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Dealing with Injury: What CAN You Say to An Injured Athlete?

Do you know someone dealing with injury? There are so many posts out there talking about what NOT to say… so what CAN you say to an injured athlete? 

Dealing with Injury: How to Support the Injured Athlete

We all have, or will, be there: in pain, out of commission, feeling like a bump on a log and not as pretty. And we also likely will be in the opposite seat at some point: struggling to find the words to say to a friend who is on the injured reserve and not sure what to do about it. 

But as much as you might think, oh, I’ve been there, I will know exactly what to say, the truth is, you might not. You might find your head filled with all the things NOT to say, or you might even find yourself falling victim to saying just those things because you are at a loss! But, just like the art of small chat and surviving sorority rush, having back pocket questions and knowing what to say can make you the star of that person’s day. 

What Can You Say to an Injured Athlete?

There are so many posts out there talking about what NOT to say to an injured athlete... so what CAN you say to someone dealing with injury? Find out at http://suzlyfe.com/dealing-with-injury-what-can-you-say-to-injured-athlete/

You absolutely can and should say I’m Sorry, and I’m thinking about you. Seriously, that means a lot. But what do you say after that?

Do you want to talk about the injury?

I lead with this. Don’t do the whole but how are you feeeeeeeeling? Just ask if they want to talk about it. They might tell you they they don’t want to–but I can tell you from personal experience that often we say we don’t want to talk about something, but we really do. Asking if they want to talk about what happened/is happening puts the power in their hands and gives them permission to discuss their injured status, if they so choose. 

Even if you are curious, don’t force their hand. You can get the details from the x number of people who forced it out of them. 

It's important to have a sense of humor when you are injured! How to help a friend that is injured on Suzlyfe.com

Feels as good as the Rockies on your leg.

What do you need help with while you are injured?

Don’t ask “do you” need help with anything… they will likely brush it off or say no. However, chances are that they really do need help with something. This isn’t about special treatment, this is about practicality. Do they need a drive somewhere (particularly to rehab or work)? If they are on crutches, they likely need help with groceries, packages, and such. I can’t really vacuum (heh Alex heh). Do they have a cast that they need help wrapping for showers? Do they have a really itchy back? Can they not rehang the lights that fell off the wall (we have string lights up year round, and yes, they did fall and no, I couldn’t fix them)? 

It’s Ok to Feel Overwhelmed.

Saying that it is ok to feel overwhelmed is supportive, soothing, and encouraging, without letting them dwell in sadness or depression. Saying that it is ok to feel overwhelmed acknowledges that there is more than just one facet to what is making them feel so out of control, and maybe even scared. Avoid mentioning timelines and predictions for the future–instead, focus on helping them here and now, or they might get overwhelmed thinking just how far they have to go! 

What is a New Goal that You can Set and Work Towards?

You absolutely can encourage them to look to the future, but do so in a way that doesn’t focus on the uncertainties of their injury and recovery. The only certainty you have is that they will be injured for an indefinite time. So what can they accomplish in the interim that they put off while working on the goal that (perhaps) got them injured? For myself, I am having fun with recipes, working on my new coaching business, and doing all the physical therapy that I can so that when I do come back, I am prepped and ready.

Athletes are so active, help them find a new way to channel that activity and energy. I can’t do full sit ups or core twisting (we are putting yoga to the side at the moment), but I can plank the f out of my core. I can work on my ankle stability, my calf strength, and even glute strength with my resistance band. 

I may or may not do PT while eating my brownies and typing up workouts. 

Do You Have Plans for Tonight/Tomorrow/the Weekend?

Get them out of the house. Don’t give them much leeway. If they can’t walk all that well (cough), make plans to see a movie and make sure that you help them get there. Or, if they are really so immobile as to not be able to get out and about, have dinner and a movie with them at their place. Tell them that you will bring the food. The worst thing that you can do is leave them languishing all alone because they can’t go out to planned events or bars or whatever. 

It's important to have a sense of humor when you are injured! How to help a friend that is injured on Suzlyfe.com

Help others know what to say to their injured friendsClick To Tweet

So now you have no excuse to show up and say, OMG THE SAME THING HAPPENED TO MEEEEEEE. Because, guess what, they likely don’t care πŸ˜€ And, trust me, the way that you healed likely won’t be the way that they heal. 

Because heal they will. And they will remember how deftly supportive you were during their rough time. 

Going through a tough time yourself? Check out my post Staying Positive : Take Lemons, Make Applesauce. 

What are some other great prompts to say to injured athletes? I’m not going to lie, offering massages is pretty nice, lol. 

Join the link up and Running Coaches Corner for more great running advice and content!

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I am linking up with myself, RachelLora, and Debbie for Running Coaches CornerPattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, NicoleAnnmarieMichelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday.

 

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119 Comments

  • Reply Farrah

    I’m glad they’ve narrowed it down to something more specific! Thanks for these tips! :] I bet they’ll come into handy if I go into sports medicine and have to wheedle out information from people (and also in just general everyday living)! πŸ˜›

    November 10, 2015 at 6:20 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think that you can apply it to just about any of your patients. Though you might find that some of them are a bit less stable minded than me πŸ˜€

      November 10, 2015 at 3:23 pm
  • Reply Emily @ My Healthyish Life

    Well I’m all for offering massages too! I’ve never thought about what TO say to an injured athlete (or person) but my least favorite is “that’s what happens when you run” (joking or not, I roll my eyes).

    November 10, 2015 at 6:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      UGH. And that is when you punch them. And likely hurt your hand!

      November 10, 2015 at 3:23 pm
  • Reply Kimberly G

    This was very timely reading for me today πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for posting.

    November 10, 2015 at 6:50 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Sorry that we are both dealing with issues. xoxo

      November 10, 2015 at 3:24 pm
  • Reply Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    The last time I was in the boot, I felt like I was dealing with it really well. My little patients got a kick out of my boot (kick–get it?) and that made me smile all day. But we had this crazy icky manager who said to me that she couldn’t wait until I got back to running–seemed like I was really bothered by my injury. I think she was trying to relate to me but all she did was piss me off….

    November 10, 2015 at 7:00 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Yeah. That was definitely a misstep on her part. Likely very well meaning, but NO.

      November 10, 2015 at 3:24 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    Great suggestions. Usually only other runners/blog readers know when Im dealing with an injury because its not something you can see. Sometimes its nice to hear that others can relate, but you are right- its gonna be different for everyone and sometimes we just don’t want to hear it. However, I know that every time I hear a story about someone who dealt with whatever injury and is now back to running, it made me remember that I would get back to it as well.

    November 10, 2015 at 7:09 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I definitely find that it makes me feel better but not if they are trying to one up me. MY INJURY IS WAY MORE IMPORTANT

      November 10, 2015 at 3:25 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    So… do you want to talk about it? :)~ Hope you start feeling better soon, lady!

    November 10, 2015 at 7:21 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Only for a little bit πŸ˜€

      November 10, 2015 at 3:26 pm
  • Reply Annmarie

    This is great, Suz. I love how you broke down the psychology of what to say and why, very helpful!

    November 10, 2015 at 7:21 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hope that it is helpful for all! Thanks, boo.

      November 10, 2015 at 3:26 pm
  • Reply Eric

    It can be tough to try to figure out what people are thinking and the right thing to say. I even find myself falling into a bad trap every so often if I take what I said a different way than I intended.

    It also gets interesting to take chronic disease issues into account for people like us. Some of the things people say to me about my or their health can sting more than they ever intend.

    But again, I know you will fight and you will win. For people like us winning is taking a step ,no matter what direction or type of goal it is towards. That is usually what I intend to say, even if it appears I’m promising them a recovery, sometimes you get hurt in a way that you won’t return to normal completely like you used to know. However, you will find your new normal and show the world what happens when you get knocked down.

    “Pains is a part of life. Sometimes it’s a big part, and sometimes it isn’t, but either way, it’s part of the big puzzle, the deep music, the great game. Pain does two things: It teaches you, tells you that you’re alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that will ever happen to you in life is going to involve it in one degree or another.”
    -Jim Butcher

    November 10, 2015 at 7:27 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Well, I think you said everything there is to say. I am going to simply let this comment stand on its own. Beautiful.

      November 10, 2015 at 3:30 pm
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    I hope they’ve figured it out for you. Not knowing can be so hard. Great tips… it’s hard to know what to say.

    November 10, 2015 at 7:52 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, Julie. I’m hoping so, too!

      November 10, 2015 at 3:30 pm
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    If you were nearby we’d watch all the Star Wars movies to keep your mind off it (and prepare for Force Awakens). Great tips and I appreciate how well you explained them allβ€”it can be hard to know what to say when one hasn’t experienced much injury.

    November 10, 2015 at 7:53 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Beer better be involved.

      November 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    Sometimes the most frustrating part of being injured is figuring out what the heck is wrong. And sometimes it is the doctor that says the WORST things ever. Haha. When I was a kid I did something awful to my knee. The doctors knew it was bad but couldn’t figure it out. After a month of the best guy around trying to figure it out he said he saw a similar situation earlier in the week and it was an amputation. Then he said he was tempted to just put me in my skates and see what would happen. What?! At 14, I knew this was terribly inappropriate. So glad you have such a great support system.

    November 10, 2015 at 7:59 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      ahahahahahahahahahahaha
      OMG that is terrible. He might have thought it was funny, but NO

      November 10, 2015 at 3:29 pm
  • Reply Julie

    This is good advice. I think what I’d want to hear. Of course sometimes there is nothing to say and then I let them know I am praying and/or sending good vibes their way.

    November 10, 2015 at 8:02 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Agreed. It is just as important to know when silence is powerful (as long as they know why you are quiet).

      November 10, 2015 at 3:28 pm
  • Reply Lauren @ ihadabiglunch

    This is a really good guideline! It’s hard to know what to say unless you’ve gone through it yourself. Getting out of the house is a great form of distraction whenever you’re going through any tough time in your life and it makes you feel like less of a lump on a log. Hopefully you’ve been distracting yourself with food, movies, date nights, etc. Thinking of you still!

    November 10, 2015 at 8:05 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, Lo! That is honestly what has been so difficult–that I can’t really leave or go anywhere. So yeah, Applesauce.

      November 10, 2015 at 3:22 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    Such GREAT advice!!! That being said, I’m sending you all the hugs and love. I haven’t been running as much due to other life stuffs so it’s totally different, but I empathize when it comes to missing the run for sure! HUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 10, 2015 at 8:12 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you! Instead, you’ve been cooking up a storm!

      November 10, 2015 at 3:21 pm
  • Reply Jen @ Pretty Little Grub

    Free massages are welcomed at any time!

    November 10, 2015 at 8:25 am
  • Reply GiGi Eats

    INJURIES SUCK! If I ever feel pain… I push through it – NOT A GOOD tactic but…. I tell myself to SUCK IT UPPPPPP! lol!

    November 10, 2015 at 8:29 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’ve done that, and believe me, I have a very high threshold for pain. But there is a difference between dealing with discomfort and pain!

      November 10, 2015 at 3:20 pm
  • Reply Jessica Joy @The Fit Switch

    Susie, what a great and needed post! Often we get stuck with what to do, that we aren’t nearly as helpful as we would like to be. Injuries are so challenging, but your tips are thorough and legit. Wish I could snag you for a movie or a paint party! lol. I commend you for making the best of it, and being so proactive. Keep it up! You’re amazing. #fitfamlove

    November 10, 2015 at 8:49 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you so much, Jessica. It isn’t all sun and roses, but you can find sunshine and you can smell roses. Someone might just have to bring them to you!

      November 10, 2015 at 3:20 pm
  • Reply Emily

    This is so good. I didn’t think that I realized how hard it was to be injured until last year, and now, I realize how important it is to set other goals that take your mind off of what you can’t do. I think that an athlete shows great self-control when they rest their body in order to recover from an injury. You are SUPER encouraging Susie! Looking on the bright side. πŸ™‚

    November 10, 2015 at 8:55 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, Emily! And I think that the acceptance of rest is the true mark of an experienced athlete, rather than just an athlete. For us, rest is another training day. Sometimes we look forward to it, other times, we think about it as about as appetizing as speed work!

      November 10, 2015 at 3:19 pm
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    Well, as your mom, I wanna fix this–cause that is what mommies and daddies do……..so, i’m not a good person to ask! Mommies hover…..I was very good and very irritating at that!
    I also am/you are at that “you need a diagnosis” stage so you can have a plan and we can figure out how to be of service to you during that plan.

    If you were one of our horses, we would put you in your stall for 6 weeks of stall-rest and see where we were at the end of that time. Maybe you’re ready to come out and go back to work..s..l..o..w..l..y or maybe you have to go back on stall-rest a few more weeks, or months as in Regal’s case 9 months.

    We’d give you a good grooming everyday, play with your mane and tail, maybe bathe you and hand walk you but only with the vets approval.

    Since I am not a runner, I don’t know what to say, or do. I haven’t had that kind of injury, but I have been injured and I liked just the daily checking-in from friends when I couldn’t go out. It was nice to know that I hadn’t been forgotten, but email just didn’t seem to be everyone’s cup of tea, and often I was asleep when they called.

    I hope you feel better soon!

    Mom

    November 10, 2015 at 9:03 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I would looooove a good grooming. How good would a curry comb feel?
      I’ll let you brush my hair in a few weeks πŸ˜€ love you!

      November 10, 2015 at 3:18 pm
  • Reply Suzy

    Massages are my love language. Great wise words today, Suz! It’s good to hear it from your perspective.

    November 10, 2015 at 9:39 am
  • Reply Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

    Now I feel horrible I sent you an email last night asking you how you are doing. If you want to talk I am here!

    November 10, 2015 at 9:44 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hahah NO! I should specify for this post that it is for the first few days. And remember–I gave you permission to ask! LOVE YOU xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

      November 10, 2015 at 10:35 am
  • Reply Bri

    When I’ve been out with an injury, I always like to hear from others who have gone through something similar to find out how they dealt with it. Sending healing vibes (and chocolate ?!)

    November 10, 2015 at 10:14 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m so excited about my package. You have no idea.

      November 10, 2015 at 3:16 pm
  • Reply Erin @ Erin's Inside Job

    If you need me to bring you cookies and donuts, certainly let me know.

    November 10, 2015 at 10:32 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      OBVS. We need to have lunch, too.

      November 10, 2015 at 3:14 pm
  • Reply Ange @ Cowgirl Runs

    Hahaha, I love your mom’s suggestion of putting you in a stall πŸ˜‰
    I find non-runners and non-athletes are always EXTREMELY concerned about my injuries. I mean, I have spent a lot of this year injured, which was a major bummer, but the “OMG are you okay” gets old after a while. Yes, I’m fine, I just can’t run at the moment. *shrug*

    November 10, 2015 at 10:36 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Stall rest. No wonder so many horses start cribbing and such. I’m right with you–I can deal with the not running! There are so many other things to do! But the hurting… well… that sucks.

      November 10, 2015 at 3:16 pm
  • Reply Heather @Fit n Cookies

    I think this is always the hardest for people who love to workout or enjoy moving. It’s funny when others get injured (like my brother missing the last step and breaking his toe, hahaha) they just don’t care. To us, it’s like the worst thing ever. My favorite tip was asking “what do you need help with”. I think it transfers to other areas, too. Like, now in my life. When people say can I help, my automatic response is no. If they asked what they could do, I’m sure I’d find something (maybe grocery shopping, haha!) Anywayyyy I really really really hope they found out the diagnosis and you are on the mend!

    November 10, 2015 at 10:50 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Especially having just had a baby! So many people are probably offering help, and you are saying, naaaahhhh I’m finnnnneeeee. But inside your are FREAKING OUT. xoxo

      November 10, 2015 at 3:15 pm
  • Reply Cassie @ Almost Getting it Together

    I think just reminding them that so many other people have come back from injuries stronger is so important. I was re-reading one of your posts pre-Phoenix yesterday where you were two months out and you STILL BQ-ed made me feel a lot better because I’m freaking out that I am 3 months out from LA.

    November 10, 2015 at 11:14 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think that the worst thing is to hear that from someone who truly doesn’t know–they just assume. Hearing it from someone that you respect, though, is different. That feels more real.
      Here’s what I have to say to you. Rest, don’t come back too soon, and do your PT like hellfire during. And email me if you need some more pointed coaching help. I now am up and running!

      November 10, 2015 at 3:14 pm
  • Reply Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat

    All great advice! And definitely yes to the whole – Oh that happened to me. Because seriously no two injuries are alike.

    When I landed in a boot last year if I got one more “well that is what happens when you run marathons” I thought I would kill someone. I swear people enjoyed having an “I told you so” moment.

    Continuing to keep you in my thoughts girl!

    November 10, 2015 at 11:15 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I actually would have punched them with death stares. That is the difference between you and I.

      November 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm
  • Reply Sam @ PancakeWarriors

    These are seriously great tips. When people are injured, it’s always so hard to know when you are treading to heavily or when you should keep pushing, since you know the person likely needs help. As a coach myself I”m sure I’ll be dealing with this more and more. Thanks for the tips Suz. If I was in Chicago I’d come over and help you rehang the lights!!

    November 10, 2015 at 12:11 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Can I fly you up? We can finally have some amazing food together! And I could direct the hanging of the lights.

      November 10, 2015 at 3:12 pm
  • Reply Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut

    These tips are super helpful because it can be really awkward…do I say anything or not?? I also think it’s helpful as someone who is injured to be aware of the fact that even if people do ask weird questions…they don’t mean to be rude! I know from experience it’s hard to understand this (especially when someone asks the same question you’ve heard a zillion times), but it’s good to try!

    Something I struggle with in life is knowing HOW to help someone. And like you said, if you say, “do you need any help” the auto-response is “no.” I feel like an awful human being that I can’t just figure out what people need so if you have tips on an alternative question please give me some Suz advice!! <3 I'm also bad at figuring out presents to get people LOL. #thestruggle #imtheworst

    November 10, 2015 at 12:19 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh, I absolutely agree that people who are injured need to remember that people are doing their best! But when you are in physical pain, it can be really hard to be human πŸ˜€ I’m always here if you need help πŸ˜€ and I like gag gifts or something that is just cute. And baked goods are always good.

      November 10, 2015 at 3:10 pm
  • Reply meredith @ Cookie ChRUNicles

    I usually offer my friends an ice cream cone with sprinkles no matter the issue. No one ever takes me up on it (not sure why?) but just the gesture and thought makes them smile and takes their mind off of any issue. I am not one to ask a lot of questions or be annoying with the how are you feeling which my friends tell me is why they can always talk to me whenever something is wrong because I wont make it worse lol

    November 10, 2015 at 12:32 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      It’s because sprinkles are for winners and they don’t feel like winners. I think that you are going about it the right way–letting them come to you!

      November 10, 2015 at 3:07 pm
  • Reply Heather@hungryforbalance

    Let me start off by saying that I love that you guys have the string lights up all year! It can be so hard to know what to say to someone when they are injured or sick; I know that when we were going through fertility treatments I mostly kept it to myself to avoid the awkward conversations of, ‘Oh my gosh, that awful!’. However, it does help to have people just be there for you, even if you just want to cry or vent.
    I love your suggestion of coming TO the person to hang out. Thoughts and prayers your way, friend!

    November 10, 2015 at 1:05 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We put the string lights up for Christmas the first year and they have never come down (well, they come down, but we don’t take them down). I think that fertility is a similar road–you have no clue of the timeline, what the future will be, and it is something that, like movement, is so integral to your life.

      November 10, 2015 at 3:07 pm
  • Reply Liz @The Clean Eating Couple

    Ugh injuries are just the worst. But beer (used as an ice pack or a refreshing drink) does help. Wishing you the speediest recovery!!!

    November 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      So much beer πŸ˜€

      November 10, 2015 at 3:04 pm
  • Reply Rae

    HUGS!

    November 10, 2015 at 2:38 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you πŸ˜€

      November 10, 2015 at 3:03 pm
  • Reply Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    This is so great! It can be so frustrating and so many emotions. Everyone deals with an injury or illness differently, but saying something support helps no matter!

    November 10, 2015 at 3:01 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And it can be so hard to know what to say or do that will be PRODUCTIVE.

      November 10, 2015 at 3:03 pm
  • Reply Andrew Dorko

    This blog brings up a real issue that is not discussed. Being injured is really debilitating for athletes. It is good to be aware that injured friends can feel pretty down.

    November 10, 2015 at 4:06 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And saying the right things can really help lift people back up!

      November 10, 2015 at 4:07 pm
  • Reply Helly on the Run

    So tough and even sometimes awkward talking to an inured runner, especially if your friendship with them blossomed through running, lol! Then what do you talk about?? Ja!! I’m glad you’re finally getting answers and I so hope you get better soon! <3

    November 10, 2015 at 5:09 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      SEriously, but at least you know you can talk to me about anything πŸ˜€

      November 11, 2015 at 9:23 am
  • Reply Abby @ BackAtSquareZero

    I hope thy are able to figure out exactly what it is.

    November 10, 2015 at 7:39 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hope so, too. Thank you Abby!

      November 11, 2015 at 9:23 am
  • Reply Jill

    Good advice Suze. Think it can be used for people experiencing any kind of medical issue or even personal problem. Sometimes they don’t want to be reminded of what’s wrong but to be shown what they still CAN do, especially with friends.

    November 10, 2015 at 8:25 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Friends make everything better.

      November 11, 2015 at 9:24 am
  • Reply Kristen

    OMG YES. This is happening to me too right now and I’m kind of at a loss over how to deal with my injury myself. People are responding by telling me that I was a bit too obsessed with running in the first place and so maybe this is a good thing because I get to take a break. I want to punch them all. I swear, these non-runners have no idea what they’re saying sometimes! All I want is to be able to get back to low level (3 milers) running at some point this winter, but we’ll see. I’m actually writing a whole post for tomorrow with details from my PT, and I’m just trying to stay active in other ways. You and I both know we’ll get through this, and we’ll probably hear a lot of silly stuff from people in the mean time πŸ™‚ Good luck at the specialist, hopefully they can figure out exactly what’s going on!

    November 10, 2015 at 11:02 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Excuse me? People are telling you that you are too obsessed and so that you should take a break? Take a break from them πŸ˜€
      You are right, we both will get back in our trainers, we will rock it out, and it will be MAGICAL

      November 11, 2015 at 9:28 am
  • Reply Michele @ paleorunningmomma

    I definitely think asking if they even want to talk about it is the way to go! When I was injured I wanted distractions from it, not to wallow!

    November 11, 2015 at 7:11 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Exactly. Sometimes, we want to explain what we can/can’t do, but other than that, let’s talk about something else!

      November 11, 2015 at 9:23 am
  • Reply Jess @hellotofit

    Loving on these tips right now. Especially offering what you can help them with! Makes it feel like you’re actually interested in helping them cope/get better.

    November 11, 2015 at 2:47 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Exactly. Because all they want is to know that someone cares, but you don’t want them to drown in it!

      November 12, 2015 at 9:59 am
  • Reply jill conyers

    I was sure I had already commented. Anyway. The love and support of friends and family is great but what gets me through an injury is so internal. I can so easily psych myself out to feel blah (which usually involves a lot of complaining) or I can focus on what I can do. That lead me to doing P90X [modified] in a boot. After that I never looked at being injured the same way again. No [or a lot less] blahs. I hope they figure it out soon or maybe by now they already have. xoxo

    November 12, 2015 at 2:59 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Agreed! You have to empower yourself as well!

      November 12, 2015 at 10:01 am
  • Reply Kerri Mcgrail

    I love reading your perspectives on these sorts of issues (maybe because I find myself having similar views-ha!). It does seem like people often don’t know what to say, so they often say something stupid like “the human body just isn’t meant to run marathons”- yes i’ve gotten that one before #facepalm

    November 12, 2015 at 7:28 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I love when people tell me that. Or that it is bad for your knees. Well, so is obesity.

      November 12, 2015 at 10:00 am
  • Reply Pragati // Simple Medicine

    If I was nearby, I’d bring you ice cream and a kitten to cuddle with. After reading this blog for months, I think that would make you smile. And maybe that smile would make you feel a tiny bit better. And if not? Kittens!!!!

    November 13, 2015 at 9:37 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, my dear friend. You know that I would love that!

      November 13, 2015 at 10:33 am
  • Reply Carly @ Fine Fit Day

    I feel horrible for you. It’s just the worst feeling. I was on crutches and then a cane for about 4 weeks in 2010 after the marathon. I didn’t run for nearly three months, then just as I was getting better, I slipped on ice and broke my toe. I totally agree with the whole “do you need help” versus “what do you need help with”. And I always appreciated it when I was having a pity party if the person listening said, “I get it, it sucks,” rather than try to explain why it was really okay. I know you have moments when it seems hopeless and your identity as a runner is slipping away, but please try to remind yourself that you can come back from this and totally become a stronger runner as a result. Remember – scar tissue is thick and strong and that applies to the emotional scar of not being able to do what you love. Hang in there lady!! xoxo

    November 13, 2015 at 10:14 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Oh, Carly, thank you so much! I can’t imagine dealing with what you just described. I may have some physical scar tissue to break down after, but that emotional scar tissue will help keep me strong. Thank you, thank you.

      November 13, 2015 at 10:36 am
  • Reply Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes

    This is great. While I’ve never been injured or sidelined for more than a few weeks at a time, I don’t really know how it feels. Thanks for the tips for talking to others! I’m crossing my fingers that you guys have pinpointed the issue a bit more!! Keep those great recipes coming!

    November 13, 2015 at 4:57 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thank you, Sue. I’m trying to keep the recipes coming! Right now I’m just having fun giving away all the fun things!

      November 15, 2015 at 8:03 am
  • Reply The Sunday Skinny 11/15/15 - Skinny Fitalicious

    […] What Can You Say To An Injured Athlete? – Good advice for supporting someone who is injured. […]

    November 15, 2015 at 4:01 am
  • Reply Janelle @ Run With No Regrets

    Dealing with injury is the WORST. While your loved ones are usually sympathetic, I think most of the time they just don’t know what to say! Great advice!

    October 4, 2017 at 6:12 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Can you blame them?

      October 13, 2017 at 10:39 am
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner

    When I have been sidelined in the past, the hardest part for me was feeling left out of the social aspect of running. Most of my close friends are my runner friends and that was the toughest part

    October 4, 2017 at 6:26 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And you are such a social runner!

      October 13, 2017 at 10:38 am
  • Reply Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    Running injuries really do stink! This is such useful advice!

    October 4, 2017 at 7:13 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      you and I both know it!

      October 13, 2017 at 10:38 am
  • Reply Kim G

    When I was injured last year I would get sad when I would see my friends posts on social media – that was the hardest part for me!

    October 4, 2017 at 7:40 am
  • Reply Lauren

    Great post! I felt pretty isolated when I was injured and didn’t really see my running friends much-would’ve loved someone to reach out to hang out in a non-fitnessy way!

    October 4, 2017 at 7:53 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I totally would have hung out with yoU!

      October 13, 2017 at 10:38 am
  • Reply Carla

    Sharing but had to share here first how much your words resonate with me. I wasn’t even competing but, when I hurt my back years ago, during my hiatus I didn’t know what I wanted from people. I couldn’t have captured the way you do what I needed. I was out of commission for close to six months and I was not my best self πŸ™‚

    October 4, 2017 at 7:55 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Well, when you don’t feel like yourself, how can you expect to act like yourself!

      October 13, 2017 at 10:37 am
  • Reply Sandra D Laflamme

    Dealing with an injury is the worst especially if it gets in the way of planned goal. I always like to go out and do something fun with friends to keep my mind off it. Love your tips!

    October 4, 2017 at 8:50 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think I am going to go out for a manicure!

      October 13, 2017 at 10:36 am
  • Reply Laura

    Ohmygosh, I LOVE this! Starting by asking if they want to talk about it is brilliant. I admit I am often guilty of the, how are you feeling? question… such great tips, my friend!

    October 4, 2017 at 10:07 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think we all are–we just need some other better options!

      October 13, 2017 at 10:36 am
  • Reply Lora @ Crazy Running Girl

    Great advice!! Injuries are the absolute worse, ugh.

    October 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm
  • Reply Nicci Randall

    Great advice! I like how it can be applied to other things as well….when someone is feeling down about other parts of life. So helpful!

    October 4, 2017 at 5:44 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hey, injury is injury!

      October 13, 2017 at 10:35 am
  • Reply Coco

    Great points. I’d always accept offers of chocolate or homemade cookies to lift my spirits!

    October 4, 2017 at 9:03 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’ll take some right now!

      October 13, 2017 at 10:34 am
  • Reply amanda -runtothefinish

    great points!! I think we all need help finding the right words and I couldn’t agree more about getting specific, with any friend in need volunteering to do something is so much better than asking them what you can do.

    October 10, 2017 at 9:09 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Because you know that otherwise, we are going to say oh, we are fine!

      October 13, 2017 at 10:34 am
  • Reply Becca | Rabbit Food Runner

    These are fantastic questions! Thanks for sharing

    October 10, 2017 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply AmyC

    I’ve always been “a people will tell me what they want/need,” but after reading this I realize that sometimes we have to just say, Let me…thanks for the great tips!

    October 10, 2017 at 6:41 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We runners are proud people–we don’t liek to ask for things! Even just saying, Let me grab some things from the drugstore can help!

      October 13, 2017 at 10:33 am

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