Well over 6 months since my motorcycle accident, the races for which I had signed up continue to loom on the horizon. The latest is one of my favorites, the Mexican Death Race.
As expressed numerous times, tough, physical, events have been a form of meditation to me. In fact, one of the most emotionally rewarding moments I recall from the last few years was hiking alone, in the hills west of Mexico City, by moonlight, at the Death Race in Mexico. Alone with my thoughts, physically challenged, incredibly content.
Since then I have had to deal with some significant thought processes. The huge swings from hope to despair have been the worst, and the jealousy of those that are able to do what I currently cannot has been immense. I am lucky that there are still options to at least keep some of my physicality with shorter races, stints in the gym, and hauls around NYC.
With all this, I have had to draw on some tools to help assuage some of the negativity. It dawned on me, that the change in approach I have had to take is very similar to the period in my life when I wanted more than I could afford, when I thought things would make me happy, and when I kept an unhealthy debt level on my credit cards. The joys of a consumerist society to the young and uninitiated.
Upon growing up a bit, I decided the stress of all that debt was too much. I spent a lot of time and effort wiping it out, and ensuring that I was always cash positive. At the same time, I spent more time doing free or cheap activities. Hiking with my son, spending time exploring the beach, camping, visiting friends. The lightbulb went off and I recognized very quickly that I was enjoying the experiences of life I had found way more than I enjoyed the things that I had owned. All of this is pretty obvious now, but then it was a revelation.
The parallel that struck me is that my current situation is very similar. While I was in the best physical condition of my life in terms of strength and endurance when the accident happened, I had only just started to come to terms with the physical debt that I was accumulating. Rather than financial debt, this was the accumulation of injuries, immobility, and bad habits. I was starting to clear that physical debt, but now I have the perfect opportunity to do so.
Without the option of being as physical as I like due to my circumstances right now (the parallel being, having ran out of money), I can spend this time paying down the debt accumulated over many years (immobility, built up scar tissue, etc).
And there is no better place to start than the excellent resource “Becoming A Supple Leopard”, by Kelly Starrett of MobilityWOD.
The moral of this story? Like so many other stories, the moral is that every cloud has a silver lining.