Sports & Gaming

Navigating Injury

Joan Benoit Samuelson

Lesson time 07:55 min

Joan teaches her personal method for navigating injury, shares stories of her own injuries, and proposes ways to continue advancing as a runner despite injury through a cross-training program.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Knowing Your Own Body - The Silver Lining - Recalibrate, Reload, Start Again


[MUSIC PLAYING] - So the holistic approach to recovery from an injury is knowing what you can do and knowing what you are willing to do and want to do. I mean, there's a whole protocol and several protocols of coming back from injuries. You have to listen to your body and see how far you can push it, and when you have to say, enough of the pushing, and it's just about rest. And it's a waiting game, oftentimes. The mind is part of the body, but the body is part of the mind, too, and it's a constant tug of war, especially when it comes to recovering from injuries. I think it's a love-hate relationship with injury. I think that if you overtrain and are going after a goal, and wanna focus on that goal, and know in your head what you think you need to do to get that goal, you're playing with fire when it comes to playing with injury issues. And I'm one to push it as far as I can, hoping to avoid injury, but sometimes, stepping over that line and getting injured. And it's a really fine line. [MUSIC PLAYING] Back when I was training for the Olympics in '84, I was testing myself every day, every long run, trying to make my long runs faster and faster. And unfortunately, I pushed it a little too far. And I literally felt something unravel on the outside of my right leg, and it felt like a spring had unloaded, and I knew I was in trouble. So I panicked a bit and I didn't know what to do. Then, I went out to Oregon and I saw a surgeon out there who hesitated to do surgery and wanted to give me an anti-inflammatory. And I didn't think it was an inflammation problem. I thought it was a structural problem because of the feeling of that spring unloading. So how do you tell a world-renowned physician, surgeon, that he was misdiagnosing the issue? It wasn't an inflammation. It was a structural issue. And that's why I keep telling athletes, you know your body better than anybody else. Listen to your body. So finally, he opted for the arthroscopic procedure, and this was two weeks before the trials. And I-- I went through with the surgery. It was ambulatory day surgery. And I told him before the surgery, I said, if you get in there and it's a major problem, don't wake me up to tell me it's a major problem and I need a big time surgery. Just fix the problem. And I woke up in a hospital room, and he walked in shortly thereafter. And he said, are you surprised to be here? And I said, yes. I guess you found more than we both had bargained for. And he said, well, not exactly. He said, your reputation preceded you, and I knew if I discharged you today, you'd go out and try to run on it tonight, so I'm keeping you here for 24 hours. That was the best thing he could have done because it kept me at bay and I was able to bounce back. Now, the moral of that story is with injuries, you need to be very careful because you can develop compensatory issues. So by not trusting my knee after that surgery, not believing tha...

About the Instructor

Winner of the very first women’s Olympic marathon, Joan Benoit Samuelson has spent her life breaking records and paving the way for female runners around the world. Now she’s teaching her personal philosophy and approach to running. Whether you’re an experienced runner or have been thinking about getting started, you’ll learn how to get motivated, set goals, and achieve victory in running and in life.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Joan Benoit Samuelson

Long-distance legend Joan Benoit Samuelson teaches her personal approach to running so you can go further in running and in life.

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