Preamble – I wrote this short piece for athletes that I work with as a reminder to them to work with their bodies and see the positives even in the most negative of injury situations. I guess that my own little ankle sprain and road roasties from a running fall in South Africa prompted me to some inner thinking time and a reflection on the journey for those with injuries across the spectrum of minor to serious. I was overwhelmed by the level of fatigue noted in my body, and also the degree of healing once I allowed the rest to happen and the additional calorie intake as prompted by appetite. Your body is always working with you, when you let it.
There is a lesson and an opportunity in everything; especially in the events that don’t turn out as expected.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT THIS WEEK?
Doesn’t it feel like a never-ending roller coaster some-days? One that you are more than capable of rising to? and over-coming? and growing from? Life doesn’t throw it at you if you cannot handle it you always get through – but it requires having your eyes open. There is a skill in being able to shift your mindset to what opportunity and growth is here rather than feeling a victim to our circumstances.
This morning I feel frustrated. I ONLY have a sprained ankle and roasties – not much in the greater context of life – but I am feeling fed up of feeling sore, of sleep being sore and of feeling tired. SO – I have a choice here to effectively ruin my Saturday holding it all in, or to just express it and then get on with it.
It is ok to feel emotions, but most of us only sort of feel them and they fester away in a less than good mood for most of the day. We also tend to spill these feelings out in reactions against other people (which isn’t fair on them).
What if you can actually allow the emotions?
If you express the emotions they will have less of a hold on you. It is good to feel and express emotions like anger, sadness, fear, overwhelm, and all across the ‘feelings’ spectrum…. just chose when and how wisely! It is not good to hold them in, they come out in other ways, most often as an attack on others, an attack on ourselves, or through the body in an illness, or niggle like a headache, pain, eating problems, depression, etc.
Start to develop an awareness of how the mind, emotions, and the body interconnect. Then as you master this skill you will be able to unfold things in the other direction; that being when a symptom can be unravelled back to the source. The true source. It is always fascinating to me how when I really dig deep health issues can often be complicated and triggered by deeply held emotions; I see it in clients all the time. We hold the emotions more often than not when we are strong; it is not a weakness.
So lessons learnt? I’ll share a few of mine if you please go and take this example as an increased awareness in your own life.
1. when the body is injured, just as when it is ill, it goes into sickness mode. Inflammation leaves you feeling lethargic, hungry, fed up and unmotivated. Long term injury I would assume leaves the athlete at greater risk of depression so be mindful to place things in your day to keep you positive.
Learning to shift you focus to the good things in life is an acquired skill. You must practice. Feeling a victim doesn’t lead to fast healing. You have to work with and believe in your body. I mean REALLY WORK WITH YOUR BODY TO THE EXTENT OF USING VISUALISATION AS A STRATEGY AND GRATITUDE AS A RESPONSE TO ALL THAT YOUR BODY IS DOING.
2. When injured the natural reaction of the athlete is to eat less…. NO….. your body is working super hard to heal itself and to do this it needs nutrition IE FOOD… the construction material to regenerate and the co-workers to assist.
This means energy, protein (amino acids), vitamins, minerals (these are structural and functional), plant antioxidants, healthy fats like omega 3 to regulate the inflammation process and any specifics that are related to the injury. For example I have a ligament sprain so soft tissue nutrients like gelatin and vitamin C are helpful for me.
3. Work intuitively with your body. You need to honour the nudges for rest or movement, strapping or to allow some movement stimulate strength, inflammation modulation, hot and cold to encourage circulation, manipulation such as osteopathic or chiropractic, physiotherapy or massage, sleep and rest versus get up off your ass and move. etc. What does your intuition say? This is something that no coach or therapist can have as profoundly as your own; so share your thoughts and work together on healing your body. DON’T EXPECT SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT ALL FOR YOU.
4. Healing modalities such as energy remedies (I make my own range of plant and tree remedies for clients and mixed up a blend of oak, scots pine and rose to assist healing), pulsed electromagnetic frequency fields (IMRS 2000 or Bemer etc), aromatherapy (powerful for healing I use Young Living Panaway), herbs (both topical and taken internally), reiki, kinesiology, and so on; use what draws your attention.
5. That there is a difference between an athlete injury and an accident injury – think about it.
6. Belief…… if you are going through a significant injury healing process a little part of you will believe in the power of your body to heal far beyond that of any surgeon or expert. If your body says it is possible, and your mind believes it, then make it happen and don’t give up.
Find the silver linings today and if you are fit and healthy then take a moment and say thanks; not to the powers out there but to the powers within you. That little body and all the things it does every day is a miracle. One that science in truth knows so little about.
I mean think about it; each little cell and molecule knows what to do, how to regenerate and how to respond… simply WOW.
Some silver linings are detailed in my photos.
After my little fall we had some free time and used this to visit Chintsa East soup kitchen; click here to read the story