Injury stinks. And it can be an opportunity for growth.

By Jay Hiller, January 2, 2023

Photo by Tom Claes on Unsplash

A few weeks ago I was taking the plates off my Olympic bar and it occurred to me, fortunately, to move my foot out from under the bar. That time, I avoided dropping something heavy on my foot. Other times, I haven’t been so lucky. One second you’re feeling good, things are going well and the next something has gone wrong. I’ve had other injuries that popped up for no clear reason. In those it’s cases it’s been like working a puzzle, trying to figure out what needs to be strengthened or stretched or rested to bring the cranky body part back to baseline. Either way, injury is a bummer. We use our backs, knees, shoulders, wrists etc. to get us through the logistics of everyday life. And we need our bodies to participate in activities that energize and excite us as well.

There are injuries that change things forever in a serious way, no question about it. But many injuries will heal in a matter of days, weeks or months. The period while a wounded part is healing can present with an opportunity to learn a new practice or learn more about how that body part works and how to strengthen it. I wouldn’t be a yoga teacher if I hadn’t injured my lower right leg while training for a marathon. When it became clear that I wasn’t going to run the 2014 Austin marathon, I signed up for a 200 hour yoga teacher training. That decision changed a lot in my life for the better.

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