Getting better versus getting hurt

fitness assessmentI think we are all subject to it.  The desire for instantaneous gratification.  We want it and we want it now.  It does not seem to matter what ‘it’ is.  Next day shipping?  Sign me up.  Instant messaging?  Let’s talk.  Take a great picture?  Send it via email to me now.

It is only natural that this kind of instant access, instant results mind set begins to cross over into other thought processes.  It begins to cross over into areas that lead us into unrealistic expectations.  Lose 20 pounds in 3 days – Learn a language in 2 days – Create bulging muscles in a week.  More to the point, this ‘want it now’ mind set makes us vulnerable to unscrupulous marketing that promises us these instant results.

You see them, those little ads on the various websites that offer you what you most want to hear.  From investments, to weight loss to memory enhancement we are promised miraculous instant results, or at least quick results.  Those advertisers know what we want to hear and they feed it back to us to get us to bite.  Sure, most of us don’t ever click on those links.  We are savvy and know those are gimmicks and we don’t really believe in those false promises.  But, it comes back at us in ways we are less likely to resist.

We especially want healing to happen quickly.  For example, often a person is told that their injury, be it a sprain or strain, a surgical incision, or broken bone will be healed in 6 weeks.  “You will be up and about in 6 weeks,” we are told prior to a surgical procedure.  “It will take 6 weeks for that bone to heal,” we are told after a fracture.  This leads us to believe we will be totally healed in that amount of time.  When those 6 weeks are up and we are still hampered by our healing process we feel there is something seriously wrong.  Nothing is the matter in most cases.  What is wrong is that we have been lead into an unrealistic expectation.  The body healing process takes a lot longer than that ‘6 weeks’ that seems to always be trotted out.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is always some wonder-human who does heal completely in 6 weeks.  Heck, I know of an example where someone had gone through a hip replacement and was walking around the block in just one weeks time.  That is not normal.  Yet, that is the benchmark we seem to want to compare ourselves to.  Normal healing is a complicated process.  It varies from person to person and it takes some people a lot longer than others.

When we get frustrated with the healing process we may try to make it happen faster. This can lead to pushing our body physically more than it can bear. The physical therapist told us to do the exercise once a day, so we do it three times a day. We are told to walk a block, we walk two miles. Pushing the body too hard will not make results happen faster, it often ends in a re-injury.

Instead of being frustrated with our healing time, we can use it to make things better. Most of the time an injury occurs due to a pre-existing problem. We had a weak link in our armor and we broke where we were weakest. Take the time in your recovery to build up your stabilizing muscles. A weak core causes problems body wide. Now is your chance to cross train and make yourself stronger. Poor nutrition will slow healing and prevent us from getting stronger. Review your eating and supplements and make better choices. Lack of adequate sleep also prevents proper healing. Get to bed earlier; sleep 7 – 10 hours a night; spend some time doing some relaxation with this guided relaxation and meditationaudio I created.

An injury may slow us down, but it can also be a wake up call. If we focus on doing all the things we can to make our life better, soon we will be so busy we won’t have time to be frustrated with the healing process and soon, in the proper amount of time, we will be healed.

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