Do you love a good joke? One of My Dad’s favorite jokes starts out “Do you know why Italians (ps…my Dad’d mom was born in Venice Italy) rip out the rear view mirror when they get in a new car? Because they don’t care where they have been…only where they’re going!” Shouldn’t we all be like that? Stop looking back and obsessing on the past so we can enjoy ‘this’ moment and look ‘forward’ to the future and what lies ahead of us?
Well, I try to embrace this daily. Not only professionally (providing goals & hope to the clients that I work with) and personally. The cool part is…I was able to achieve this simultaneously this year. I work with an amazing team of professionals. One of these people, who we will name as Victor for this story, I was able to give hope and a goal.
Victor, in the past, sustained a considerable lower leg injury that not only affected his normal movement around the world, but rock his world completely. He was unable to continue in his current job, be active as prior to the injury, and took away his athletic abilities as he healed from the injury and surgeries. I’ve been there…oh how have I been there.
I sustained bilateral knee injuries back in 1987 and 1988 that left me devastated both physically, emotionally, and mentally. My medicine was…Movement! My road to recovery was not to look back at what I couldn’t do anymore but to look ahead to what I could do, what I could enjoy doing, and just go do it! One type of ‘movement medicine’ was cycling.
Cycling (bicycling) allowed me to move pain-free, challenge myself physically & mentally, go on adventures, meet new people, and just plain go out into the world and not be ‘stuck’ indoors. It helped me…could it help Victor? Didn’t know but it was worth a try. He seemed to enjoy (probably faking it) my retelling of cycling trials & adventures whether it was training, races, or organized rides. And, he was similar in that we love to push ourselves physically and cycling wouldn’t hurt your legs (unless you crashed) if done correctly. So I made a pitch…”Hey Victor – wanna join me on this really cool bike ride in Minnesota in May? I’m going out to ride a 100 miles of gravel called the Almanzo 100 and they have a 50 mile version.”
He responded pretty enthusiastically with a “Yes, but let me clear it with the family.” He got the ‘all clear’ and what happened next was surprising. Well, let’s say Victor took to cycling like to a 2 year old to a bowl of ice cream! He got his bike fixed up, cycling shoes & cleats, a helmet, clothes…pretty much anything needed to cover this 50 mile adventure. He started working out, stationary bike training and riding outdoors when possible. He would come to me and share with me about his training & rides – which I loved.
What I began to see in Victor was hope! I lost it too especially when a doctor told me after my second torn ACL that I would never play sports again (that still angers me 30 years later but that’s for another post). He, like myself, didn’t let an injury & surgeries take away our abilities – we just had to redefine them in leu of new circumstances.
Last weekend Victor & I did our first training ride together and it was awesome. We both achieved our goals for that ride and excited about our upcoming rides. Hopefully you can take two things from this post. One, don’t take away someone’s hope – it’s no joke! The wrong word can have devastating consequences. Two, share your story with others. It may be common to you but may be the spark of inspiration that they need.
Henry David Thoreau stated: “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” Stop looking in the past…What’s next can’t be found there!
Please comment and share!
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…