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By Rachel Jastrebsky
Professional Triathlete and Ph.D. Candidat
I often tell myself and other athletes that to truly excel in your sport, you need to embrace every aspect. Sometimes that means reveling in a great workout/race, but sometimes it means overcoming a rough day, or accepting the need to be patient and take a step back. I am now recovering from a successful repair of my hip labrum and want to share parts of my journey back.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan. I had big goals for the year, but after learning I needed surgery for a large labral tear and stress fracture in my hip, I knew I would have to be patient if I wanted to heal properly and continue to succeed in my sport, triathlon.
I spent extensive time reading about my injury before I went to surgery. It is important to have an understanding of the injury. Next I had to select a medical professional who I could trust. Finding a doctor who had experience in the field of my injury and has worked with athletes is exactly what I needed.
Also, be sure both your doctor and physical therapist understand the goals you have for after surgery. For me, that was to recover and return to competing at a high level.
Aside from the medical team, it is important to have excellent support from your family, friends and coach. Having a team that balances being supportive, but also has the ability to push you is ideal. There is a fine line during recovery between holding back so you don’t aggravate the injury, and pushing yourself in your therapy. It is essential that you are able to uphold a positive outlook while injured with the understanding that time off can make you stronger and more motivated in the long run.
Taking care of myself in every way possible has been critical to my recovery. That means resting when rest is needed, pushing during therapy when called for, and maintaining proper nourishment. Make sure to stay positive and not give up!
It is tempting to fall into a bad diet when you’re not training, but maintaining a balanced diet helps reduce inflammation and repair the body. While beet juice has been praised for its effectiveness at improving athletic performance, it is also great for recovery and I have been drinking it often, despite my current very low training load. Beet juice helps deliver oxygen efficiently to the muscles, but it also lowers blood pressure, eliminates toxins, has lots of antioxidants, boosts the immune system and is anti-inflammatory. I have not only focused on rest and physical therapy but also healing my body from the inside out through a balanced diet including Beet Performer, a one hundred percent natural, convenient, and great tasting beet juice.
Using these tips for dealing with injury I am confident that my break from training and competing will leave me refreshed and excited to take on some challenging races as soon as I can get back out there!
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RACHEL JASTREBSKY is a professional triathlete, coach, and PhD candidate at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA specializing in marine biology, physiology and biomechanics.