The Silver Lining Of Injury


An injury is something I have been lucky to avoid for, most of my sporting career. Sure I had the odd niggle that I learned to manage, but I never had anything serious.  

Recently my lucky streak came to an end when it finally happened. Playing five a side football with my team on a Thursday and out of nowhere, the perfect tackle arrived with the not so perfect landing. 

Over onto the ankle, I went and a rather loud "snap" followed. I went down straight away, knowing that this was bad. On the verge of tears, anticipating the pain to come and most importantly not looking at "it". 

You always know its bad when you feel nothing and your instinct tells you not to look. 

Thankfully one of my teammates Luke kept the situation calm, took charge and started to try and mobilise my ankle. It was painful, swollen but there was some movement. 

I hobbled to the side and watched the rest of the game. We won 2-1 to finish 2nd overall over a 12 week season. Not bad. 

Naturally, you would think It was sensible to head off to A&E. Off to the pub I went for my weekly post-game pint of Guinness. 

To make matter worse, I was also moving flat the next day and thought I would be ok. I was only moving next door after all. How naive.

The next morning, it was apparent there was a real problem when I could barely get to the bathroom and with some persuasion, I headed off to A&E. 

The X-Rays showed I had a fracture. On the moon-boot went and here it still is 5 weeks later. 

At first, it did not bother me. I resolved to soldier on and even went to the gym 3 days after the injury took place. Once the adrenaline wore off and it became apparent how bad the injury was and how limited I was going to be. 

All the things I took for granted, like walking up and down stairs, picking things up, standing steadily in a shower and sleeping were suddenly a challenge. 

I became aware of all the things I suddenly couldn't do. At this point, the doubts started to creep in. What if I couldn't play football again? What if I couldn't train my clients anymore? What would I do then? Where would I go? How would I live?

As the days went by, my body started to compensate for the injured ankle and the moon-boot. My back started to hurt, my right hip and knee became painful and everything was awkward. I started getting depressed. 

After a few days of feeling sorry for myself, procrastinating and achieving very little, I started to catch myself when I went into a downward spiral. 

As cheesy as it sounds, It began to dawn on me that this injury was a golden opportunity to understand the physiology and psychology of injury. All the time my clients had been injured or had niggles. I could relate on another level now. I could be more empathetic. I actually understood first hand how annoying the whole process was. 

Drinking too much beer and eating junk food? Yeah, I get it. Excellent solution for temporary depression, stress and being overwhelmed. 

Another interesting thing happened. And this did take some effort to keep at it, but reframing the way I looked at things, helped to perk up my mood too. 

For example, I couldn't train legs at the gym. For those of you that know, training legs is a real pain in the arse (no pun intended) and the effort required to build a decent level of strength is substantial. I felt my legs getting weaker and even carrying weights in my hands was uncomfortable. 

It was time to move back into "meat head training". Upper body only, chest and back etc. It was quite nice to lift some weight and feel strong again. This also got me thinking. What can I actually do off my feet? This made me get creative and use some exercises I have not practised in years.

Going to the gym and exercising really helped my mood and I became more positive. I started to see things in a brighter light and realised that the way I responded to this ankle injury was going to define how positive or negative the experience was. 

Thankfully today, this is my last week or wearing the boot. I have been diagnosed with two torn ligaments and a small fracture. It's not great but could be an awful lot worse. 

I can still walk, train myself, see my clients and do 95% of all the things I took for granted. 

In summary, I wanted to share my story, which has been a long-winded way of saying the following for those of you who are or do get injured.

You are going to have bad days. You are going to feel sorry for yourself. You will feel weak and vulnerable. It can all feel overwhelming and head into a downward spiral of negativity.

However, catch yourself and put things in perspective. How bad is your injury really? What things can you do? They may be slightly harder than before, but you will find a way to do them efficiently. 


Exercise, no matter how minor it is will clear your mind, keep you social and give you momentum in your recovery. Keep up that habit and do what you can. It will pay dividends later. 

Eat healthily when you can as it will speed up your recovery, but don't beat yourself up if you do eat crap. Your mind and body are self-medicating to make yourself feel better in this depressing situation. It is part of the process. 

Whatever injury you have, it's only temporary. You will find a way to adapt, manage and live with it. 


Yours In Health

Patrick Fallis

Founder Of Leaner