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Irish - Champs
Time off for injury, so frustrated- need to keep my motivation up!
By fancyfeet711 Comments: 94, member since Mon Apr 28, 2008
On Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:09 PM

Hi all,

The title pretty much says it all to be honest. I've recently finally made it into Open champs, and this summer I went to my first NANs. It was an amazing experience and I've really felt my dancing improve. I want to take the momentum from NANs and from everything lately and continue it into the next few feises I'm going to, and ultimately to Oireachtas in November. Alas, with an increase in training comes injury. I had reeally bad shin splints leading up to NANs, then took a couple of weeks off and they didn't get completely better. I've read every post on the internet about shin splints I'm sure, but basically what it comes down to is having to take *more* time off. I guess I'm just really frustrated now because I know it's better to take time off but I wanted to keep going with my dancing and feel like I can keep up to the level I've reached.

I'm sort of venting here, but I'm also sort of reaching out for some help from you guys here on DDN. I have a feis this weekend that I may or may not dance at, then starting Monday I've been told that I have to take up to 6wks off, depending on how quickly my shins heal. So my questions are these:

How can I keep my stamina/fitness level up high enough so that I don't drop back to square one from taking time off? Class is really intense, especially leading up to Oireachtas, and I've finally reached a stamina level where a full hornpipe doesn't scare the socks off me (!!). So I don't want to have to start all over again with that.

Also, what can I do in the meantime to help keep my momentum going both physically and mentally. It's very hard sometimes to deal with an injury and not feel defeated and feel like all your steam has just evaporated.

And one more, is it possible to get back to a high enough level of dancing before Oireachtas if I only have possibly 6-7wks left by the time I come back if my injury takes forever to heal?

This was a longer post than I expected, but like I said I'm just sort of venting frustrations here and looking for any tips or motivations that can help me through this!! Thanks so much everyone <3

~fancyfeet711

4 Replies to Time off for injury, so frustrated- need to keep my motivation up!

re: Time off for injury, so frustrated- need to keep my motivation up!
By hummingbird Comments: 10414, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Tue Jul 28, 2015 06:48 PM
Your title is actually a bit vague, what is the injury you're coping with shin splints can be caused by a variety of issues, what are they? What are your doctors recommendations following your six weeks off? Giving us these details might help us all give you better advice. Having said that please bear in mind we are not doctors and we have not seen the degree of your injury.
re: Time off for injury, so frustrated- need to keep my motivation up! (karma: 1)
By krisinstitches Comments: 398, member since Mon Feb 02, 2009
On Wed Jul 29, 2015 06:52 AM
My dd had shin splints (nearing the point where stress fractures were possible) leading up to NANs. She took off 3 weeks before NANs to rest them enough to be able to compete. Still wasn't 100% back by NANs, but had her most successful one yet. Her orthopedist told her after NANs to take at least 2 months off. So that's where she is now.

She's been working with an excellent physical therapist to work out her shins. Working with the PT, she has a plan to keep up her stamina by doing other cardio work, along with strengthening exercises. Her cardio recommendations are stationary bike, swimming, and deep water jogging. Her orthopedist did not recommend the elliptical, as he said she should've been on 90-95% rest even before NANs, but he allowed her to compete with the promise of the 2 months off post-NANs.

If you're not working with an orthopedist (or other dr) and a physical therapist, I highly recommend you do, and get them to evaluate your specific situation to give you the best plan forward.

Best of luck!!
re: Time off for injury, so frustrated- need to keep my motivation up!
By monkeybiz329member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 844, member since Sat Mar 04, 2006
On Sun Aug 02, 2015 05:15 PM
I don't have specific advice about your shin splints, but I have a lot of experience coming back from various injuries that I can share:

1. Keeping up stamina/fitness: There are a lot of things that you can do besides dancing that will help your dancing when you come back. If you've got shin splints, you don't want to do a lot of weight-bearing exercise until your legs heal, but you can keep your cardiovascular fitness up by swimming, rowing, or biking. In addition, you can up your core exercise routine and stretch for longer every day. This way, you're practicing just as much as you would have before you got injured, but you're just re-distributing the type of practice you do. All these things will help you when you can return to dance.

2. Understand the power of visualization. Just because you can't practice, doesn't mean you can't correct things in your dancing. Go through your steps in your head, one by one, and imagine what you want to correct at each bar in the music. It's amazing what a difference it makes when you are focused at each point in your dance, versus just trying to get through it!

3. Be kind to yourself. This is especially important when you come back after an injury. You'll want to jump back in and be just as good as before you got injured, and it's not going to happen. If you try to go twice as hard to get fit, you're going to re-injure yourself and get more frustrated. Take at least 2 weeks to ease back in and just do your best. It may take more, it may take less. But even if you feel like you're starting back at square one, you're not. You've put in all this other work (see #1) that will pay off once your body is ready to come back to dance. Progress may be slow at first, but if you do what you're supposed to do (listen to your doctor!!!) then you'll come back stronger than ever!

And if you need moral support in the meantime, you've got a community of DDN dancers who have all been there, ready to give support and offer their stories. You can do this!
re: Time off for injury, so frustrated- need to keep my motivation up!
By fancyfeet711 Comments: 94, member since Mon Apr 28, 2008
On Fri Aug 07, 2015 07:00 PM
Thanks so much for the input guys! I am working with a physio so I've got the injury management side of things under control- and I'm actually being a pretty good patient for once and am not trying to go back too soon!

It makes me feel better to hear that people are in the same situation and have come back stronger from it, I guess I was feeling pretty down in the dumps when I wrote that first post!! So far things are going well, my shins aren't back to normal yet but they're on the healing path. I'll keep in mind all of your advice- didn't even think of things like rowing or breaking down steps in my head! Hoping to get to the gym this week and put some of this into effect!

Thanks again,

~fancyfeet

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