Tag Archives: injury

Battling the Broken Body Blues

Staying Focused During Injury

Well, lets face it – Injuries suck.

As an armchair athlete or a competitive, dedicated and somewhat obsessed athlete as myself – it is torturous.  All you want to do is ignore the pain and play. Hop in a time machine and avoid the injury all together, or jump forward past the ridiculously, painfully slow rehab to a full functionality you and  – PLAY. All options of which are completely unrealistic – especially ignoring the pain ; )

Many would say we are juvenile  and completely obsessed with play. But the fact of the matter is without the physical outlet, we would be completely “untamed”. If you can relate to this, and are currently suffering an injury holding you back from your sport – then perhaps my words might be of help on your track to recovery, or at least make you chuckle.

No matter what the injury is, an incident, an accident or good old fashion wear and tear – the result is the same.  You are unable to play the game you love until you rehab your limb and life back to some semblance of its former self.

I can only speak for myself, but I have a sneaking suspicion that many of you will be able to relate to my point of view.

For me, throughout the process of rehab – time has not only slowed to a drunken snails pace, but at the same time gone into warp speed. My knee seems to be making the smallest most minuscule improvements on a weekly/monthly basis (and at times feels as if it is going backward), while at the same time the Squash season is running toward me like Usain Bolt.  This juxtaposition is grossly unfair and at times makes one feel like giving up all together. Yes, I am talking about the anger and gloominess that are part and parcel of injury. This is what most of us have to battle – and this is how I am battling the “body broken blues”.

Staying Active

Ridiculous I know. If I could be active I would be playing squash. At any point I would much rather be playing squash than on cardio equipment. That said, my knee simply will not allow for certain movements – and those certain movements are all required for squash. My staying active saviour has been Spin Classes. Not only is it a phenomenal workout (which helps burn the built up energy), but it is also a brilliant cross training tool for squash. Working the legs at intervals helps build the endurance and speed required for intense squash rallies. When the knee is ready to take on squash movement – at least I won’t be too far behind in fitness.

Staying on Top of Rehab Exercises

Let’s face it, these exercises are not fun. There isn’t a point system, there isn’t an opponent to conquer. To me I have had to look at this as a personal challenge to get myself back into action and feeling as strong, stable and secure as possible – as quickly as possible. Someone tells me it will take a month – I work my butt off to make it happen in 3 weeks. Yes, I have a competitive nature and I try as much as possible to use it for good not evil ; )

I have to remind myself (quite often) that as boring and as silly as these rehab exercises may seem – they are actually accomplishing something, stick to it!

Staying Focused

Have a goal in mind. Not just getting better – but an actual deadline goal.

Personally without a set date/event on my calendar staying on top of rehab would slip in priority. It is so easy to not do it for a day, and another day slips by – but then I look at the calendar and that tournament date is looming, getting closer by the second. I have no time to dilly dally, I have to remain focussed on improving the functionality of my knee. I tell myself , “You want to play – do the work to get there”. Please note! Choosing a realistic goal is essential, otherwise disappointment will be a very hard cold slap in the face. Discuss your goals with your doctor/physio or whatever healthcare practitioner you are working with. Ensure that they know what you are aiming for. They can help keep the goal sensible as well as aid you achieving those goals.

Staying Positive

Its pretty simple really. Play is fun. Work is not (and rehab is work). Unfortunately in this situation one must be done to allow the other to happen. Progress is slow, frustrating and down right maddening at times. After all “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is very true indeed. All I want to do is get out on court and play my favourite game. I miss squash, and missing something generates the feeling of longing and sadness. There have been times where I get “testy” and “edgy” because I am not able to do what I love. In a sense I am like that child that is moody because I can’t have ice-cream before I eat my broccoli. So I simply must eat my broccoli. Therefore I have decided to take small bites so I can finally get my ice-cream. The improvements are slow and small – but they are not unimportant. If I didn’t acknowledge the little improvements I would only see what has to be done, not what has been done. I am not the most patient person in the world (far from it), but this has taught/forced me into being more aware of the big picture.

This has been my journey with the “broken body blues” and how I have been dealing with the daily task of rehab. Hopefully something in this has resonated with you or at least has provided you with a sense that you are not alone!

Mantra of the day:

“Small bites will eventually get me through the broccoli to that divine bowl of ice-cream!”

Keep on Chomping.
Nicole Garon
Squaush Pro & Program Director
Brantford Movati Athletic

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Squash – Dealing with physical limitations

I have been in the unfortunate situation of dealing with some physical limitations recently that have caused me not to be able to play as often as I like and when I do play it has been at a much slower pace.  I have a swollen foot which some days is worse than others.  When it is bad I can barely play, most days I can tolerate the pain enough to play although I am not as mobile as I would normally be.

When this first started I found it very disheartening.  I was not able to play the game I normally play and was finding myself not being competitive against people that I should be and was very frustrated by that.  I came to a few conclusions from this though.  The first being that I would have to accept that my movement was compromised and not worry about the results so much.  The second was that I was going to have to finish points faster than I normally would. The third was that I needed more time to recover back to the ‘T’ than I normally would.

The first conclusion was a tough one to swallow.  I am a competitive person and not being able to play at my normal level was really frustrating.  When I am playing my best squash I am pretty quick on court and am on the ball quickly giving myself options.  I am getting balls back that my opponent does not think I will and forcing them to try and hit better and better shots often causing them to increase their error count.  I very simply had to accept that while I could force myself to do this sometimes and deal with the pain it caused I could not do it all the time.

The second conclusion took some revision to get right.  I am not a shooter by nature in squash and I went overboard on this approach of trying to end points early.  I was not working the point at all I was immediately trying to hit winners and take the ball short. This worked a little bit against weaker players but definitely not against better players. They were reading my shots and I had not worked them out of position before attacking short.  I adjusted and tried to establish a good length game and tried to wait for better opportunities to take the ball short.  This has proven to be more effective.

The third conclusion was for me to slow the game down.  I was finding movement after the shot the hardest.  I was not recovering back to the ‘T’ quickly and was often out of position. In particular I was very susceptible to being taken short.  Using more height and a slower pace to my shots in to the back court has definitely helped.  It gives me more time to recover to the ‘T’ and get in position to cover the whole court.

While nobody enjoys being injured I am now working on staying positive about this.  While my movement is not nearly what I would like it to be currently it will improve.  What I will take from this is a better attacking game as I have been working very hard at trying to work my opponent out of position and then taking the ball short.  I have also definitely improved my high and soft ball to the back of the court.  While my squash game is not what I would really like now it will be better in the future.

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Gilly Lane forced to retire from the PSA Tour due to injury

Gilly LaneGilly Lane today announced his retirement from the PSA Tour due to injury.

Back injuries are a very difficult injury to recover from.  I have been fortunate to have never hurt myself as seriously as Gilly obviously has.  I have suffered one back injury playing squash that was incredibly painful but I was extremely lucky that I recovered from it quickly.

Gilly Lane made the announcement on his Facebook page today stating “It’s been a tough couple months struggling with this back problem and today is even tougher. I have decided to retire from the PSA Tour due to the injury I suffered in July. I think the time is right to begin to pursue other avenues and start the next phase of my life. I want to thank Tommy Berden, Lucas Buit, Floris Minnaert, John White, Natalie Grinham for their coaching and constant support. Thanks to US Squash for their backing and efforts to put us in the right position to succeed. Also LJ Anjema and Cameron Pilley for being great friends and role models and my parents and family for their endearing support. It wouldn’t have been possible without my family and I owe them everything.”

On Twitter Gilly tweeted the following “Tough day as I have decided to retire from the PSA Tour. My injury has not healed in the manner I wanted it to and it’s time to move on.” He then tweeted “Looking forward to the next phase in my life.”

Good luck in the next phase of your life Gilly.



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