5 Things You Just Don’t Say to an Injured Runner

This week’s Friday 5 was crowdsourced among the Salty Bloggers!

Running healthy is a top priority around here, but nonetheless we all know what it’s like to be on the injured list.  I’m willing to bet a few of you know what it’s like as well.  The physical pain of the injury itself is often nothing compared to the frustration of not being able to run and the anxiety about the healing process.

That said, doesn’t it seem like everyone has an opinion about your injury?  Everyone except the doctor, that is, who wants to refer you to a different doctor (sigh).  We know everyone means well when they respond to the news that you’re injured, but often their responses just make you feel worse.

If only we could get the entire world to read Salty Running (please like us and share this on Facebook!) we could teach everyone 5 Things You Just Don’t Say to an Injured Runner.  Follow the jump to read them!

1. “Maybe you shouldn’t have ______.” This is on Oregano’s most-hated list.  Let’s think of some things we’ve heard to fill in this blank:

  • Maybe you shouldn’t have run so hard during your workouts.
  • Maybe you shouldn’t have that crazy form.
  • Maybe you shouldn’t have done so many miles in a week.
  • Maybe you shouldn’t have given that injury to yourself and made yourself miserable for six weeks, you moron.  Of course it’s your fault. It’s ALL. YOUR. FAULT.
You’re right. My toenails have never looked better. Thank you, injury! Flickr Commons Image by Susan Sharpless Smith

2.  “You should have been foam rolling/stretching it/icing it/chanting to magic crystals.”  Nah. Why waste my time doing something completely easy to avoid limping around in pain, missing my goal race and hating life?  I can’t stand the faux doctors in the crowd who like to help you out with preventative medicine after the fact.

3. “Well now you have time to take up a new hobby.” Sure. What a great idea! I hear Civil War reenacting really gives a good endorphin dump.  The funny part is that someone actually said this to Juniper.  Actually.  Oh, and in the same vein, someone told Coriander she needed a break from running anyway!  Her response: ” I am taking a break because I’m injured. Duh. (grumblegrumblegrumble)”

4. “Oh, I had the same injury a long time ago and it took two years to heal/I had to have surgery/I’ve never run the same again/GIVE UP ALL HOPE” Thank you! Thank you for confirming my terrifying suspicion that I’ll never race again, ya jerk!  Not to minimize anyone’s experience of course, certainly debilitating injury happens.  But there’s no reason to go torrentially downpouring on someone’s hope parade just because your own experience wasn’t positive.

5. “I had the best tempo run today–it was gorgeous outside and a bird landed on my finger and we sang arias together while I nailed my 5:10 pace!  Oh, and you should see the new guy who showed up to the group, wow is he H-O-T hot!  And afterward we all went out for a special team brunch! We would have invited you but we know you’re not running…” 

How about you, Salties? What do you hate hearing when you’re on the injured list?  Or worse, have you ever found your foot in your mouth when talking to an injured friend?

Cinnamon made Salty Running, takes lots of pictures and drinks lots of coffee. By day she's a camera assistant for films and tv in New York, and by night she's on a quest for zen in the 10k. Her writing is a mix of satirical humor, finding wholeness as an average runner, cheering for runners at all paces and more.

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1 comment

  1. From a “friend” when I was miserable with a stress fracture & had to wear a boot cast for 6 weeks: “If you’re *that* upset about not being able to run, maybe you need a therapist?” And yup, she was a runner (but had never experienced a sidelining injury before).