Overcoming challenges . . . . .

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It’s not a matter of if we fall, it’s a matter of when. What happens? How do we feel? How does it impact where we are in the moment and where we are going? Does it set us back? Or, does it fuel our purpose and give us a stronger reason to push forward? Do we let it define us, or do we dig deep and find a lesson so that we can move on as a wiser and stronger version of ourselves?

I can honestly admit that I’ve done both! As I sit here and reflect, I started this blog well over two years ago. . . . I wasn’t entirely certain of where it would lead, but I was willing to start by taking one small step at a time and I was committed to figuring it out along the way. Well, that was the story I told myself at the time. It turns out that “along the way” I encountered several challenges and obstacles and I wasn’t exactly graceful and nimble at navigating them to maintain any forward momentum. In fact, I fell down . . . . . . more times than I care to count. I went through the motions and attempted to dust myself off and pick up the pieces, but it seemed to get harder and harder and then there were a few times when it felt like staying down and waiting it all out seemed like the best option available. It didn’t feel like I had anything great to share, so it became easier not to. After all, this blog was something that was optional, it wasn’t a work requirement or assignment and it didn’t have any tangible outcomes or income tied to it, so it was easy to step away from.

Now that I look back, I find one of the most intriguing aspects is that I never took the time to pull the plug on it. I never cancelled the domain, or even went back and deleted the published posts, intro, etc. It’s as if there was something unfinished just waiting for me to get it together . . . . .So, here I am! I’m back to pick it up and figure it out. I’m setting aside all of the doubts and fears that I have that are telling me that it’s easier to let it go than to face all of the questions and uncertainties that arise: What’s next? Where is this going? What purpose will it serve? Why does it matter? I like to have the answers. I like to have it all figured out. I’m not thrilled with uncertainty and I shy away from commitments when I don’t have a clear path mapped out. So, why commit? Why step back into this journey? And, better yet, why now? It surprises me and humbles me to share that I’m not sure, I don’t have the answers. What I do have is a vision . . . I have a vision of sharing my experiences and helping to support others. Life is complicated, plans don’t always go as planned, challenges arise and we can overcome some and others seemingly overcome us. We are given endless opportunities to decide what’s next. So, here is to a renewed commitment to figuring it out along the way! It’s easy to get lost in the challenges and setbacks, it’s painful to pick up and resurrect where we may have left off. But, there is beauty and joy to be found in the process, so I will be looking to embrace it all as I begin to set my goals and define my path . . . . One Step at a Time!

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Starting Over

Starting over isn't easy!  It's painful and it's slow and it can be incredibly frustrating if your focus is on where you were . . . . . and how far you have to go to get back there.  It's a slippery slope that can land you quickly into believing that it isn't  possible and, even if it were, you just don't have the time or energy anymore to really care about it . . . . . Or, maybe you do care about it, just a little bit, but there are other priorities that you need to focus on at the moment, so it's just not going to happen  . . . . at least not anytime soon . . . . . .and then when some of those priorities disappear, they are quickly replaced with others, or at that point, you realize that you aren't quite sure why you wanted to start over . . . . . . it's a lot of work and is it really worth it?!?  Probably not . . . . . . . . . . . . .

As you can tell, I have a bit of experience  with this downward spiral. . . . . . In fact, I'm teetering on the brink of one right now, trying desperately not to begin the slippery descent!!  From the moment that I tripped, I knew something was wrong.  More than that, I had a deep seated feeling that it wasn't going to be a quick fix.  I wanted to be wrong, to be overly cautious in an attempt to avoid being disappointed if recovery took longer than I'd like - which, let's face it, I would prefer not to need any recovery time - but it is turning out to be a much slower and more painful process than I was prepared for.  

Admittedly, I have not always been a compliant patient.  I have powered through more than a few injuries when I should have rested or taken more time to resume full activity.  However, this time I was committed to follow my instructions as they were given - I wasn't going to risk further injury - even if it meant that it would take a while and that my sanity may hang in the balance until I could run again - I was committed to being diligent with my therapy and adhering to my restrictions.  I'm proud to say that I have upheld my commitment.  I've stuck to the recommendations and guidance of my orthopedist and PT.  I guess in some way, I thought that by being a model patient, I would somehow be on the fast track to recovery and healing as a reward for good behavior :)  Alas, that is not the case :(  

When I originally received the diagnosis of a torn ligament, I was told that recovery varies and that it could take anywhere from 8 - 12 weeks to resume running and more powerful physical activity.  Well, I'm at 10 weeks and it's not looking incredibly promising.  It is in the quick reactionary moments or movements that I strain and exacerbate the tear.  It's the reflexive responses like squatting down to pick up something that you dropped, or going to kick off your shoes when you walk in the house.  Little things that that you tend to do without much thought are what have been causing me the greatest amount of pain that is followed by a lingering ache that lets me know that I'm not yet fully recovered.  Since they are reflexive responses, it's hard to prevent them from happening and to give the inflammation some time to calm down and for the tear to fully heal.  It looks like a brace is my next step.  My fingers are crossed that it helps!!!

Given where I'm at and the fact that I really don't have control over the timing or healing, I'm trying to adjust my , so that I don't get swallowed up in the negativity and disappointment of it all.  After all, I can't go back in time and circumvent the fall and I don't have the power to override the time that it is going to take to heal.  So, I'm going to change my response and my perspective.  I'm going to be grateful that in the grand scheme of injuries, this one is pretty mild.  After all, I didn't need surgery and I have been able to maintain a pretty moderate level of activity - with caution of course.  I don't have to use crutches and I can walk and hike and even bike . . . . . So, why must I be so fixated on what I can't do?!?  In part, I think that the longer it takes, the more I fear having to start over.  I've lost a level of conditioning that will be challenging to resume. . . . . . .and I'm sliding into a comfort zone that is going to be difficult to shed.  I've been here before - I like to call it the marshmallow phase :)  I'd much rather sit and drink hot chocolate with marshmallows, than confront the reality of what it will take to resume conditioning!  Unfortunately, the reality of following that approach will only take me further from where I want to be.  So, rather than wallow in wishing that it were easier, or that things had played out differently, I need to accept the path that I'm on and make choices that will support where I want to be.  

Starting over isn't easy - but it is an opportunity that we aren't always lucky enough to receive.  I have the ability to make a choice to continue to be patient and compliant with my recovery.  While I may be frustrated and it might take longer than I had hoped, I will prevent further injury and an unnecessary repeat of this cycle.  My focus needs to be on every step that I take - both literally and figuratively!  (After all, one slight mistep is what started this crazy journey!)  Spending time and energy looking back isn't helpful - it only clouds my judgment and leaves me frustrated, which leads to wanting to rush the process despite knowing better.  So, given the struggle and my commitment to doing this the right way,  I have revisited the tale of the tortoise and the hare . . . . . . slow and steady will ultimately win the race :)  

Photo by BananaStock/BananaStock / Getty Images
Photo by BananaStock/BananaStock / Getty Images

 

I'm willing to start my next challenge, are you ready to start yours?