You're going to get injured.
I don't know how to put it more plainly than that. You will not pass through this life in an inviolate state.
Life, after all, turns out to be just like those warnings that your mother gave when you were a child—back when you ignored her words, traipsing along in your assuredness, your cloak of invincibility not even tightly wrapped around you because you were careless that way and so certain of your lack of need.
"You're going to hurt yourself," she said when you were a year old or two or four or maybe even six and smashed your head or legs or arms into what felt like every coffee table, door, and chair in the world.
And so you did hurt yourself, but you learned. You found a world that offered challenges and injuries and recovery. We all did.
Our parts break, our hearts break, and yet we go on and try again.
The Gym Is Not So Different From Life
So why do we ever think the gym would be different from the world? We break our toes at home on kitchen chairs. We slice our fingers in the kitchen. We trip on the stairs.
Of course, we could stay injury-free in the gym and in life but only if we did this one thing: stopped trying. And are you ready to do that? To give up and sink more into the vat of weakness every day, down and down until the sloth covers your mouth and you choke on your own inactivity?
No, I didn’t think so.
You have bigger dreams than giving up. We all have way bigger dreams than that. And so we learn to accept the inherent danger of trying and doing.
No place in this world is totally safe, including the gym, and that's okay.
We will be hurt at some point. We are meant to live and test and love and hurt … and survive. Then do it all over again.
The Injuries Will Come. Learn From Them.
They will ache and they will delay and they will frustrate. Let them run their course. And, as you age, it will take longer to recover from your injuries. This will feel like salt in the wound but it’s nothing personal. Just time making you pay the piper. You’re still here. Be smart and heal as long as you need to. No one said growing older would be easy.
Then, start anew, just like we have been doing since were tiny humans not far from our mother's arms. Get up off the ground, grab hold of the edge again. Take a new step, then another. Heed the lessons. Don't fall in the same place again.
And keep going.
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