Mark Gillett

Come back frequently……

…..And now what is your chronic injury?

with 4 comments

Your chronic injury is your excuse, your disclaimer. Not in all cases as some people will have chronic pain and no the reason and others will have it and attend many sessions with a chronic pain psychologist to get help and never find a reason for the pain. However there are a large number of people who’s injury is no more than their mind creating it for them so they have reason not to do stuff.

I have met so many who don’t run because their “knees are bad”. “Cant go to the gym I have a bad back”. “Doctor says no”.

Then again, someone I covered this year in the Marathon des Sables completed the last 3 days with a broken foot, was medical tented on the long day and recovered only when he was told he would get a penalty if he took on an intravenous drip, then on the last day pulled a hamstring which is an acute injury and still ran 20km through sand dunes.

So in essence your chronic injury is your lack of want, need for an excuse and your very good disclaimer…….  Sorry for those who have one but I am not too sympathetic.

Look within and look at your life. Many of your injuries will resolve with work on your whole body, mind and nutrition. Look after these and your wants and desires come back……. More to come later

Written by markgillett

September 9, 2010 at 7:43 pm

4 Responses

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  1. mark,

    two great posts, very thought provoking.

    kind of agree, but perhaps you are always weighing up the cost:benefit of any situation. Finishing the MDS in the state you describe must have been excruciating, however, there was a clear goal and an end in sight, the culture/myth of the event will also have helped with his extraordinary endeavours.

    back at home with a longer term goal…it is very tempting, to decide that an injury is too chronic and will set you back in the long term if you continue to train/use it. so is this a sign of a weak mind of a rationale sensible decision, he wouldn;t run on a broken foot at home.

    however, having said that, i have come to accept that i always having something that hurts, back, knees, feet, thumbs (bizzarrely) and having tried the whole menu of treatments – straightforward hard, repetitive training seems to be the best cure.

    A friend was plagued with back pain for years, he eventually got an MRI scan which confirmed that was nothing wrong with it, he has not had the slightest twinge or pain since. On a similar note studies of runners knees show there is no correlation between the decay of a knee and the amount of pain experienced by a runner, runners with great knees can experience loads of pain whilst some with knees you wouldn;t dare walk to the shop with, run miles with no ill effect.

    the mind is an extremely powerfull tool.


    September 11, 2010 at 2:29 pm

  2. Hi Kes, Thanks for your usual thoughtful replies… Its always good to get your take.

    The chap I was talking about is James Cracknell so a little different form the norm. And I agree that the situation plays a key role. I know when he got home he rested. Also that was an acute injury and one most normal people was have just said “stop”.

    I think your friend with the back pain highlights my point. The mind is so powerful that it will make excuses for you. These injuries are very often never really there IMO. And continued research does show this. You need or want a reason to quit or slow down your mind will give you one. The power of suggestion or even bad advice (like running is bad for your knees) is also enough to play on the mind and allow you enough reasons not to run.

    Another great mind example is an old experiment of 300 knee operation which you can read here….

    I believe so strongly in the power of belief that I once accepted two faith healers doing work on my knee. I was training hard for the MdS, had over trained or at least thought I had. I finally agreed to the intervention after much debate. Before, I literally could not run and even had trouble walking. After the work I could not stop thinking about the whole process for hours. I slept that night, got up in the morning and ran like normal. The pain never came back.

    For me where the belief comes from does not matter. I am not religious but I believe in the power of the mind. I thought that if these two people believed so strongly they could make a difference, why not let them try….Their belief in healing and mine in belief was a good recipe for success.

    As for your runners with pain, I sometimes think they like to tell people they run with pain. So their minds make up enough pain for them to be able to do that but still run….. They feel good and achieve their “ego goal”.



    September 13, 2010 at 8:33 am

  3. Yep agree, the ego goal must be achieved. for some that defines who they are for now. By commiting to these challenges we choose to confront that and try to redesign the belief as they challenged.
    The underling motivation for doing tha? a big enough want to discover a big enough why to be the best version of yourself.



    September 13, 2010 at 10:56 am

    • Carlyle, I am working with someone right now on their limiting beliefs and breaking them down….. I will post later but any comments you have on breaking them down would be useful….. I will post a video in a minute that demonstrates limiting beliefs in quite an extreme situation.


      September 13, 2010 at 11:06 am

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