Five Things I Learned From My Most Painful Moment This Year
I heard a snapping sound and felt as if someone had kicked me from behind. I crawled off the indoor soccer field knowing that I was done playing – I just did not realize how long I was done for. Meanwhile, the game went on.
The night after my injury, I woke up with my pillowcase drenched with sweat. The next day I was introduced to my 2 new best friends in 2014 – a pair of crutches. I am still a few months away from being able to go for a jog without feeling the tension in my Achilles tendon, but so grateful to have my mobility back.
As someone who talks about the applications of positive psychology in all my workshops, I’ve had to take a large dose of my own medicine. For the ten weeks that I was on crutches, I woke up every morning and started the day thinking about three things that I was grateful for. That ritual would help ‘wire’ me for positivity – it’s powerful. Ironically, my sense of vulnerability at not being able to walk without aids made me acutely aware of all that were going well in my life!
My Achilles tendon ruptured because I had over-extended myself. I had been running for over an hour and it was time to take abreak, rest, and recuperate so I could come back to play another day. I pushed on past my body’s limit and paid the price. However, looking back, I would not change the events of that day in February that’s shaped the year for me. I grew more from that injury than all the goals I’ve scored since 1980.
My Top Five Reflections:
- Showing vulnerability, which is inevitable when you’re visibly injured, leads to deeper connections with people and spontaneous interactions with strangers.
- By focusing on the silver lining around a dark cloud, it can grow to the pointwhere the cloud disappears.
- Appreciating the things that I took for granted increased my enjoyment of them greatly – I can’t tell you how much enjoyed swimming again, the first sport I could getback to.
- I was grateful for the help I got when I was on crutches. But when help wasn’t available, I was able to find a way to get around obstacles.
- Taking a ‘time out’ from a busy schedule is difficult to do but much needed. I’m not going to wait for another surgery to allow myself a break!
So what? How are these ‘lessons learnt’ or reflections going to affect my approach as an educator? More than ever before, I feel that time & spaces to take a pause, reflect on our mental models, review our priorities, and appreciate how much we can impact our own sense of well-being is critical.
And this, I believe, is what all our courses offer.