Elite Action Series Part 4: The Ouch Issue

In the Elite Action Series, we explore proven strategies elite athletes have used to reach the pinnacle of their sports and how we can apply them to our lives beyond the playing field. Last time, we explored the strategy of focus. This time, it’s about healing’s role in elite performance.

Strategy 4. Treat Your Injuries

20090312 - Clint - foot x-ray - right (bad foot)
Photo by ClintJCL

Treating our injuries is part of the plan. It’s not the fun part. It sucks to be in pain. And yet we don’t heal if we bail on our treatment. We stay in pain longer and risk bigger setbacks.

When we push our limits in sports, setbacks are inevitable. We plateau. We get injured.
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Soaring Past Discomfort To Breakthroughs

It’s an irritating nudge growing in intensity until it drowns out everything else. It’s tension. Frustration. Scapegoating. It’s ugly. And then the bottom comes, a swirly mess like being in free fall, tossed around in a hurricane. It’s a powerless, painful moment. And it’s the prelude to breakthrough.

Sometimes it seems we wait for rock bottom before we’re ready to change jobs, get fit, end a relationship or make any other big jump in our lives. Acting from rock bottom is a reactive way of fixing things, a back-against-the-wall scenario that’s not likely to lead to the biggest difference we can make for ourselves.

It’s a crisis response. What we’ve been doing is not working. We didn’t want to take extraordinary action, but our heart knows we need to. We’ve been coasting along, and now it’s different. It’s not about getting by. It’s a choice between withering and taking a chance to thrive.
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