How an Injury Can Help You

I happened to stumble across an article on a marriage website. The piece was about the things you can do to improve your marriage/relationship.

But as I read through the list, I couldn’t help but notice the parallels to injury and a better mind and body.

So, let’s take a look at the list.

What if two words could improve your marriage?

Can and will.

Now my interpretation.

What if two words could improve your body and your mind?

Can and Will.

Not should or won’t or can’t or maybe.

Just add I CAN and WILL before each item in this list (the original list from SexyMarriage and then following each item, the connection to mind-body focus):

  • Think big (look at the big picture of life and marriage, it’s not all about you). We tend to get very caught up in how we look, what we eat, don’t eat, how much exercise we get, where is that extra fat, will this cellulite ever go away.  And maybe instead of focusing on those things so much, we should step back and look at things like strength, capacity, energy, vitality, emotional readiness, and happiness. All of these things are derived from how well you take care of one of the most valuable assets you have: you.
  • Get over it (forgive again and again). People make mistakes and certainly, in marriage, it happens a lot. I say the wrong thing at the wrong time or forget to do something. The other person has to have some forgiveness in him or her to create the space for reconciliation. Otherwise, you end up with a lot of little things left unsaid that later turn into a sort of toxic nostalgia. In your health and fitness efforts, forgive yourself for not being perfect; for missing a session; for jumping on the refined carb wagon now and then; for doing things that keep you in an injury cycle. You’re the only one who can forgive yourself.
  • Choose battles (not everything is worth the fight). Ellen and I have been together going on 37 years and there are some things that just aren’t worth the energy to get into. You just have to let some stuff go. Of course, that in itself is a struggle because you don’t want to suffer in silence either. Now, just how badly do you want to see those abdominal muscles and scale down your body fat to under 10%? Seriously. Because if your goal is to do that, get ready for a significant battle. Choose your battles.
  • Just stop (get help if you need). Stop doing things that you know irritate the other person; stop doing things that you know are harmful to your relationship and if you can’t, then get some professional help. The relationship in marriage is slowly eroded by one party continuing to do something that is hurtful to the other and neither is willing to talk or stop. Well, in fitness and health, you have the same issue. Just stop doing things that are harmful to yourself. At least just one thing. Like drinking Coke. Or hitting Jack in the Box for a quick lunch. Just stop sitting around so much. Walk. Get up off your butt and DO something. And if you can’t, get some help.
  • Shut up (there’s wisdom in knowing when to be quiet). Really. Enough said, right? But what about fitness/ health and injury? Well, stop complaining about how hard it is and start working even if it’s just one, samll thing. Stop talking about what you can’t do and start finding things and doing you things you CAN do.
  • Move on (let go of the past and live in the moment). This is much harder for me to do than my wife. If she gets upset with me – I know shocking, right? – she won’t carry it on for days or weeks. My problem, as an INFP, is that when I get hurt, I stew about it in my head instead of DOING (which is a Sensing function in the Myers-Briggs profile – my wife; not me). I have to work harder at it. Now, many people are upset with themselves about how they look, or how much weight they’ve gained, or what sort of things they can’t do anymore, or they hurt doing simple things. Let it go. It won’t help you a bit. If you want to roll around in it and be miserable, do. But eventually, that will just keep you right where you are. Let it go.
  • Be smart (use your brain in every situation). This is a loaded one in a relationship, huh? Sort of goes right along with SHUT UP. In fact, usually, when you’re not smart, you say something you later come to regret. Being smart is another way to say be tough. It means paying attention to how your body feels and if you’re pushing yourself enough, not enough or too much.
  • Use common sense. When something hurts, do you acknowledge it, ask questions about it, figure out if you’re hurt or just hurting? Or do you just go bull-headed onward and then later whine about it? If something hurts enough to alter your movement or forces you out of positions or postures, use some common sense and stop doing it and get some help.
  • Show up (there’s value to being together). For the first 90 days, showing up for your training or showing up to make the changes you need in your life is just hard to do. But once you get past 90 days, it gets a lot easier. And as you enjoy success, it gets even easier. No question that training with a buddy is, for a lot of people, more enjoyable, easier to stick to but it’s not always possible. Don’t hitch your success to whether someone else shows up or not.
  • Be present (engage your spouse when you’re together, don’t be lost at work or elsewhere). This is hard for me. I often work at home. Writing. Creating stuff. And when Ellen has a question, I might be right in the middle of the MOST AMAZING THING EVER – in my mind anyway. But she needs my full attention. So, the only way I can do that is to close my notebook, take a breath, and listen. Anything else is half there. I still screw up by the way. Now, in your training, put your attention on your intention. Remind yourself WHY you’re doing this; what’s the point. Put your mind in your body. Feel the pressure, the strain, the muscles working. Don’t think about work or whatever. Put your mind in your body.
  • Grow up (this is what marriage is all about!). Marriage is not easy. And I think we all have a sort of distorted view of what it’s about. It’s not about lust or a sparky thing that makes every cell in your body tingle at the very thought of your lover. Nope. To quote the folks at SexyMarriage it’s this: “Marriage is a tool designed to refine us, to grow us up.” And with one simple word change we have this:

    Injury is a tool designed to refine us, to grow us up.

Thanks for reading.



PS – If you’re interested in my books, go here. To work with my colleague Laurie Kertz Kelly, go here. To work with me, go here.

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Five Ways to Improve Your Balance - FusionPerformanceTraining - Get Your Body Armor On. says

[…] course, if you want something to improve – anything really – you have to work at it. But how often do you work on your […]

violamarie says

Well, this is oddly appropriate on my 10th anniversary. Ha ha.

Renee Fuller says

You sure are up early working.

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