It seems that it can be a bit of a struggle coming up with things to say to injured runner friends. I have never been one to police what people’s words, but this past week, I received some truly mind-boggling comments from otherwise well-meaning folk. Providing a list of things NOT to say wasn’t in keeping with my positive nature, so here’s some suggestions for things that might really brighten your injured runner friend’s day.
Looking for things to say to injured runner friends? Here are just a few of the statements that would really put a smile on my face.
“You look great.”
Injury means losing a major part of our fitness, and chances are, it’s written all over our bodies. Injured runners may exhibit a noticeable weight gain or loss. Additionally, their injured limbs will most likely show significant atrophy or wasting. Maybe there are surgical scars or wounds. The point is, injury can be a time of great self-consciousness, and it can be buoying to receive a heartfelt compliment.
“How’s physical therapy going?”
Since your injured runner friend certainly isn’t hitting any new PRs, it might be nice to ask about PT. Physical therapy is difficult, emotional, and often absolutely draining. To anyone but the client, it’s probably not very interesting, but it’s certainly
“Can I join you at the gym?”
If your friend is rehabbing, but unable to run, an offer to join in a workout session would be so appreciated. Runners who are out of the game can miss out on so much socialization and miss fitness with their friends. I can almost guarantee they would love to have someone with whom to chat while they lift weights, stretch or take on the elliptical. It’s not the same as those long run conversations, but it would be welcome all the same.
“Let’s go do this [insert non-running activity]!”
Injury is an isolating experience and your injured runner friend could probably greatly benefit from some distraction. It may be difficult for her to ask due to anxiety, depression, or countless other residual feelings, so you broaching the topic would be a kindness. Suggest takeout and a movie rental on the couch, or coffee or cocktails at a fun restaurant. If your friend is up to it, you can even offer a movie or craft outing. No matter what, your friend will appreciate being included.
“I’m proud of you.”
Everyone appreciates the boost of a “job well done”, so tell your friend you’re proud of her hard work. Coming back from injury is hard, lonely, somtimes even unrewarding, work, and sometimes one just needs to hear that they are doing a great job. Hearing it from someone loved and trusted is even better.
As an injured runner, it’s been difficult to find a place in my new normal. I am incredibly lucky to have such supportive friends and family who have been amazing through this time, but it’s definitely been tough.
What encouragement do you offer to your injured runner friends when they are down and out?
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