I’ve met so many active people and athletes here in Fort Collins, CO since moving here in 2014. Being healthy and active is engrained into the culture so much that sometimes we push ourselves too far and suffer injury. Once we’ve exceeded that threshold, we become apprehensive; we try our hardest to avoid making the same mistake for fear of the consequences of having to rest and avoid the things we love.
“Too much, too hasty, too intense and you’ll shatter everything. Too little, and you’ll fail to reach your potential … and we can’t have that.” – Tommy Rivers
I’ve come across reckless athletes and hyper passive athletes. Both are a problem. The reckless push and push until there is no more, then they push more. It leads to breakdown, burnout, and failure. Meanwhile the risk-averse are looking for excuses to not push, explaining to themselves “it’s better to be absolutely safe” … this also leads to burnout and failure.
I cannot summarize it more poetically than Tommy did in the quote above, but sometimes the boundaries are muddy. Sometimes the reference point is skewed.
When it comes to rehab, if we don’t push and take risks, we may never get back to our “full performance.” We may always question ourselves … “What if I push too much?” “Will the pain come back if I continue to push?” “I’d rather be safe and not risk that pain and time off again.” But if you take it too far, if you ignore sensibility, you might have deja vu.
When it comes to training, if we don’t push to a certain degree… take certain risks… we may never fully tap our talents. If we don’t take it outside our comfort zone, we may never PR again, we may never impress ourselves again. But take it too far and you may be stonewalled by injury.
The lesson here is that risk is essential to progress and tapping your potential, but insight into the upper limits of what is sensible is vital.