In my 4 seasons of skydiving, two of them have encountered injuries: one from skydiving (that was oh-so-gracefully my fault) and another completely unrelated to skydiving. Both injuries required physical therapy and time away from the sport. Both injuries took place at the beginning of the season, making time off seem just that much longer.
When something happens that keeps you on the ground, you have two options – deal with it or whine incessantly until no one can stand to be around you.
The former requires a bit of strength of character. Dealing with it also requires you to pick yourself up and find a way to channel the energy you’d otherwise be exerting in the sky to something productive. Keep your mind and body busy while the parts of you that need to recover, can.
I’ve come to learn that physical injuries are very similar to emotional injuries – rest and time off from those things that will only serve to irritate the wound is the only way to bounce back and get back to your healthy self as quickly as possible. Time, and the right therapy, does heal wounds…and, it teaches you patience in the process.
I’m not going to lie, I sit here and preach, but I’ve certainly done my share of complaining and dancing with ants in my pants at the idea of getting back in the sky. I spend every week at PT waiting to ask doc when I’ll be able to get back in the sky – and I’m regularly disappointed when he tells me to wait. But, I also know that when that day comes, I know it’s safe to proceed.
In the meantime, I do what I can to get by – hiking, working out, long walks with the dog, whatever I can do to keep my body moving. And, if there’s one piece of advice I can give from my time on the ground due to injuries, it’s to plan something to look forward to. Whether it’s a vacation to lie on the beach or, in my case, a tunnel trip in May (wee!), do yourself a solid and have something to anticipate other than jumping out of that next aircraft.
Keep moving, keep dreaming, and keep your positive attitude. You might be surprised just how much you actually enjoy outside the world of skydiving – and a positive attitude can only serve to help get you to your goal sooner than you think.
Love and blue skies!