Injury: Roz’s 5 Steps to Stay Psyched when Injured

By Roz (TCA Staffer & B.C.T Coach)

After sustaining injury earlier this year, Roz has been learning what the road to recovery entails. Here are her top 10 tips that are guaranted to keep you psyched whilst recovering.

As you may know (if you read my previous blog post), about 10 weeks ago I partially tore my A2 pulley in my left ring finger just before I was due to compete in the Boulder World Cup in Moscow. Upon returning from Moscow, I really wanted to ramp up the training to get ready for Lead World Cup season, however obviously could not. Although I could still engage and use my finger a small amount, I had to be really careful as if I pushed it too much, the pulley could fully pop! So here’s what I did instead to ensure my road to recovery was both fun and fruitful….

1. Rehab Exercises

Fortunately I had a great physio at Rise Physiotherapy, who told me exactly what I could / couldn’t do. I think it’s important to keep climbing even when you have injuries as it often helps the healing process by flushing blood to the injured area. I was told I could do very, very easy climbing, TRX-ing, core and of course cardio, so this is what I filled my days with. It’s difficult to go from doing 4 packed sessions a week to suddenly having all this extra time, but thankfully I am a very slow runner – so the cardio took up a good few hours.

2. Diet

Obviously, diet is really important to any highly tuned athlete. Fortunately there is a very fine establishment that has excellent rehydration and recovery techniques only a 2 minute walk from Undercover Rock… it’s called The Miner’s Arms. I would advise any injured person to go here as it has a plethora of hydration options and snacks, perfect for a long days rehab-ing! Turmeric is also good, as it is natural inflammatory. There are a load of recipes on BBC Good Food that I used, which can be found here. Also useful to remember dairy can cause inflammation.

3. Keep Busy

Having dedicated many hours of my life to climbing – 4 days a week training every week and most weekends doings competitions or climbing outside – you suddenly find yourself with a lot more spare time when injured. Though this could be a daunting thing at first, it is important to keep busy so you 1) don’t end up going beyond your rehab and injuring yourself further and 2) lose psyche for climbing all together.

For me I decided seeing my friends crush outside would keep me psyched, so I enrolled myself as pro-belay buddy. I went on many weekends away and evening crag sessions to belay friends (my belaying is guaranteed to increase your onsight grade by 2… You can book me out to belay for the day via TCA website 😉). I got my hardest ever trad belay this summer, something I have been working towards for some time now. And I also got pretty good at abbing down trad routes to tick mark holds and figure out gear – which were almost always the holds meant to be used. In some ways it was nice to be out at the crag with no pressure to send my projects, get scared silly on some hard trad or rip my skin on a tiny ratter, but I was definitely keen to get back on the rock soon! Patience…

Also, my parents have a super cute puppy, so I went home for a fair few weekends more than normal to see him.

4. Stretch

As stated in my previous blog, I am super inflexible. So I decided to dedicate a lot of injury time to stretching, I think being flexible can drastically help your climbing as it allows you to contort your body on the wall to get maximum weight on your feet. It also makes high steps and rock-overs way easier. Also, it is nice to be able to reach the floor to pick something up without straining my hamstring.

I set the aim of doing box splits by the end of my 6 week injury-probation period. Every day I would contort, stretch and bend in every way possible while watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix in the TCA stretching area… Now, I have finished Gilmore Girls and am marginally closer to box splits… Winner!

5. Write a Blog

Because obviously everyone wants to know the super exciting things you have been up to while you haven’t been climbing, and it will take you while (especially if they are good as this).

What’s Next for Roz

So after my 6 week probation I could start to ramp up the training slowly. Unfortunately, this still meant staying away from small, small holds and no latching to little edges, no campussing etc… But I could slowly build it up. At first it was disheartening how weak I felt, but I could slowly feel it coming back; I just hoped that my strength would return for the British Bouldering Championships and then the Lead World Cup season in summer! BBC’s are 12th July followed by 1 LWC every weekend until the end of summer, though I don’t feel at full strength yet, I am sure I will have a great time around Europe this summer, stay tuned for a few more blog posts about them! And special thanks to TCA for supporting me.