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Since I’ve increased my activities this year, I have also proportionally increased the number of injuries. In fact this summer, I am racking up the boo-boos on an almost daily basis now. I just can’t seem to avoid getting hurt. I’ve heard quite a bit of advice when I share my mishaps with others. They range from “Be careful” to “STOP IT!!” And then a wise friend said, “Please pay attention to the signs”. So I’ve decided to do just that. Here’s what I believe I’m being told.

Risk it.

Every injury I have received lately has been trying something new. There is something to be said for making NEW errors. Babies learn to walk by falling forward onto their knees or on their butts and quite often they end up in tears. No one ever tells them “watch out!” or “stop trying” Instead we egg them on and celebrate each wobbly step in any direction. Sure you could focus on the fact that I did something terribly wrong that had me now sitting on ice for hours at a time. And you could even laugh – I, too, find my follies quite funny. The truth is that with every error, I am growing adventuresome and more courageous.

Follow Your Instinct

I had already tweaked something running down the descent at the start of this 5K. So when I was nearing the end, every fiber of my being screamed at me to walk up that incline. Of course, I ignored my inner voice and I paid dearly for that one. Very often, we can sense when something is about to go awry. I must trust my intuition. It is rarely wrong.

Learn from it.

I am positive that I never want to fly over an embankment on my trike near a river ever again. So maybe next time (yes next time) I’ll attempt an incline with less of a grading, maybe I’ll use my brake differently, or maybe I’ll go slower (this one is less likely…lol!). The point is I’m greater for having had the experience and will appreciate the fact that I deliberately gave it my all.

Risk it again.

I just can’t quit because I got hurt or because things didn’t turn out the way I’d imagined it would. Sure it hurt like the dickens, but pain sends the message that I gave something, some effort –some emotion. It shows that I am still alive. And as long as I am, I have a responsibility to try again, albeit differently, armed with new knowledge. How else do I conquer a fear? How do I achieve success at anything if not to take another stab at it? And another. And another. I’ve watched people close themselves off because they fear making another wrong choice, or they don’t want to risk being hurt again. Closing myself off guarantees atrophy and premature death. I must will myself to give it another go.

Healing takes time.

The cracked elbow I got from my virgin cross country skiing foray took twelve loooong weeks to recover. I did not hurry back to the mountain after that one. I realized that I could not properly heal if I kept reinjuring the same spot. Beating myself up for falling was not the answer. I accepted that I’d been through a serious hurt. Rehabbing and caring for myself was the way back to good physical, mental and emotional health.

SO I’m not going to stop trying new things, but I am going to be more aware of the lessons all around me as I embark on my new exploits and bandage inevitable wounds. You might consider doing the same.

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6 thoughts on “Injury Lessons

  1. While I haven’t been physically there for all of your treks and journeys, I do remember what it was like being there in attempts to build that foundation.You and I have reminisced about that on more than one occasion. It can be a fine line to walk when you know you should be pushing just a “bit” more and realizing you pushed a “bit” too far. Sometimes it seems the better we know our body, the more our body likes to surprise us with a new challenge (usually in the form of an injury!) If I could continue to offer any nugget of wisdom, there is one thing I see more often than not with my clients: some activities just don’t mesh with people. I have runners who truly have ZERO business running but they won’t stop. So the injuries mount up. I have yoga fanatics with bodies that just don’t bend and twist appropriately who keep tweaking themselves. Ultimately, you have a couple of roads to take. Either make every attempt to perfect the injury-riddled activity so you can be less injured, or find the activity that accomplishes the “goal” without beating the life out of you. Recovery, while sobering and sometimes necessary can really impede the road to progress!! Love you!!

  2. The name of your blog says it all. Born for greatness. You don’t let anything stop you. However, I also like what your training guru Jason says, for I know you want your vessel to stay in good shape for years to come.

  3. What is it they say about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and starting all over again? Yeah, I think you got that one covered!

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