I was engaging in one my favorite activities when it happened.
It was the week before my half marathon. I made great time during my 12-mile training run. My average pace per mile was right on track with my race goal. And then my knee went all wibbly-wobbly, clicky-clacky. It is an injury that didn’t leave me in major pain which would have at least brought the clarity of what to do (or not to do) next. But rather it was an annoying niggle that kept me wondering whether or not to race the following weekend.
I saw a chiropractor and a masseuse. I practiced “RICE”–Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. And the day before the race I went out for a test run. Within minutes the wibbly-wobbly, clicky-clacky feeling showed up. I chose to not to run the race the next day out of fear and also practicality of what might happen with 13.1 miles of pounding and pushing as I always do on race day.
So, why the injury? Why now? What caused it? I thought I did everything right. I used my ‘no more than 10% increase’ rule on overall and long mileage. I didn’t run too fast for my fitness level. I was the master of my training plan (So I thought). While I was cross with my injury situation, I soon realized what I was not doing was cross-training. All I was doing was running. I was too one-dimensional.
After a few podiatrist visits and many sessions of physical therapy, my road to recovery involved lifting, spinning, cross-fit-type exercises, warm ups and stretches, none of which I was doing during my entire training program. I know this. I am no stranger to running or racing long distances. And still somehow I had blinders on for what I needed to do for the ultimate success for my goal.
Now you may or may not be a runner. But I am guessing there’s something in your world that resonates with you.
So I ask, where in your life are you walking a “one-dimensional” line? Or maybe its “just this or that” with your life, such as “all I do is work and sleep.” These elements of being all one way or “this or that” are the quicksand foundation of a sustainable way of being or doing. In order to prevent or recover from burnout, boredom or anything less than a fulfilling life, we must take inventory of our situations and walk around “wide awake” in order to choose more powerfully.
Here are some steps that have worked for me. Feel free to try these for yourself:
Answer the following:
1) Where in my life am I too focused on one thing to the detriment of something else?
The point of this question is to be honest with yourself without judging yourself. Just answer the question with no filter.
2) How is this feeling for me?
Understand the impact. Are you bored? Exhausted? Fearful? Stressed out? Where do you feel this physically (are you suffering from an illness, pain or sleeplessness?)
3) How is it serving me?
Believe it or not, there is some good here. Name what is working, keep that lesson or value close by, and blow the rest away.
4) If I don’t want “fill in the blank”, what DO I want?
Make a list of what’s dragging you down or things that you don’t want. Often this is the easy part for people. Spend just enough time here to use it as “data” to fuel the growth of what you DO want. Now right that down too. Examples….
Don’t want: “To feel tired”, “To live in fear”, “To work so many hours a day”
DO want: “To be well-rested, fit and healthy”, “To feel at peace”, “To take control of how I spend my time.” etc.
Instead of camping out in the negative force field of what you don’t want, explore it briefly, then focus only on what you DO want moving forward. Take note of how this DO list feels!! Remember this resonance and steep yourself in it.
5) What are some ideas I can brainstorm and then take action on?
Capture a few ideas that may work for you knowing you have permission to change your mind. Choose at least one action that helps you move in the direction of what you DO want. This includes saying No to things that keep you in the don’t want place. Do the doable here. Set the bar low. You want to gain some traction and momentum for success. You can always add things as your energy for change increases.
6) What does my “self care” practice like?
If you don’t have “self care” on the agenda, it’s a must add. Self care need not be expensive or time-consuming, but it needs to be in the routine and work for you. Self care can take the form of any action that contributes to your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. It can be “free” like meditation, support groups, buddy system, volunteer/barter option or going for a walk. It can be recruited professionals such as a masseuse, trainer, child care help, life coach, or any other service provider that helps meet your goal. Find folks in your world who can serve as a support system for you. When you win, everyone wins. If you are toast, than odds are you cannot contribute in this world in a fulfilling, sustainable way.
7) How is this working for me?
Re-evaluate your choices with some frequency (weekly, monthly, whatever works for you). You can start over at Step 2 and repeat the process. Hopefully you’ll be experiencing some benefits such as “I feel more…(insert “fulfilled”, “energized”, “relieved”, “happy”, etc.). Expand on the service it’s providing, What you don’t and do want, and other actions to keep moving in the direction of your choice. If things are not working, you get to follow these steps again to search for new actions and outcomes.
Here’s to you and choosing your multi-dimensional life!!
Check out our event:
July 14-17th, 2014 – Long Beach Island, NJ:
Perfecting the Vacation Vibration:
Thriving all 52 Weeks of the Year
Have questions, comments or need support? Feel free to reach out to me.