The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Friday, March 28, 2014


That’s torn it!

Just a week ago I was at a cricket coaches gathering, exploring and playing lots of fun and relevant games and activities to use in the upcoming summer term when we take our coaching into schools.

After nearly two hours of absorbing activity I asked my body for yet another explosive sprint start – and then felt as if I had been hit in the calf by a hard ball thrown from someone behind me. Very quickly I realised the “as if” translated into “oh dear” as I hobbled off to one side and took no further part in the activities. I carried on watching however, as I pressed a bag of ice onto my very tender and ever-swelling calf muscle. 

The Power of Now

I’ve long given up on physical perfection, especially as I describe my preparation for activity as becoming “Neoprene Man” – given that various parts of my anatomy are held together by a whole variety of supporting appliances! So I was in no way mentally crestfallen by another part of me seemingly deciding to give up the ghost!

One of my more recent learnings through injury has been engaging the power of the present moment, and using that to banish the emotional content of observations like “Is this leg ever going to get any better”, “Just my luck to get this leg injury right before something really important for me”, or “Aaagh, this is going to be really painful ...”

What I found out is that, as common as all these thoughts and comments are, they carry truckloads of emotion into every present moment; they frame up our ongoing experience; they inject presuppositions into and thus perpetuate the nature of our responses.

When we warn ourselves in advance, “This is going to be really painful,” we are bracing ourselves against the inevitable. How do we know it is going to be inevitable? Because it was really painful last time, and we filed the memory away coloured up with massive daubs of emotional paint. When we scan our memories we cannot miss it – it’s there in glorious fleshnicolour! Through the power of presupposition we are mentally adopting a siege mentality, and we carry this over and set our bodies into the self-same siege mentality. 
“Brace yourselves – Hold tight!”

The amazing nature of the present moment actually allows us to adopt a mindset of perfection. For each and every now moment we are perfect – we cannot get any better or any worse than we are right now, because within right now we can only be one thing.
Any observation from outside right now cannot be part of right now. So if we view ourselves with an injury, an imperfection, or making a mistake or an error, call it what you will – then in that very moment of viewing we have stepped out of ourselves in order to judge.

You might argue that it is valid to say “I am not perfect right now.” But in order to back that up, there has to be a judgement that starts with, “Compared to ...”
You might question what validates the statement “I am perfect right now.” It’s quite simple really, for the validation comes from the fact that we can only be the one thing that we are in ANY given moment.


My healing, the mending of my torn calf, began the moment after the tear. The body sent in a whole variety of “healing personnel” on the inside to set about putting things right. A little later some more facilitation was sent on the outside, in the form of an ice pack. The inner healing crew didn’t stop and have a cup of tea, yet they were thankful for the improvement to the external ambience and environment of the locus of the injury.

The power of the mind within the healing process is hugely influential and of considerable significance. I have helped myself, and others, in terms of utilising these powers, to make recovery quicker, more straightforward, simpler, sometimes easier even.
In my own case I found out the hard way that I could also hinder the process, through mindset, attitude, emotional paint chucking, presuppositions and by bracing rather than embracing.
Part of healing involves pain, and it is the pain that we characterise but don’t always get to really know. When pain is unbearable, rather like in life, we often reach for medication.

“Quit yo Jibber-Jabber! Yo pathetic! You need to meet my friend, PAIN” shouts Mr T as he throws some Snickers bars at a “injured” footballer - and we all laugh.

Strangely though, getting to know “my friend PAIN” is something we rarely do – yet when we do we heal better and faster. 

A few weeks ago I sat in the back of someone’s car on the way to a rugby match, in a very cold and uncomfortable sweat of shock as I was hit by symptoms of a kidney stone movement. Yes there were some thoughts passing through that asked, “How much can I bear without medication?” Oddly enough, I found out the answer – and it was rather like the answer the previous time – and it was rather like the answer when I tore my calf. “I can bear just enough in order to get mentally familiar with this pain for one purpose only – to speed up my healing.”

Oiling the Squeaky Gait

I had a number of visits to make yesterday which involved a bit of walking. Now, my current state of recuperation from the torn calf involves some slight adjustments to the way I’m walking, whereby the foot on my injured leg makes a slightly different type of contact with the ground. It alters the way I am “carrying myself” – my gait is imperfect in comparison to my gait before the torn calf.

Within the round of visits I had fallen up some stairs, gone over sideways and tripped on my “good” foot, and wobbled and collided with a couple of walls.

Now, I could have had the disposition that took me down the road of judging this set of actions badly. There could have been an inner mental chorus singing these words ...
“What’s happening to me? This is really beginning to affect me. Perhaps there’s a lot more wrong with me? I’m feeling broken and nothing is getting better.”

Ever watched a drunk walk into a lamppost? He doesn’t feel a thing – he talks to the lamppost, perhaps berating it, or apologising. There’s no mental chorus singing inside his head – the lights are on but there’s no one home. This was not me – yet neither was my choir in full flow.

This was not my disposition. I knew I just needed to oil the squeaky gait.
I was merely walking in a slightly different and temporary way due to my recovery from injury, due to healing taking place. These adjustments were affecting my other foot and the smoothness of my normal movement is temporarily impaired. Nothing more - nothing less.

3 in 1 or WD40

There are many times when we might find ourselves faced with having to carry an injured calf from one field of our lives to another. When we find the gate between those fields has grown rusty or daubed with dried up old emotional paint and not likely to move well on its hinges, then the journey is going to be delayed as we lower the calf to the ground and examine the state of the gate. The best solution to deal with all the echoes of can’t that are then piling up around us, is to have a can of 3 in 1 oil or WD40 near at hand.

Whatever walk of life we are in, ultimately we are all responsible for ourselves. So make sure you are always prepared to carry the can.

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