The Superhero's Conundrum
I saved the world yesterday. It’s true. Without a cape, mask, or neatly coordinated color scheme, without a sidekick, nifty gadgets, or getaway car I saved the world. And here’s the thing…no one knows it. Everyone woke up, brewed their coffee, checked their phones, took their showers, or whatever it is that people do in the morning time, and continued on with their day like it was any other day. No one got down on their knees and looked up with tears in their eyes praising the Almighty that the world was still there. No one savored every sip of their coffee like it was a miracle. No one stopped to appreciate that breathing is a beautiful thing and not to be taken for granted. It was just another day hustling to get the kids out the door to school or get off to work in time or convince yourself to stop slapping the snooze button.
Ok, I didn’t really save the world. Or did I? How do you know one way or the other? If I saved the world it’s still here just like before, no different. Unless you were there for the action packed cinematic superhero extravaganza (or perhaps it was a lot less fantastic than that) where upon I saved the world you wouldn’t know that it even happened. This is a conundrum. Destruction is the only thing that can be proved. Prevention is elusive, not provable, slips through our fingers when we try to hold it.
In my Structural Therapy practice, after helping someone to heal from injury, I often counsel that prevention is the best strategy. Don’t wait for injury again and then set about healing it, prevent it. Check in daily with conscious stretching and movement, come in for Structural Therapy treatments or some other good bodywork at the very least seasonally for a tune up, use your body well staying true to alignment and biomechanics, eat well, etc.. Don’t wait for it come to you and pile up until you can’t ignore it anymore; instead, deal with it ahead of time.
Healing from injury is frustrating in one sense because sometimes there is fear that it might never heal, there is pain and discomfort, and there is a time period where your life is altered because it prevents you from doing certain activities. The strange thing is that healing from injury can be easier in some ways than prevention. As you heal from injury you get to observe measurable progress, notice an increase in range of motion and a decrease in pain, and experience a return of your life as your ability to do certain activity returns. Whereas when you prevent injury it’s the same as it was before- yesterday you weren’t injured and today you’re still not injured. Did the stretches and exercise prevent it? You can’t prove it. Don’t let that stop you. If the superhero decided to slack off on saving the world because no one would know it even happened the comic book would read as a tragedy.
Create an environment that’s favorable for what you want and unfavorable for what you don’t want. Be proactive. Save the world.