Finding Strength in Weakness

Splits pose

How can you find strength in weakness?

‏I am learning that it is OK to have weaknesses, to be perfectly imperfect. Sometimes, being weak and asking for help takes more courage than being brave or ‘just getting on with it’.

 

“I am willing to be wrong. I am willing to be passionate about something that isn’t perceived as cool. I am willing to express a theory. I am willing to admit I am afraid. I am willing to contradict something I’ve said before. I am willing to have a knee-jerk reaction, even a wrong one. I’m willing to apologize. I’m perfectly willing to be be perfectly human”

 – Donald Millar

How injury led to friendship

‏When I first started to learn the splits pose in yoga I lost concentration for a split second and dislocated my knee, I guess I was practicing wrong, letting my ego take over. However, my weak knee has actually helped me find strength in other areas of life.

‏After I injured my knee I learnt to practice more gently and be aware of alignment (in particular to have the toes of the back foot turned under to stabilise the knee joint, as pictured).

Splits pose

Finding strength in weakness

 

‏Several years later I took up surfing and I saw a surf guy who was larking about after the surf, practicing the splits with his mates. I saw that he was practicing in a way that could cause injury. I was unsure whether to go and say something; I felt awkward because he was an experienced surfer and I had already got in his way earlier when paddling out back. I dandered over to him and we got chatting, I showed him how to practice splits in a safe way to reduce the risk of injury.

‏Over time we got to know each other and he’s helped me progress with my surfing. As my knee is now weaker I have managed to dislocate twice whilst out surfing – which, although not as serious as the first instance, is nerve racking in a different way because I am in the water. The second time I dislocated it was near my friend’s house and I called in to ask for some assistance before making my way home. A mutual friend was there (who I’d met through my mate) and he helped me with an ice pack, sugary tea and some surf chat… Just the medicine needed.

A weakness in one area can lead to a different kind of strength in another. My gran told me that out of everything bad there can be something good, if you search for it. She gave the example of WW2, which heralded the mass production of penicillin that saved so many lives during the war and continues to save  millions of lives.

Keep searching for the good stuff folks!

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