It’s taken me four days to acknowledge my situation enough to write about it.
Injury isn’t easy for anyone to accept. As an athlete in preparation for scheduled races, being side-lined in any way causes frustration on at least two levels. I want to exercise because it’s a big part of my physical and mental health. Also, I’m not moving forward as planned or as desired. Put another way, I’m not meeting my expectations. Anyone who has done relationship work may recognise the keyword—expectations—as a major hindrance to conversation and connection. It is equally destructive in athletics.
First, what did I do? I landed a bit wrong while running. It wasn’t anything dramatic, heck, it was hardly anything. The problem is that it came during a rather intense period of training when the stress level in the tissues had been turned up. Had this happened at the end of a recovery week I might only have felt a bit sore for a few minutes but nothing more. In this case, however, the body couldn’t cope, ligaments and tendons were pushed beyond their functional range of motion, and microtears developed; in other words, a sprain.
Throughout my entire life, connective tissues have always been the weakest link in my body. When I judge my collective workload solely by cardiorespiratory metrics (something that, in me, develops more quickly than soft-tissues) I ask too much of my body as a whole. Unfortunately, I’m stubborn and have to be repeatedly reminded of this fact.
The underlying question is: how do I deal with what currently looks like a setback?
Some people ask what the lesson to be learned is, as if everything happens for a reason. I see it a bit differently since I don’t believe that things “happen for a reason”. Things just happen. But it’s how I respond to these events that’s really interesting. What stokes my fire is listening to the subtle fluctuations in life: what I am I actually feeling, how do I feel about those feelings, am I grasping at them or trying to avoid them, have I seen anything like this before, how do I truly want to relate to the situation, are there patterns that undermine who I want to be, can I take responsibility at least in some small fashion in a healthy direction, who can I talk with in order to avoid being myopic?
All these pieces may sound like a lot, but they are all based on one simple thing—just breathe. Breathe in, and once that happens, breathe out. This is my own invitation to “Show Up in Every Moment”. Inhalation and exhalation only take place in the current moment. Showing up for that creates space and energy for me to act instead of reacting.
Anything other than the current moment is a construct, a false pretence. It’s like jumping to conclusions. We humans are very good at creating constructs, which can be a good thing because it helps us plan. But when we believe that our thoughts and images are real, instead of just using them as tools, that’s when we leave the present moment and start getting into trouble.
Here’s an example of my initial questioning. It’s incomplete in duration and in depth because I don’t know of a way to express my kinaesthetic inquiry experience.
· · ·
I feel frustration regarding this injury.
I feel anger that I can’t train as I want.
Healing will happen if I give it time.
How much time?
It’s not up to my desired timeline. It’s up to the body.
How can I support the body?
I feel concern and anxiety that I won’t be ready for my races.
Yes, for sure. I’ll be as ready as possible. Pushing harder now won’t help.
Rest. Sleep. Eat properly.
Evaluate and take appropriate action.
· · ·
Inquiry to ‘Be Here Now’ is a bit like taking the red pill… you can’t go back. But would you really want to?
“You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I’m offering is the truth.”
~Morpheus, The Matrix
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