Teachable moments

"Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know." - Pema Chodron.

I’ve referenced Buddhist nun Pema Chodron a number of times over the past two years, and came upon this quote from her tonight.

I looked down at the boot on my right foot and sighed.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my great white whale is the marathon, and I’m signed up to do one in June. The stress fracture in my right foot has sidelined my training, and it just continues to hang around. 

I read the quote again and looked back to my foot.

Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. 

Injuries are probably one of the most frustrating things that we deal with in our fitness journey. We get on a roll with our workouts, get into a great groove and tweak our back. Our knee starts to bother us. Stress fracture, sprained ankle, pinched nerve, bum shoulder - I mean the list goes on and on.

It becomes harder to trust our bodies and do the things we want to do. So we either ignore the injuries and just plow through the workouts (yes I've done this), or we throw in the towel entirely.  

While I do believe it's really important to continue working out around an injury to keep your habits strong, I also believe there are lessons to be learned along the way.

Yes, I'm mostly talking to myself right now. 

Because I’m pretty sure my foot is trying to teach me a lesson right now. 

Or the universe. Or some cosmic energy. 

My lesson might be patience. I got the diagnosis on my foot, was given a boot, and hobbled through the next week at work making my foot worse. 

Maybe the lesson is to listen: to professional advice AND to my body. I've kind of ignored both. 

To slow down.

This might be my biggest lesson of all with this injury. 

Lately I've been going a hundred and ten miles an hour. I am (quite happily) spending almost every waking hour working on something for either Spurling or for my personal business. I've ignored social engagements, time with my other half and even time with my dog in favor of work. And my marathon training was isolating me even more. 

I think more than anything, the lesson to be learned here is to put the brakes on. Savor my first cup of coffee. Stop "nexting" in each moment. 

Maybe if I can acknowledge the lessons this experience is trying to teach me - just maybe, this injury will go away.

Nothing goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.