Did you do a double-take on the title of this post? I know it sounds crazy, but there are benefits to injuries. Stick with me here…
Recently, at the National Hard Courts Championships, I pulled a calf muscle and had to retire during my match. In the scheme of things, this is certainly a minor injury. Interestingly, though, players came up to me and asked how long the injury would set me back. It’s like everyone viewed the injury as a negative. I looked at it differently, though.
Injuries are not a set back. They are part of an overall forward movement. If you train and compete hard, it’s inevitable that you will face some injuries. I don’t know a single person that competes in any sport at a high level that hasn’t been injured. In fact, it’s not whether you get injured, but when and how often.
Injuries are your body’s way of telling you that something is breaking down and needs more strengthening, more flexibility, and more of your attention. They can also be a warning that you need to examine your biomechanics, nutrition, sleep, or a number of other related issues. The important thing to remember, though, is that they are part of your overall information gathering system. You simply need to be a good student and a good listener to these signals.
I have learned through the years that when we learn to focus on the process, instead of entirely looking at results, we may fall on our face, but we will get right back up and move through it. Consequently, though, when we focus solely on results, we often land on our butts and give up completely.
It’s rather fitting that Move Through It is Body Helix’s tagline, don’t you think? (Like how I worked that in there? .)
Because injuries are part of the overall mental endurance equation, ask yourself these three things:
- Am I listening carefully to my body?
- Am I thoughtfully making the necessary adjustments and evolving my process?
- Am I asking myself how this gives me an advantage by making me mentally stronger?
We can allow our challenges to define us and tear us apart or we can use these crucial moments to re-wire our brain to become our best. We need challenges, struggles and sometimes even catastrophes to make quantum shifts. Through these experiences, we feel, we learn, we grow.
Join me for my next post where I cover the three ways we can rewrite our own story so that we can actually look forward to the inevitable challenges with excitement and anticipation.
Chairman, Body Helix
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