In last week’s SSM, we talked about how to move into and beyond the pain—and why it’s so absolutely essential for growth.
This entry prompted many people to question: “Should you always move through the pain?” “Isn’t there a time when we really listen to the pain?”
That’s what makes this week’s SSM so ideally timed. (No, it wasn’t an accident. You’re right.)
This week’s Challenge Wisdom is about trusting yourself and having the Strength to stop and take a knee or perhaps a seat of some sort.
While at a glance it may seem to contradict last week’s message about moving through pain, it’s actually very much in concert with it. For this is about having the awareness, the ruthless sense to know the difference between wanting to stop and needing to stop.
When you’re pushing the limits your mind will be the first to send a limiting message, to exaggerate the hurt, to entice you to slow it down or take a break. If you’ve been training hard or pushing it, you might start justifying taking it easy. The first clue here is the inner message, “because I deserve it.”
“Because I deserve it,” is common trap in Transformation Challenges too. You’ve been making some strides, eating right and training strong. Just as you’re feeling good about your progress out pops the “because I deserve it” excuse. Maybe you’re out with friends or in a social environment of some sort, let this one loose and you’ll regret it.
When I Took a Knee
In my first post in this series, 10 Lessons in Success I Learned from the Triple Bypass, I gave the vivid details of the first place I “took a knee” during this bike ride.
I was nearing the half-way point towards the end of a long, tortuous stretch of road where the pain in my ass, my left little toe, my right big toe, my left shoulder and my lower back all reached threshold at the same time. I’ve been told by many bikers that you can ride through just about anything; cramping, fatigue, dehydration but pain is the beginning to the end. It will stop the strongest riders.
And when I say “pain,” this isn’t the pain one has from pushing themselves. It’s not the burn of a biceps on the 20th rep but more the sort of pain of having something broken. It starts as an ache and grows. I could feel it reaching a threshold where I was certain that it would no longer be a decision if I went forward. Where the pain would literally stop me in my tracks.
Wisely, I stopped, glancing left as a rider in his 60’s moved swiftly by—probably in a dance with his own pain.
I’d already pushed myself physically and was on edge, I had repeatedly tested my mental resolve so I was pretty confident that this wasn’t some wimpy move. Like holding my hand under hot running water there’s a point where it pulls itself out, even if you try to stay.
That’s the threshold and I’d reached it.
I’d been tolerating the increasing pains long enough and had the smarts to realize that allowing them to build was not courageous but bullheaded ego. Just stopping for 30-60 seconds completely changed my outlook and energy; eased my pain and revived my spirit.
During any prolonged challenge hold the ever present thought that, “Discretion is the better part of valor.” Know it is not a victory to perish in noble attempt but rather to reach your destination intact. And know when to take a knee…
During a Transformation challenge there will be opportunities to take a knee, when the wise move is to do something different, to take a breath and collect yourself.
This may mean a day off when you’re plan says “on,” or whenever rest is needed over more activity. It could be having a free meal or even a free moment. This is where YOU have to be in charge and attune to your needs.
It’s different for each of us but the most important thing to remember is while you have a plan and are pursuing your goals, you are in charge. It’s your body and life and only you can make the right call for you in the moment.
Here’s to your Strength to Take a Knee Next Time You’re beyond the edge…
Until Next Week,
Follow Me: /Twitter/shawn_phillips
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