Learning from an injury - From student Jeska Pike

Jeska is a British Action Academy Student who has completed Phase III of the Warrior Masterclass, B.L.A.S.T stunt training and our Gun Rush course. Jeska has always had a fantastic attitude towards the courses, even whilst struggling with an injury.

Jeska has written about her experiences in the hopes of offering some advice and hope to those in a similar situation. It's a great, inspiring and funny read! 

Learning from an injury - Jeska Pike

I’ve been identified as someone with an above average activity level. Within the first couple of months of 2018, I started ballroom dancing, signed up to five half marathons, two duathlons and a tough mudder. You know, just to fill in the gaps between pursuing and growing a performance career, a forty hour work week and publicity assisting part-time.

Oh and believe it or not, I have a social life. A pretty active one at that. This year, I was going to be unstoppable!

And so I thought I was. Two days after the Hackney Half Marathon in May, I had just finished a CrossFit training session with a work colleague and decided to finish it off with some treadmill sprints while he dashed off to work.

A searing burn up my calf mid-sprint soon revealed that I’d managed to pull my Achilles and caused a little more strain and tear than intended. However, day one of my first screen combat course with the British Action Academy was the following day and I couldn’t miss that, so I chose to stop running for the meantime and ignore it for a while, you know until it got so bad that I couldn’t walk a month later...

Living with an injury is like having a child-possessed. This gnawing demon that mutates, feeds on your psyche and keeps you guessing as to when and how it’s going to strike next. Over the months I’ve nurtured it, nursed it, tried to negotiate with it, pleaded with and discarded it.

Sometimes you just don’t know what else to do. It’s like a part of yourself that you don’t understand. Something so foreign, yet so much a part of you; with a thirst you don’t know how to quell.

I also have an above average level of optimism by most standards.

Although optimism can prevent one from jumping off the nearest rooftop, it can also be detrimental to the recovery of an injury, because as soon as it starts to feel a fraction better, the eternal optimist throws all caution to the wind and starts trying to rally drive before the training wheels come off.

Here are a couple of lessons I’ve learned from my demonic little friend.

Be Grateful

Believe it or not, any form of suffering or injury can give rise to gratitude if one allows it to. Discomfort has a way of putting things into perspective. Yes, an Achilles injury can typically take months to heal and is practically impossible to totally rest, but in the greater scheme of things, it will heal, likely stronger than before and won’t cause me any long term damage. I will be able to run again.

I will be able to box jump and ballroom dance and run the half marathons I’ve missed and be a kickass BAA advanced screen combatant. That’s a lot to be grateful for. It could be so much worse. That’s something to be grateful for. Think about all the things I CAN do. I may not be able to walk or run, but I can swim and lift weights and box and lift a weapon.

Lesson: As soon as one tends to focus on and be grateful for the ‘can-dos,’ and work with the obstacles, that’s when things begin to shift.

Be Patient. I Said: BE. PATIENT.

Still working on this one “Do as I say, not as I do.” But what I can say is this: Pain, in whatever form, will take the time that it needs to heal.

Lesson: As soon as one finds acceptance and realises that some things take time, regardless of the emotion one attaches to them, the sooner one can stop sabotaging the process and start to enjoy, or at the very least, make the most of the journey.

It's okay to have a meltdown

Have you ever heard the expressions “It’s okay to not be okay?” “Even heroes have a right to bleed?” They’re overused because they’re true.

Lesson: One is allowed to let stuff to get to him/her sometimes. It’s not a weakness. I cried alone one night and pleaded on my bedroom floor. I slept the night on the floor with my leg propped up against the wall in the hope that the change in circulation would magically heal it over night (spoiler alert, it didn’t). And that’s okay.

The next day, I went for an arms-only swim and felt a whole lot better. One can still be positive and strong and full of life and ask for help sometimes. Or have a good cry. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

Alcohol temporarily alleviates pain

Temporarily.

Lesson: Drink Responsibly 

Never judge a book by its cover

“Be a duck, remain calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath.” - Michael Caine

Over the years, I’ve noticed that things are less and less as they appear to be. In this prevalent age of social media, we see top wellness gurus, personalities, actors and even doctors who have suffered anxiety, eating disorders, mental disorders or autoimmune and long term diseases that may not be visible to the human eye. Suffering and discomfort come in many different forms.

Lesson: So before you judge someone for sitting in the disabled seat on the tube, give them the benefit of the doubt!

It’s been six months of being injured and no, it seems that I am not invincible, but 2018 has probably been one of the best years of my life, regardless. I have achieved more in the past six months personally and professionally than probably any other year.

I’ve undergone three phases of the BAA's intensive screen combatant action training (which admittedly hasn’t done many favours to the recovery process), been featured in several episodes of one of the top TV shows in the UK, put my action skills to the test as a spy in upcoming short film ‘Minute Man,’ created and produced my own one-man theatre show, and recently completed the BAA's firearms for film course, so am basically ready for the next Bourne film.

I’m not out of the water yet, but there’s every possibility that 2019 could be the year to be unstoppable!

The final lesson: Be grateful constantly, patiently count the ‘can-dos’ and if all else fails, have a glass of wine.

 

 

 

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Created by Jeska Pike on 6 Feb 2019

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