It’s rare that a week passes without someone asking how to recover from an injury or setback. Just last night I heard from a young man who was upset about missing 4 days of training after a recent bout of nausea. A day before I heard from a woman who sprained her ankle during an obstacle course race. I could go on and on with similar examples. In each case, an individual suffers a short term setback and panics under the assumption that their hard work will wasted. They fear that a few days of inactivity will cause them to lose all previous gains.
The reality however is that a few days is a blink of an eye when you consider the big picture. And please note, I say this not to minimize any particular injury or illness. I too dislike missing even a single day of training. I enjoy the work so a day without exercise is a day I prefer to avoid. With that said, we often need to be reminded that missing a few days is insignificant. It takes much more than a few days of inactivity to lose what took years to develop. In addition, whatever is lost during a period of downtime typically comes back much faster than it did to initially acquire.
Furthermore, many injuries and setbacks are not nearly as bad as we believe. The old saying that it could always be worse is usually true. I was recently reminded of this simple concept by a reader of the site. Below you can see an image of cancer survivor Joshua DiMezza.
It was a few years ago when Joshua emailed me while undergoing chemotherapy. When all was said and done, he endured 25 rounds of chemo. Yet despite what was obviously an extended period of suffering, Joshua refused to stay down. Instead, he fought back by battling one day at a time. The results of his hard work can be seen below.
In summary, while no one wishes to be plagued by injury or illness, there is usually a chance to fight back. What Joshua has accomplished is nothing short of amazing. Hopefully the rest of us will never experience the struggles that he endured, but we can at least use his example to put our own bumps and bruises into perspective. Joshua hit rock bottom yet fought back to display a rare mix of strength, power, endurance, and athleticism.
It is actually somewhat ironic that Joshua first wrote to me after being inspired by my videos, yet I am now the one who is inspired by his example. His story will certainly be on my mind if and when I suffer my own injuries or setbacks.
Thanks to Joshua for the inspiration and best of luck with your future endeavors.
“Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.” – Horace