Finding The Silver Lining While Recovering From a Sports Injury
The first week and a half after my surgery has both flown by at lightspeed while also feeling like an eternity. Quite the juxtaposition, I know, but that’s what I’m here to delve into. Recovery, like many things in life, is merely a process. A process consisting of staunch contrasts between beaming smiles and revelational highs versus starkly painful moments and everything in between.
So far, my recovery process has given way to more easy going times as the painful, dreary days, immediately post-op, have since passed. After spending the last few months actively dreading the thought of this surgery, over analyzing every detail of how miserable it might make me or how it would hinder my athletic progress, the outcome has been exactly the opposite. It’s been a welcome break from the ardent routine of constant adventure.
Those of you who participate in adventure sports may know, there is an intensely competitive bravado that surrounds the adventure community and breeds a mindset that craves constant progression. That is the nature of these activities though, to push our mind, body, and spirit past our perceived limits, while encouraging and critiquing our friends to do the same. Any inch of progress for those in your circle feels like a success. It has always given me the motivation to dial in the same technique or push myself further. This is one of the reasons I joined the community in the first place!
These weeks after surgery have felt like stepping out of the tunnel and pursuit of progression that I was exploring for months. I suppose there’s worse tunnels to walk through. However, while I was in this tunnel, it led me to neglect other aspects of my life. Personal relationships, adult responsibilities, and my ability to create all faltered, as my energy was fully focused on my athletic progression. Now that I’ve had the chance to step back from that mentality, I’ve refocused on other facets of life that bring me joy. Over the past few couple of weeks, I’ve had the chance to spend time in my hometown, reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in years, sit down and give my undivided attention to those that I love, and even dive into the creative pursuits that I love so much. This time has unlocked an immense amount of mental space for reflection and actualization.
As the body tangles with dormancy, the mind jolts alive.
My recovery thus far has proved to be a recurring life lesson that I’ve “learned” over and over; the thought of an upcoming unpleasant experience is rarely as bad as our minds make it out to be. I challenge you to take a step outside your own tunnel so you can make sure you’re adding the right ingredients to feed your soul, and not just your appetite.