Whatever Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger, Part I

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While I was sick, I used some guided meditations focusing on being healthy. One of them said words to the effect:

I allow myself to go through this illness, because I know that I will come through even stronger than before.

Fairytales and Fitness

No one ever wants to be sick. Sometimes, though, we truly need that down time — and we come through the other side even stronger.

You have to allow yourself to go through it . . . 
. . . but sometimes you have to hit pause first, or you’ll be down for the count even longer.

I’ll repeat it: no one ever wants to be sick. It’s why we say things like “I’m fighting off a cold“. Sometimes, though, we just can’t fight our way through it, no matter how hard we fight.

Our body is begging us for rest — and if we don’t give our body what it needs, it will find a way to force you to rest. You will have to rest a lot longer than if you had taken the time to rest in the first place.

Running injuries can be the same way. We’re training hard for something, or we’ve committed to meeting up with a group, or we’ve committed to a run streak; we know we need that break, but we ignore the messages our body is screaming at us.

If we just listened the first time, though, and stopped at the first sign of a problem, we wouldn’t be down as long.

Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain, forever a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit.— M. Scott Peck

Once you’re sick or injured though, you have to heal. You have to allow yourself to heal. You will only set yourself back or injure yourself worse if you just try to ignore the fact that you’re sick or injured. You have to go through the problem, not around it.

Coming through stronger
Have you heard of the Japanese art of mending broken pots? It’s call Kintsugi.

Kintsugi uses lacquer resin mixed with powdered gold, silver, platinum, copper or bronze, resulting into something more beautiful than the original.

Instead of simply trying to glue a broken pot back together and trying to hide the fact that it’s broken, they take that broken pot and make something even more beautiful out of it. Something stronger.

I have a little Murano glass cat my brother brought from Italy for me many years ago. It’s seen several moves without incident, but recently a little piece of it was broken off. Mr. Judy glued it back for me, but it broke off again when it got tipped over (very gently).

I wonder what would happen if we tried Kintsugi on it? Rather than trying to pretend it’s still whole, instead letting the beauty in the imperfection shine through?

We are stronger because we’ve gone through hard things. The key is the going through it — not around it.— Chocolaterunsjudy

Next week I’ll be sharing how going through hard things in another area of my life made me stronger.

Do you always try to push through things?

Do you think pushing through helps or hinders you? 

Do you think you’re stronger because you’ve been broken? 

17 thoughts on “Whatever Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger, Part I

  1. I’m definitely stronger because I’ve been assailed and broken in other ways than to do with running. And I am more appreciative of my running since I had my (non-running-related) operation, which I was forced to recover very carefully from – if ever I want to leave running or moan about it, I think of the month when I couldn’t run at all.

    I do tend NOT to push through things, in fact if I feel a cold threatening I usually take myself off to bed to sleep a day and in that way let it pass through. Injuries the same – rehab and exercises, not painful running!

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    1. I’m afraid I tend to be a pusher. I really do try hard to listen to my body, but it’s not always easy especially when juggling training — so I say good on you, as you guys across the pond supposedly say.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was lucky. When I broke my ankle and couldn’t run for 5 months, I eventually became a stronger runner. This doesn’t usually happen. Some injuries and age do impact your running. And you have to accept that you are not stronger but different. I might have had to accept walking or biking instead of running.

    Recently with my calf injury, I sought help immediately and I think that’s why it went away completely and didn’t linger. What is hard is to figure out when to just rest or see someone.

    I am lucky that I rarely get physically sick. I am sure I would push through that.

    Emotionally I been down many many times. I hope I am stronger. Who knows what “strong” is? It’s different for each of us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can definitely be hard to figure out when you need to see someone. Little things can turn into big things over many miles, though.

      Strong is whatever you perceive it to be, I say. It’s individual. For some people simply getting out of their house might be strong!

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  3. That’s definitely true that a lot of times when I try to push through feeling sick or an injury, it ends up being worse. Rest is something that our bodies need 🙂 That’s a really cool idea of letting the beauty in imperfection shine through.

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  4. 14 years ago I tore my ACL/MCL in a ski accident that required surgery. I was so defeated and it was a really tough recovery w 2 little kids at the time. That set back set the stage for my whole entree into running and tri races and starting my running group. That setback really changed my life. Hmmm I see a whole blog post here!

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  5. For me, having an injury made me a smarter runner. Although my running hiatus wasn’t that long (6 weeks), it made me appreciate the ability to run once I got back to it. Also it made me a smarter runner because it forced me to focus on my PT exercises and strength training.

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  6. I think you know already that I’m the person who tries to push her way through everything. It’s hard for me to be down and out. This illness and menopause have really challenged me, mentally. I’ve never had to fight so hard to stay on top of things. Maybe acceptance is something I need to work on.

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  7. This totally echoes what I went through after my surgery (almost two years ago). It was tough missing out on running during the summer months (especially when everyone else was doing it), but getting outside and WALKING really served me well. It further strengthened my legs, built “new” muscles, maintained my endurance and blessed me with a new activity that I do pretty much on a daily basis now. As a result, I think I came back much stronger, physically and mentally, than I’ve ever been (not that I’d ever want to do it again LOL).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We absolutely did come back even stronger — it was so impressive & I can’t believe it’s already been 2 years.

      And of course no one wants to go through that. It’s never fun being sick, but sometimes it’s the slap upside the head we actually need.

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  8. Do you always try to push through things? Always.

    Do you think pushing through helps or hinders you? Both depending on the situation.

    Do you think you’re stronger because you’ve been broken? Absolutely.

    Liked by 1 person

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