Injury jealousy (Read 102 times)


    My question seems a bit strange. Until 3.5 month ago, I used to run a lot (around 95 km/week, doing competitions). A lot of my free time was about running. I injured myself 3.5 month ago and the way it looks now, I don't see myself running again for another couple of month, which makes me really sad, and I am struggling to cope. The only thing I can do is front crawl with my arms only, atm.

    Recently, my husband has started running around four times a week. Before, he was the typical couch potato and I used to encourage him to be more active. Thus, while in principle I appreciate that he started some kind of movement, I somehow get annoyed that he picked running now when I can't do it, knowing how much I am missing it. He did other sports many years ago, and I wonder why he can't go back to doing these sports, which he enjoys way more, rather than picking up "my" running now, which he doesn't like much.

    At the same time, I question my character. Because honestly, if he runs or not, doesn't change that I can't run. It's not a piece of cake that once it's eaten, it's gone. And I feel that I should be supportive of him. Instead, I feel anger. Like someone waving with something in front of me that I can't have.

    Since I feel ashamed and weird to discuss this with family or friends, I am asking about opinions on this matter anonymously.




      I don't think this is uncommon. Injury messes with our heads as much as it does our bodies (maybe even moreso). I've definitely been envious of strangers I see out running or biking when I've been injured or ill for an extended time. Seeing someone who lives in your house doing what you love when you can't...that's extra insult-added-to-injury.


      Is there any hobby you've thought you might like that would provide a good distraction? Something that can be entirely yours? Are there friends that a lengthy running schedule made it hard to connect with -- maybe even involving some travel? Now you have more opportunity to socialize, perhaps.

      Getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to

      remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.    

           ~ Sarah Kay

      Tachyon chaser

        I have to admit to feeling envious when I see people running and I'm sidelined due to injury! But, I do think running has health benefits that exceed most other forms of sports, namely the cardio exercise. Perhaps this is why your husband is taking up running, even if he does not care much for it! The running may help make him more fit for his other sports. I don't think you should be so possessive of this activity, maybe when you return again to running several months from now you will have something you can do together! In the meantime, remember he is YOUR husband and anything that helps keep him fit is a plus for you too!

        Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul
        You've got to run like an antelope, out of control!


          I understand and have dealt with this too while injured (not because of my spouse, but seeing my running friends continue on while I was sidelined). While I was happy to see them progress, I couldn't help but feel envious. I think that's normal, so don't beat yourself up about it.


          Like Altair suggested, perhaps when you can return to running, you can run some with your husband, I think that would be wonderful!


          The other thing I try to remember when I am injured is that I am still training, whether it be cross training, like your swimming; exercises to try and rehab the injury; or simply resting. It's all part of the process. Try to set and focus on some goals that help you get through this. I hope you are better soon!


            I agree with what the others have said. This is normal. Running releases hormones that benefit our mental health. Now you are missing those. Ever hear of Taper Tantrums? I wish someone had told me about them BEFORE my first marathon! That explained a lot!


            Anyways, you're not getting the psychological benefits of running anymore, which makes all the rest of life harder. It just is what it is.


            Here are some ideas:

            + Find another hobby you enjoy that you can do in the meantime (lifting, cycling, swimming, hiking, stair climbing, geocaching, etc.)

            + Bike along with your husband and enjoy his run. Live vicariously through him. Then, when you are running, you will already have some habit formed together. Maybe this time off from running will allow him to learn his own running rhythm without being influenced by yours. I know I disrupted (ruined?) my son's experience of running due to my overzealousness when he took some interest in running.


            Good luck!

              Sorry to hear you are going through this. Until 2019 I was active in a running and rowing club. For five years now I've tried physical therapy five times, I've had two surgeries, I've been to see two chiropractors, and I've tried massage therapy and nothing helps me get back to any sports. I can't even do traditional low impact exercises like biking, swimming, or yoga, and I can't do any cross training like lifting. At first my reaction to this was hopeful that I would get better, but as the ineffective treatments fail one after the other I become frustrated seeing other friends run, compete, get injured, have surgeries, and recover all within the time I am still injured and even at times disabled. I lost almost all of my friends because I could be happy for them but I couldn't stop being sad being for myself when around them. I broke up with my boyfriend of ten years, not because of the running but because I was going through a hard time that turned my whole life upside down.


              Now that it has been almost five years and I still haven't gotten better, I realize how I needed that time to accept the loss of hope so that I could make room more something new in my life. I moved on with my life assuming I will never get better enough to run. I stopped being sad for myself around old running friends - I could be friends with them again, but I realized I don't have much in common with a lot of them outside running, so I reconnected with friends who don't care about running instead. I found a new boyfriend and I started to do art classes and read more books. I don't really find these things to be a replacement for running and rowing and lifting and for the community that I used to have, but it beats crying on the floor wishing I was dead. I had major depression.


              I think it is so hard when you are injured because you're mourning a part of yourself you have lost, so it's hard to see other people having that thing without being sad for yourself. It's also very hard to prepare yourself for how long it will take when healing timelines are often so uncertain. I think the problem is not that you think your husband is doing this to rub it in for you, but that you're still sad for yourself. If you really can't run for 8 more weeks, what would you do? Would you want want start with a good long cry? I think that's a really good place to start. It means you are confronting whatever denial you might be harboring about your recovery lasting that much longer. Then, assuming you really can't run for 8 more weeks, what will you do instead? How will you live your life that isn't wallowing in misery?


              Wish you the best in your recovery and finding something to keep you busy.


              Also, I think it's not such a bad thing to be honest with your husband that you are sad for yourself whenever you see him running. It is better to say that at a time when you are feeling calm than have it boil out at a time that you are angry and it sounds like you are mad at him for running. Think about whether you have something to ask of him that would help you. To hear every detail of his run? To not hear about his run? Sometimes there is nothing loved ones can do to help one way or the other, in which case it is okay to say you just want him to know what you are going through.