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How To Stay In Shape (and sane) While You’re Injured

When I first met CrossFit competitor and National Pro Grid League athlete Jamie Hagiya, she was in a walking cast and using crutches to get around. Sitting on the floor of her CrossFit gym in Torrance, California, we traded injury stories. I grumpily complained about a knee surgery from the previous year that requires modifying certain workouts and foregoing others entirely to accommodate my bum knee. Hagiya cheerfully told me how excited she was to get back to her normal routine, noting a serious silver lining to her injury: It gave her the chance to work other muscle groups, not to mention rest and recover. Hagiya’s grounded perspective and optimism made me think her surgery was in the distant past, but it turns out she had ruptured her Achilles tendon just over one month prior to meeting. It happened while completing a set of box jump overs at her first ever National Pro Grid League (NPGL) match and not only ended her NPGL season, but also suspended training for upcoming CrossFit competitions and curtailed her ability to coach classes at her gym. Besides the pain and limited mobility, dealing with an injury that derails your normal routine can be emotionally grueling. After all, you’re being denied an activity that provided some measure of release or relaxation, while also worrying that your fitness level is on a steady decline. Unfortunately anyone who lives an active lifestyle is at risk for pulls, tears, and fractures (whether you’re a runner, CrossFitter, or just a weekend flag footballer. So it seems likely that many of us could stand to benefit from what Hagiya has figured out: How to stay fit—physically as well as mentally—while injured. Below, she shares her best advice along with two injury-friendly workouts designed exclusively for Greatist—one isolates the upper body and the other is just for the lower body. As for Hagiya’s personal plan to get through it all: “I am going to take things slow and build back up. With hard work and effort and dedication, you’ll get back to where you were. Some people say even stronger.” To read more click here!