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Keeping Faith When You're Injured

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Keeping the Faith

Several people I care about are currently battling injury, which has sidelined their training. It’s frustrating on many levels, and also like being witness to a scientific experiment of innate human responses. It’s been interesting to see how each person handles themselves at a seemingly determined “low point.” Oftentimes the injured has a large influx of advice pouring in, and sometimes all I think you need is some time alone, being quiet. You can get pulled in so many directions; someone you’re seeking help from can  just be an excellent communicator, and you feel drawn to them, so you believe in what they’re saying even if it’s not exactly what’s right or what you need. I operate on senses, emotions, believing  in the science of everything as secondary to self-awareness.

So, this is a contemplation on keeping the faith. How can I be there for my friends? How can they be there for themselves? In the book, I AM: The Power of Discovering Who You Really Are (2010), self-empowerment expert and author, Howard Falco says that “Challenges are a test to make us stronger, to realize we can overcome…any time there’s a traumatic event, the first thing that gets attacked is the sense of identity. [For athletes] it’s so tied to their physical being that it can threaten all their dreams.”

Falco instills that if you, as an athlete have become injured, the first thing you need to do is accept it. It’s like a 10-step program. You must accept that you are sidelined, and that it will take time, and you need to keep faith that you will overcome. “The time frame of healing is impacted by their outlook, their state of mind and their optimism. It can make a huge difference.” Of my friends, some look at it like a blip, others like it’s the end-all. Though each suffer separate injuries, the blippers tend to overcome their hiccups, whereas the end-aller’s lack hope and live in a state of stuck. As a child, my father held two things in refrain: “You can’t always get what you want,” and, “Think positively and positive things will happen.” It’s taken me all my years to finally understand the truth in these.

What some tend to forget is that “athlete” is only one part of their identity. For some, it’s largely who they identify as, but remember “son/daughter,” “career-oriented,” “significant other,” “cook,” “teammate,” or most important to me, “friend.” Those that are part of my life, are many things all at once, and I’ve been privy to how hard they work to live in balance and be more than just an athlete, so it’s sad to see when the function of “athlete” is put on hold, other things are waylaid alongside. Unfortunately, optimism and faith aren’t always easy to possess and practice. “Injuries are marked not just by physical pain but also by anxiety. For elite athletes, there are thoughts of losing…worries about never again being on top. And of course, there is always the lingering fear of being re-injured.” We have to face it – all of this is possible. But, just because something is possible, does not mean you reorganize your life and your thoughts to sustain the creation of possible.

Let’s build on faith – Being injured allows you time to think about what has happened to you, and, most importantly, it offers you the time to build on your mental acuity. “Now is the time to throw away the bad habits you’ve picked up and renew yourself.” Which, might mean that you have to get back to basics. If you’re part of a team, talk about and learn from the mistakes and achievements of your teammates. “Observation is an important part of renewal because seeing their examples can assist in the re-education process.”

“Falco believes a person’s mental outlook — whether negative or positive — can actually manipulate the energy around them to change outcomes. ‘Never underestimate the creative power inside you. When you are aligned with the truth and belief in that power, you’re in the strongest place possible.’”

I know that it sucks to see your friends or teammates progress when you can’t. But, this is not forever, so why treat it like it is? You have no idea what each day will bring to the picture of you as an athlete. It is not contingent on your health, it is a part of your soul, your relationships, who you are as injured, who you are at your best, it’s a whole organism. You can’t make anyone want it more for themselves, but you can tell them, “Hey, I think you’re being an idiot. Remember, ‘This too shall pass?’ Suck it up, you’ll be back at it before long, and you’ll be stronger than ever, and until then, how about you be there for me?” Faith, it’s how we continue to grow at times when the future seems bleak.

*Quoted from Winning-Again, posted on www.oxygenmag.com
-Courtney, C.A.
Noble Chiropractic

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