Although my last competition lift ended with a successful attempt, my main goal of staying injury free was not achieved. Health and the word “healthy” are relative and seemingly ever-changing. The demands of life are constantly in-flux, so then should our approach to health and overall wellness.
Understanding the Continuum of Health
The Continuum of Health is an interesting concept that resonated with me immediately upon learning about it. The versatility and control that the concept can give you over your health helps add confidence. It creates a mindset of consistency and repetition which can lead to an overall lifestyle change and a true feeling of resiliency. Good work leads to “points” towards our health. When circumstances aren’t as ideal, there will be enough health built out in our continuum to sustain until we can begin to build up our reserves again.
Banking Good Health Points
Let’s face it, we never know when our “reserves” of good health will be called on. We must always be prepared. If we continue to bank good health points, when the time comes we can be ready to respond to help our body heal in the right way.
The aforementioned injury has caused me some crazy ass pains, literally. As an athlete you learn to conceal the pain. As terrible as things may have gotten with my most recent injury, there have been many learning lessons along the way. At this point in life, it is my choice to compete. I appreciate the feedback that it provides for me as an athlete and most importantly as a coach. There is no way to truly coach others on how to cultivate a competition mindset if you have no recent experience with doing it. We understand and accept the risk of injury when we enter the competition arena. Each injury as frustrating as it is gives us an opportunity to truly put our resiliency to the test. There is no worse feeling for an athlete than when their body fails them.
Know your Injuries
Knowing that injuries are generally a culmination of many years of abuse and damage that our bodies sustain playing competitive athletics should give us the mindset that patience is key. It is a process to work through years of trauma and form new relationships with movement. This process MUST be respected in order to continue to give us a chance to compete as we get older. I made the choice many years ago that I was committed to continuing to challenge my mind and my body on the competition floor. Within those challenges, I committed to working through any setbacks I encounter and learning from my mistakes. It’s never a mistake if you can learn from it. As we get older, although competition is less important, we can use the threat of it to drive us and keep us productive in our training and personal lives.
7 Lessons the Hard Way
Learning comes in all forms, in my case, these 7 lessons were taught to me the hard way as I recovered from injury and setbacks:
Stay positive – This will be extremely hard at times but it’s a must. The mind heals the body and it can’t do that filled with negative thoughts. Thoughts inevitably become actions. FIND ANYTHING TO BE POSITIVE ABOUT!
Trust the systems that you have in place – Mobility, Movement, and Mental Training – You get what you prepare for. We can’t prevent injuries but we can control our preparation and response if/when injuries and setbacks occur
Always train to stay healthy and fit for life – Once our formal competition days are over, no one wants to live as a “crippled has been”. Create sustainable training practices that will allow you to transition seamlessly between competition prep and maintenance/ off-season training.
Push the limits but focus on understanding your body – Focus on mind/body connection
Honor the times when we may have pushed a little too far – Although we want to keep moving, we also need to give our bodies time to rest and recover. ADEQUATE SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL!!
Retrace your steps so that you can learn from the mistakes you made before – As you recover from injury/setback and ramp up training, “revisit the crime scene” mentally and physically. Visualize how the injury/setback occurred and visualize yourself conquering the task this time. Physically re-create the scenario/lift if you are able to.
Proceed with confidence because you know the work that needs to be done – Injury/setback or not, none of us are strangers to hard work. There’s only one choice. You have to get up and fight for yourself.
The work never stops, but the pain gets better, it always gets better! Your movements get better and you learn from your mistakes. Always stronger! Mistakes are not mistakes if you learn from them. That’s what mobility, movement, and mental training is all about! Peace and Blessings!