamInfirmary so I can see them. Fuel my ego and give me something to look at while I drink a glass of my own tears.
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