I’ve had my fair share of injuries over my lifetime. It’s inevitable playing highly competitive sports since the age of 6 that you will beat up your body in ways that now as a parent I don’t want my kids to go through. But at the same time it builds character, resilience, relentlessness and grit that can’t be taught in other areas of life.
I remember my first concussion vaguely, I was 8 years old on a AAA baseball team the Mississauga North Tigers and during winter training camp we were the batting cages and I was walking to the cage not paying attention when one of teammates was warming his swing and hit me in the face with a full swing of the bat. It knocked me out cold, I was told what happened but don’t remember it. I do remember waking up in church (my parents were there that night) thinking I had died and church was heaven. They took me to the hospital from there and thank goodness I was young enough to bounce back within a week.
I’ve had broken noses, broken ribs multiple times, torn ankle, broken hand, sprained wrists, torn shoulder, 5 major concussions a hematoma (blood pooling) under my quad muscle that had me in the hospital for a couple days after a fight, a hip issue that lasted 1.5 years, bone marrow extraction (horrible), shin bone that was so bruised you couldn’t touch it without me almost passing out, dislocated elbow, tweaked every and any muscle you might have and thats just off the top of my head.
I know what its like to be injured and recover and return to training and competing hard.
Over the last 3 years I’ve been dealing with a torn labrum in my left shoulder. I’ve rehabbed successfully in November 2017 to snatch 280 pounds and do Fran right after in 2:42 but that has been its last horrah as I haven’t been able to successfully return to competing since that day.
The first thing I have to say is never take your health for granted, I wake up everyday thinking I would love to go in and just train hard today, no strings attached, no rehab exercises, just lift and sweat and love it! But I can’t, since my fall I haven’t been able to much more than row, bike, skip and squat. I wake up every morning in pain, it hurts to take the blankets off me to get out of bed and it takes a while for me to warm up to the point of working out. Be greatful every single day you get to be healthy and work out and full capacity. I’m so greatful for every new exercise I get to add back into my routine!
This last injury of my shoulder has taught me so much and helped me grow as a person, athlete and coach. Here’s my list of learned lessons from this process.
1. Don’t pity yourself, I started to feel bad for myself and situation. Why me? I miss doing this and that at full capacity, people at the gym think I just stretch. Having pity for yourself is a good way to get worse as your mind only focuses on the negative and not the solution. There are millions of people out there who have it WAY worse than me, Im blessed in so many ways.
2. Find Focus, too be honest this injury has been a blessing in disguise to ALL other areas of my life. I’ve focused for so long on my personal athletic goals that other parts of my life haven’t got the attention they deserve. Over the last 3 months Ive had more time to become a better business man, a better Coach and most importantly a better Husband and father. I’ve focused more of my time and energy on all these things then I ever have. I’ve fallen ion love with being a Coach to my athletes on a whole different level. I’ve refined my business systems to help us grow. My focus is on the things I can control and not the outcome.
3. Joy comes from within and not from external things, this is a tough one. I absolutely love training and competing. I miss it but what happens when you can’t do that any more? Did I lose my identity in that? Was my identity wrapped up in being strong and competing at a high level? Personally it did for a long time and that was not good, because all our bodies will eventually break down and those things will not bring happiness any more. I find my Joy and identity in God, my family and the ones I love and if I can help others do the same I’ll be a success.
If you have an injury don’t stop believing in yourself but redefine who you are and what you want to be. Most injuries will heal with time, some won’t but theres never an excuse to not give your best day in and out. Focus on what you can control, be better every single day, live life to it’s fullest and don’t be defined by the things you do but by who you are!