Out Of The Ashes We Rise: The Fire of Injury



I’ll admit it, I push the limits of what my body is capable of quite frequently.  The consequence of my actions:  I sometimes get injured.  I’ve, unknowingly, run an entire ultra with not one but two broken legs.  I’ve played soccer with a concussion, lost teeth to sport, and suffered innumerable muscle and tendon tears.  I’ve been bloodied and stood back up for more.  I was trained to always continue forward.  I understand what it is to accept pain and to move through it.  But what do I do when my body can’t move anymore?  When my norm is relentless forward physical progress and I suddenly must cease, how do I adjust to being, quite literally, broken?

Injury is not a limiter but a building block.  Injury is the time for an athlete to turn thoughts inwards and capitalize on the stillness.  Injury is a time for a specialist to expand total athleticism.  Through ever injury, I’ve followed the same steps:

-Mourning:  a brief pity-party, followed by “well, you knew better!”

-Acceptance: a practical evaluation of injury rehab time and adjustment of expectations.

-Action:  assessment of what is possible and formation of a training plan that capitalizes on the positive.

-Learning:  taking steps to avoid, if possible, the same mistakes again.

Using these methods, I’ve not only overcome every injury I’ve ever had (and there are quite a few with over 2 decades of competitive sporting history), I’ve emerged from the fire, reborn as something better then before.  By accepting injury as not a failure but as an opportunity, I have continued to grown as both an athlete and a human.


-The Phoenix Running



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