Within the personal development and self-help communities is the cliched concept that within every crisis lies an opportunity. This idea is oft supported by the Chinese chracter for crisis which, it is pointed out, contains the character for opportunity.
Not exactly the most empirical of supporting data, but it’s a nice concept, and in the midst of a pretty shitty situation most of us will grasp at anything to make us feel just a little bit better.
On the whole, however, I feel that as a guiding principle of life it bears out. Of course, my ability to discern these silver linings is inversely proportional to how sucky the situation is. The worse the crisis the lower my ability to find those opportunities.
Life, however, seems ever ready to offer chances to practice and to this end I’ve been served a fair number of mildly sucky events from which to glean a gem of goodness.
Case in point: Last month while I was in Sacramento for Mental Meat Heads 9, Chip was taking us through a series of basic, fundamental movement patterns and their progressions. In this instance we started with planks and worked our way into pushups and advanced variations of pushups.
We had just covered the clapping pushup and here I can only assume I must have exhibited a near perfect example as my friends (Really?) Fred and Tyler immediately called for more. “Go for two! Go for two!” They chanted.
So, I went for two.
I exploded from the bottom of the pushup, launching my upper body high enough into the air to execute two full claps, but not high enough to give me ample time to return my hands into a position suitable for receiving my body as gravity once again took me into her bosom.
I face planted into the mat.
I also landed a tad imperfectly on my left hand jamming my thumb deep into my wrist. It was sore the rest of the weekend, not enough to prevent my enjoyment of the workshop, but enough to remind me it was there. And it continued to feel that way after I got home.
Over the next two weeks I worked at unjamming the joint, finally making an appointment at my chiropractor’s. After the joint was realigned I was still tender and stiff and herein lies the blessing.
For the past few years I’ve had a little more than a pssing interest in hand balancing and Olympic weightlifting. My progression in both of these skills has been hampered by tight wrists that I’ve always attributed to my massage therapy work (lots and lots of pushing, you know?).
Anyway, this new level of soreness in my left wrist made me much more proactive as I wanted to ensure I kept what little I had attained with my Oly practice. Enter the silver lining. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet I was able to parlay my new incentive into action and discovered a heretofore unknown to me series of wrist mobilizations and, in addition to my new found knowledge, a desire to actually implement said mobilizations.
And they’re working.
My left wrist is still a tad tender in certain places, but my mobility is improving. More importantly, so is my Clean.
To our perfect imperfection,
P.S. If you dig this place where physical improvement melds with the metaphysical I invite you to join us at our next Mental Meat Heads Workshop. This one will be in Birmingham, January 16-18.