12 weeks ago I had surgery to replace a severed ACL, a torn meniscus and torn cartilage in my knee. My recovery has been textbook: tough, with steady and certain progress, and slower than my impatient self would like.
Two weeks ago, I walked into my physical therapy session, only to be greeted by Mark, my therapist, with, “You excited? You’re going to run a mile today!”
“You’re funny,” I said. “Seriously, what am I really going to do today?”
“Seriously. You are going to run a whole mile.” He said, again.
“Well that should be interesting, considering I can’t walk up or down stairs without hurting.” I countered.
Within minutes Mark had me slip into a pair of super tight neoprene shorts with a zipper around my waist. I stood on very elaborate treadmill that had a big canvas attached to it. The canvas zipped around my new and uncomfortable shorts. My body weight registered on the screen in front of me and the canvas began to fill with air until it showed that I was now on a treadmill that had eliminated 55% of my body weight… and I began to run. And just like my therapist told me, I ran a whole mile using only 45% of my body’s weight. I was stunned.
Sometimes, if not all the time, our response to things comes from what we know. That means that sometimes, if not all the time, our response to things comes from what we DON’T know. We take our education and our personal history of experiences into account when making decisions about our future. And while there’s merit for that, there’s also merit to suggesting that what we don’t know can limit us and, therefore, our future.
Ignorance is bliss when you’re blissful being ignorant. Ignorance is not bliss when you want to fight your way to a better reality for yourself. Sometimes people, situations, experiences and opportunities present themselves in order to stretch (and sometimes shatter) our beliefs and to introduce us to that which we don’t yet know… for our own good.
The recovery process for my knee surgery has been physically exhausting and mentally challenging. It’s also shown me that I am susceptible to unknowingly fighting for my own limitations when I rely on myself and my collection of knowledge and experiences to chart my next course of action, whatever that may be. Pushing ourselves without knowing what we are doing does not end well, if it ends at all. However, when someone who knows better than us pushes us through a growth opportunity, we enjoy confidence and freedom like we’ve never known before.
I’m certain that this is exactly what the person meant who first said, “You get what you pay for.” So, whether it’s doctors or coaches or physical therapists or Realtors or financial planners or accountants, or anything or anyone else, remember that you tend get what you pay for. There’s nothing smarter than having people in your corner who have more knowledge, more experience and more expertise than you do. And there’s nothing more stupid than being okay with not having, or getting, or paying for those people when you need them. You may not need, or even want, those kind of people in your life right now, but the person you wish to become does.
ZERO Gravity was my wake up call to stop fighting for my own limitations. What’s it going to take for you to stop fighting for yours?