Assistant Brand Manager Laura was skiing when a crash blew through two tendons in her knee. One month later, COVID-19 hit the US. Recovering from an injury is hard enough on its own, and it’s even harder during a pandemic. We recently sat down with Laura to pick her brain about how COVID-19 has affected her recovery and plans—from a canceled surgery to a scrapped river trip. Read on to see what tips and products she’s found helpful to stay optimistic through this difficult time.
Get Stoked for the Future
One good thing about injuries and COVID-19? They are both temporary. Take advantage of the downtime to rest and reorganize. This kind of lull is the perfect time to go through your gear closet and donate, sell, or (when it’s safe to do so) swap old gear. Get organized for adventures on the horizon by taking stock of what you need to upgrade and what’s on your wishlist. Looking for some inspiration? Consider putting together slideshows from epic trips to share with friends and family.
“A four-season favorite: super-versatile, with protection from the elements. ”
Manage Your Stress
In uncertain and difficult times, it’s ok to have powerful and unpredictable emotions. The good news is that COVID-19 has opened up and necessitated telehealth options including those for physical therapy, doctor visits, and mental health support. Check with your insurance company for options, and keep in mind there are free community resources online. Don’t forget that your friends and family can be the best support system, and are often just a phone call or facetime away. A great way to manage stress is meditation, and there are several apps dedicated to both guided and unguided sessions—I even found some great free guided meditations on youtube!
“The epitome of cozy. How can the antelope yellow not cheer you up??”
Focus on What You Can Do Now
I know I need surgery, but I don’t know when and that’s incredibly frustrating. But instead of focusing my frustrations on what I can’t control, I channel my energy into trip planning. I pour over Google Earth, read hiking and fly fishing guide books, and live vicariously through some awesome adventure books and other reads (so far: Down the Great Unknown, Outlandish, The Emerald Mile, Sixty Meters to Anywhere, She Explores, No Mud No Lotus, Educated). I like finding cheap options for used books at Thriftbooks.
If your normal activities are off the table, don’t forget the low impact activities that you might have normally passed up. If you can’t ride a mountain bike, try a new route on a neighborhood stroll, or give yoga a try.
“The perfect midlayer for a cold day on the mountain or an early morning stroll around the block.”
Celebrate the Small Wins
In February, I couldn’t walk without crutches. Then in March, I transitioned to a bulky full leg brace. Finally, in April, I was able to walk a mile unassisted! It’s wild how a small shift in perspective can adjust your attitude towards gratitude. Sometimes maintaining motivation to continue physical therapy is difficult, but I’m most looking forward to getting back to running, and so I set out my trail running shoes by the door as a reminder of what I’m working towards. Sometimes treating myself to a sweet new piece of gear or apparel helps to put some pep in my step and gets me stoked to get back out there—even if that looks different than I’m used to.
“The perfect fit and sooo so comfy for bouldering, gardening, working from home, doing physical therapy, or curling up with a good book.”
Take a Deep Breath
No, really, stop what you’re doing to inhale and exhale. If you can, go outside and look up at the sky. Maybe contemplate the meaning of the universe or celebrate the simple fact that you’re alive. Pull your thoughts back to the things you can control right now. Remember—there are still good things in the world despite injuries and pandemics.
Happy healing, to both the injured and the world. If you’re interested, check out some of my favorite things that help me relax while we weather the storm.