I’ve always been aware, my body and its capabilities are a gift. My mind is fairly keen, though rather small my body is exceptionally geared toward athleticism and my determination is second to none. I’ve pushed my body through dehydration, massive calorie deficits, mild hypo and hyperthermia, lactic acid build ups, muscle cramps, concussions, exhaustion, torn tissue, bruises, blisters and broken bones. Every morning my body has rolled out of bed ready to come out swinging, until lately.
I have laughingly said I finally picked a fight I couldn’t win. I took on three Bulls who hijacked a steel gate to use as a bumper and I got the worst end of it. The first several weeks my body fought me every step of the way out of bed. Every limb betrayed me and my usually intelligent mind was dulled by pain killers which allowed my body more efficiency in fighting my determination. I had conversations and visits I don’t remember, days that the pain is seared into my brain and medical appointments I wouldn’t relive for a million dollars. Doctors, x-Rays, accupuncture, physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage therapy and exercises. Finally, my body started to concede, getting out of bed and getting dressed wasn’t so bad. The bones healed but the tissue damage remains my constant companion.
My body punishes me for sitting still now, even as I write this I am pacing my house just to appease my aching muscles. Since my accident, I’ve read entire books while pacing. I made myself a promise this year that I would follow the quote ‘move the body, still the mind.’ I never expected I would first have to learn to still the body with my mind. I spent weeks thinking through every movement my body made to avoid injuring it. Automatic things like breathing had to be controlled to avoid my sprained diaphragm and internally fractured ribs. Coughing, sneezing and laughter had to be stifled. Getting up had to be completely considered before it was attempted and I had to be prepared for landing when I frequently fainted or almost fainted from the pain.
I carefully have planned my recovery, medical professionals have advised me to avoid full time work till at least May. My usual sports have been banished until at least mid May and I can’t start them at full capacity until July. My mind works overtime again now, my body is just ok enough it doesn’t have to think through all the motions and just injured enough I can’t perform most of the motions. Some days I push the envelope, Yoga or a short run makes me feel alive and normal just for a few moments, I pay for it later but it’s a price I’m willing to pay. It’s busy in my mind, always has been, usually I allow my body to take care of stilling it now my mind must learn to still itself.
Books, courses, learning, writing and planning. I learned about the muscles in my back and shoulders, I know exactly which ones hurt and how to help them heal, I have a detailed vitamin supplement plan, and I know how each supplement works and when to take it. I’ve read a dozen books on hiking techniques, watched a dozen horse training videos and read half a dozen training books. I’ve studied psychology, chemistry and physiology all in an effort to satisfy the active synapses in my brain.
What I know now, is my mind is thirsty for knowledge and challenge, running headlong into physical pursuits has always managed to quiet my mind but perhaps my mind was never meant to be a quiet place. By all means I should run, move and push my physical limits but not in the unfocused random way I usually do. I need to allow the challenges my body faces to focus my mind and use my mind for the unique tasks I was designed for.
Life has changed, I’ve changed, there are some bumps ahead but my mind is finally still and focused and my body is ready to move with purpose. I’m on a journey and I’ve been blessed with great people who have joined me and helped me learn things about myself I never would have discovered alone. Though I’m far from back to normal, I know one day I’m going to wake up at a better best than where I started. Bring on the adventures and let the wild, strong and free come with me.
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