Things People Say
That morning, I lay on my yoga mat and cried.
I felt defeated by the constant pain, by it not improving no matter what I did, by the way it dulled every waking moment, and by it taking away the race I'd set my heart on.
I'd barely made it one lap around the circle before my hip pain made even shuffling impossible.
Pain, frustration, grief, and loss. For a moment, I just needed to feel them instead of feel better.
When the crying subsided, I lay there and worked on the worst thoughts - the giving up ones. The ones where everything looked hopeless.
When I reached a stopping point, I slowly got up from the mat - physically hurting and dead tired of it but with enough mental and emotional relief to get through the day. The hip injury had barely improved in two long weeks...but it wouldn’t last forever. It would just take more work than I expected.
I put everything into moving the healing forward. That's clearly what it would take.
That evening, as I was leaving a restaurant, a friend I hadn’t seen in a few years rushed up to say hello.
“You don’t look so good,” she said. I must have been limping.
“Yeah, I’m injured,” I replied and left it at that. Let's move on, please.
She mumbled that she’d seen something about it on Facebook, then her expression brightened and she blurted out, “It's a sign.”
She reached forward, grabbed my arm and with a big, knowing smile, triumphantly exclaimed, “It’s a sign you need to SLOW DOWN!”
If you’re a runner, you probably have at least one story like this. Likely, more.
The question is, does it get under your skin?
Things people say can chew up a ton of emotional energy if you let them. You can stuff the words down and swear you’re ok, but if you’re still ruminating on it days later, it’s wasting energy.
Energy you need for more important things in the world.
You don’t have to fall into a ruminating spin cycle. Change your thoughts and you change how you feel about it all. And you can get out of that cycle and on with your life.
For example, in this story, I could (and did) go from:
Outrage (“She’s so rude! She shouldn’t have said that, especially when I’m in such pain!!”)
Mildly curious (“Huh. Wonder why she wants me to limit myself?”)
If you find yourself running something somebody said over and over in your head, decide if that’s worth your energy or if you'd rather spend that energy on other, more important things.
You CAN learn the mindset skills to ninja your way past traps like this.
And get on with doing what you're here to do in the world.