“Start slow, and when you think you are going slow enough, slow down.” - advice from Dean Karnazes to Kristin Armstrong before her first ultramarathon.
My husband, who has his sights set on his first ultramarathon this fall, shared this quote with me this morning. It makes sense. When attempting to run an extremely long distance, you don’t want to run out of gas too soon. It is basic physiology summed up in a very practical manner.
But even though this advice was specific to running, I couldn’t help thinking about how it applies to injury recovery, as well. It is completely natural to want to get as much out of your body as possible- to push yourself to return to your normal life, exercise, dance, or sports involvement as quickly as you can. It is common to focus on what Stephen Covey calls Production (P), or immediate results, despite feeling pain or having poor quality (limping or other forms of compensation) in your movement. But my question is, how much are we focusing on the now and how much are we focusing on the future? What are we doing to build Production’s wellspring, Production Capacity (PC)?
Mr. Karnazes’ quote is clearly about PC. PC is ultimately what leads to production not just now, but long into the future. It’s not about how you fast you run at the beginning. It's about whether you are still running 50 miles from now.
So, where are you in your injury recovery process or workout program? Are you looking to produce results now? Or are you looking to build the capacity to produce results in the future? Are looking to be able to perform today? Or are you looking to be able to perform next month, next year, or 10 years from now? Are you pushing your body to work despite pain? Or are you finding ways to move successfully without pain?
Which do you want more? To produce results RIGHT NOW, despite any consequences that might follow? Or do you want a build a future that will bring you good results for a long time to come?
Do you want to eat an apple? Or do you want to grow an orchard?
“To maintain the P/PC Balance, the balance between the golden egg (production) and the health and welfare of the goose (production capability) is often a difficult judgment call. But I suggest it is the very essence of effectiveness.” -Stephen R. Covey