Sitting here this morning sipping my second cappuccino, I decided to focus not on the lowlights of being injured and those effects that struggling through an injury brings into one's head, but on blessings that have appeared in my life during the time I have been injured. So here goes. Some of these blessings I can put into words right now, some I cannot.
- The biggest blessing that has been reinforced during this time has been my wife. Time and time again, I realize and am shown that Elizabeth is probably the biggest blessing that God has given me in my life. When I cannot run and spend the amount of time training I would like, I get to spend more time with her because I am not going to bed as early. I get to just hang with her more in the evenings and just be. I offer up and go on more dates with her, even if it is just a date going to the grocery store to shop together. When I do get a run in, they are shorter and slower, so she is more willing to ride her bike with me when I run. Just more time I get to spend with her!
- A blessing related to the going on more dates with Elizabeth is that I am more prone to hanging out with friends more often since I am not staying home to get to bed early. Without that early morning training run calling, I can relax when we are out visiting with friends.
- One thing that I have done over the many years I have been running is efficiently train my body and mind to be an early riser. So, even when I am not training, my mind still is expecting to get things going early in the morning. During an injury, I use this fact to get in to work early before most of my fellow workers get in. I get so much done during this time that I feel less stressed during the rest of the work day.
- Not being able to run has opened up my mind to engaging my body in new and alternate ways of exercising. Yoga, cycling, strenghtening, walking the dogs - I now look for ways to get some form of exercise in to keep myself sane.
- Meeting new people and establishing and reinforcing relationships with those professionals who are helping me recover from my injury and helping me in general. While it is not good as to why I find myself in their office or talking to them, it is always good to establish these connections and develop new friendships and solidify those already established. From all of the folks at Results Physiotherapy and SpineCare that I enjoy talking with and working with to looking into cultivating a coaching relationship with Will at Running Lane, I find that my sphere increases of those that I can turn to when I need help and hopefully, I lend some blessing into their lives as well since my main job here on Earth is to pass along blessings I receive to others.
- Another blessing I have realized/rediscovered is the quantity of folks out there supporting me both in person and online. Their support does mean something to me. Just the simple mention that they empathize with me and are rooting for me lifts my spirit on those days when my mood takes a hit.
- In the view of my job being to pass along blessings, I have found more opportunities to connect and commiserate with others in their injuries and life struggles. Just as others raise my spirit, I look for ways to lift theirs. I look for ways in a simple text, a simple comment, a simple wave, a simple smile to pass along a blessing to someone else. In some cases, it may be reflecting back a blessing that they gave to me in the past that they may not even realize they gave me.
I am sure that there are plenty of other blessings that I have been given during this time that I don't even realize I was given. That's how life works; blessings wash over us and you would think we would recognize them and we don't. Some are big, some are small, but they all weigh the same. They all work to raise us up. All of my blessings work to show me what I should truly focus on. In this day and age of complaining about everything that happens in this world, or taking everything as a personal attack against one's self or one's beliefs, or attacking everyone that does not believe the same way or have the same values, I choose to focus on blessings, both received and given, and to focus on how I can take more of the blessings I have been given and reflect them back to others. Just as my spirit is lifted by the hands of all of those that I personally know and by those that I don't, I want to be that extra set of hands that lift others up. Being injured has shown me how I can be those hands. I urge everyone else to think about life in the same way, be the light of support, not the darkness of complaint and affront. Use your periods of injury or struggle to recognize blessings in your life. When you start focusing on these blessings, your struggles have a harder time establishing a stronghold in your mind and you will have no choice but to pass along blessings to others.