An Iron Man's Open Letter To Injury.
ON THE PATH TO RECOVERY WITH POSITIVITY AND PASSION
Imagine sitting on a hill overlooking the highway with traffic speeding by below. One by one, you're watching each pass by. All of a sudden, one car catches your eye, and you're caught, locked on to its features, style, and color. As you stay focused on that one car, all other thoughts keep going by.
A few weeks ago, I was involved in a serious cycling accident. The accident landed me in the hospital with fractured ribs, abrasions, and a concussion. When the doctor asked if I remembered what happened, my reply was no - I couldn't remember a thing. It's a scary place to be.
Perhaps the hardest part is I'm in the middle of my race season, and I'm injured. What is it that I do now? I can't train. I certainly can't participate. It's upsetting, but I'll be taking a different approach. I could focus on thoughts like "why me?" A lousy thought cycle that undoubtedly does more harm than good.
PUTTING IT ALL IN PERSPECTIVE
As I pondered these questions, I took a step back and realized that my injuries could be much worse, and I am fortunate. My focus now is all about recovery: getting myself healthy, both physically and mentally. I choose to move forward and start the recovery process rather than worry about all of the challenges ahead.
I don’t have a timeline – I am simply going to apply the same vigor and intensity towards my recovery as I put towards my training. I am ready for this – I know recovery is an ever changing road and I will need to be dynamic – allowing myself to adjust and change to my environment and future developments.
It becomes easy to fold to negativity, letting the injuries win and doubting the ability to recover. They say 90% of life is showing up and I agree with that with one caveat: add a positive outlook as well and you’ll be well on your way.
PROGRESS, DETERMINATION, POSITIVITY
You see, I could have easily gotten into my headspace and became bitter, angry and jealous of my friends who are training, participating in triathlons and feeling good. That would be a waste of energy and time. Instead, my focus became more around looking at the sliver lining and seeing that the accident, like other things, is just a temporary setback. In life, things are hardly as good or as bad as we think – life exists in the nuance and how you handle adversity.
My daily mantra now is to move forward, embrace the changes, and watch as my progress in recovery gets better each day. The same concepts I am writing about can be applied in your daily life. Why be so jealous of someone who got a promotion over you, why get into your headspace and say, I cannot be successful, or I cannot do what you do”. That is all negative talk!
DARKEST BEFORE THE DAWN
There is no such thing as “can’t. It is a matter of applying yourself and knowing goals that are set for yourself can be accomplished. Be positive in the light of uncertainty.
It’s not always a smooth path to getting to the path of positivity – often times, darkness sets in, and that’s okay too. That dark place for me, momentarily, was will I ever get back to my fitness level, how much will I lose in the recovery process, and will I ever be able to race without fear of getting into another accident?
The key is in how you handle the dark thoughts and negativity. If you let yourself get overwhelmed by negativity, perspective is lost, the darkness gets even darker, and anxiety takes over. By taking a deep breath, sitting back, and pressing forward I’m now on the right track to a positive recovery.
The cold hard truth is each of us are in control of our thoughts and actions daily. How are you dealing with change and uncertainty in your personal life or job? Take a moment and ask yourself this question; Do I have control over the situation? If you answer yes, then change it. If you do not, let it go by as a thought. We can only chart our own course and control our own attitude and I’m choosing to take control of my recovery and handling it on my terms – and I’m confident that I’ll be back better than ever!