I went in for shoulder surgery last month and that has turned out to be a more profound experience for me than I could have imagined.
For starters, it’s a tough decision to go in for an elective surgery that’s the equivalent of updating your house’s wiring as opposed to redoing the kitchen. I knew I had a rotator cuff tear, but for the most part, I was able to continue with my regular routine of running and cycling five days a week. Most doctors will recommend physical therapy, and “wait and see”. Why fix something that’s not entirely broken…?
Until it was, I went in for an MRI in June which showed the size and severity of the rotator cuff tear. I saw 3 doctors who all told me “wait and see” had turned into, “we’ve seen and now surgery is the only option”.
I guess my body had had enough, and with the confirming MRI, my shoulder went on strike. I couldn’t play ice hockey, do my regular workout routine, get a good night’s sleep, go on a rollercoaster with Halston in Disneyland, or swim with her at the beach. However, the prospect of a 5+ month recovery to MAYBE get back to baseline wasn’t exactly enticing.
And that’s the human condition, isn’t it? We’re unable to make a change until the pain of where we are now is greater than the pain of undergoing the transformation. Maybe you’re in a situation now where you’re weighing staying comfortable in the present versus a momentary struggle for the better. Let this be your encouragement to take that difficult path.
I had a friend say to me that he wished he needed surgery so he could rest. I think there’s a piece of all of us that has been programmed to equate rest with laziness. I know part of why I was dreading the recovery was because I feared the required downtime. I’m not sure I actually know how to rest, even with this mandatory sentence.
As business people, we are accustomed to selling, closing, and making deals. We feel like we’re failing if we’re resting. Maybe you can join me in normalizing downtime even without a reason. I think it’s important to remember that there are some pretty terrible things that can happen to a person that would force them into rest – certainly more drastic than lousy shoulder surgery. Let’s rest now and not give The Universe a reason to force us to slow down.
While I’m taking a break from my usual activities, I’ve watched a couple of documentaries I can recommend:
“Legacy” on Hulu documents when Dr. Jerry Buss bought the Lakers.
For someone who is a Lakers fan, it is really interesting to learn about Dr. Buss and all that was going on behind the scenes.
If I Leave Here Tomorrow
This film follows the rise of Lynyrd Skynyrd from playing 20-person bars to sold-out stadiums.
It’s easy to see someone’s success and not realize all the effort.
The fantasy of being in a rock n roll band is a lot different than the reality of the work it takes to “make it”.
So are you guilty of associating rest with laziness?
Or do you schedule downtime and have some great tips you can share with me?
Whatever your thoughts, I always love getting a response to these emails.
P.S. All right music lovers, which song line wormed into your brain? “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “would you still remember me?”