Wisdom, described as the quality of being wise. Indeed essential however not always sufficient. To fully leverage wisdom, it need partners. Partners that include patience, perspective and pace.

Happiest when I am dancing

For me this is true. I love to dance. But you may be relieved to hear, this is not a story about dance. So why mention it?

In early March (pre the new normal), I happily found myself at home alone. Yay, what freedom. What to do? I know, put on some music, yes loud music. To be specific, the song was “Let’s get loud”. And yes, dance. To me, oh what fun, oh what joy.

Until of course, channeling perhaps the Sydney Dance Company (yes a mismatch between my ability and aspirations), I leapt into the air, only to land with my ankle on an angle.

Long story short, the physio diagnosed with me with a tendinopathy. He also said because of the location the healing process would likely be challenging, maybe as long as 12-16 weeks.

Commitment, then a brain explosion

Some context, I am one of those rare people who actually do the physio’s exercises given to them. And my physio calls me a super responder. In short I generally respond well to treatment and heal quickly.

So despite my diagnosis, I was feeling positive. My thinking was, I have got this. If I do what is asked of me, the healing will follow. And I can return to my dancing.

Here is how things actually went.

  • For a month, I did my exercises as instructed by the physio. Go girl I thought!
  • As requested, I exercised, and then rested my ankle, every other day. Again go girl!
  • I made great progress. I was taking more load on the ankle. I was a happy girl!
  • Then I experienced what I can only describe as a brain explosion.
  • I decided a month is a long time. I am a super responder. Surely I am now ok.
  • And I should add, I am now in lock down, so exercise was a highly valued outlet.
  • So I returned to my normal exercise routine too early. Oops girl!

Yes, it was too soon. My ankle blew up. I was in pain again, feeling frustrated and annoyed. It felt as if I had returned to square one. I knew better, why did I ignore what I knew.

I found myself sitting on the couch watching my husband leave for his bike rides, feeling sorry for myself. I knew it would be 3-4 days before my ankle settled, before I could restart my healing program.

Unfortunately this was not a one off. Yes there were a few rounds of this full scenario. All ending with the same outcome. I did not return to scratch, however each time my ankle blew up, I added somewhere between 1-2 weeks to my ankle’s healing.

The penny drops

Now as a coach, mentor and specialist in the area of wellbeing and high performance, you would assume I have the wisdom to know better. Well, yes I do. But.

I often talk about what I call “quirks in human design”. I may have had the wisdom to know better, however what I knew, what I had to reconnect with, is that having wisdom is essential, however it is often not sufficient.

Again long story short. I came to the crushing realisation that if I wanted to fully heal my ankle, I need to partner my wisdom with three things:

  1. Being patient.
  2. The right perspective.
  3. The right pace.

When I write and read this, it appears pretty straight forward. Some may say, not rocket science. However this ignores the fact that change is a process. It requires:

  1. Awareness and acceptance of cause and effect; in this case the impact of my choices.
  2. Consideration of the pros and cons; weighing up the alternate choices I could make.
  3. A decision to take the “right” action (that would lead to healing of my ankle), and
  4. Commitment to sustained action over time; for me avoiding further brain explosions.

Patience + perspective + pace

The lesson I reconnected with. Wisdom is essential; however it is often not sufficient.

In my case it needed to be partnered with:

  1. Patience; often said to be a virtue. Why? It is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
  2. Perspective; it talks to mindset. Why? It is a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; it represents a point of view.
  3. Pace; it talks to rhythm. Why? It describes moving, doing or developing (something) at a particular rate or speed.

Know and apply wisdom

My experience has given me a powerful reminder that knowing what to do is not the same as doing it. That wisdom is essential however often not sufficient.

I encourage you to reflect on your own wisdom; is it being fully leveraged? Do you need to partner it with patience, a different perspective and a change in pace? Or perhaps another partner?

And importantly if you did this, would it better facilitate the changes you are seeking to make or achieve in your performance or wellbeing?

PS: Yes the ankle is finally healed. Yes my exercise and dancing days have returned. YAY!!

Stay safe and well. Ciao Jan