Do You Disappear?

Do You Disappear?

Feb 2, 2014

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Left to right: Howard Penrose, Mike Randall, Joe Atef – during a typical Monday evening guest training with Team Overkill.

Have been spending Monday evenings with the folks at the Power Pit/Overkill to learn the custom Overkill shirt I was breaking in just prior to my injury almost exactly 7 months ago.  Feeling a little shaky when I have to rely upon the injured thumb when I bring the weight down as low as this shirt requires.  But definitely getting there!

And, now for the article….

I used the following for a business related newsletter and found it to be just as appropriate here:

The first part of this year has been interesting.  A little frustrating as I re-injured the knee (a little) while walking into the doctor’s office.  The ground was a little slippery.  So, it will be just a bit longer.

That, of course, does not drop me out of the sport of powerlifting.  I will be competing bench-only while assisting teammates and organizers with their efforts.

While I often see people come into hard times or become injured in a sport, the worst thing they can do is ‘disappear.’  I understand that the injury or inconvenience may feel embarrassing, believe me, it does, but the professional or athlete does themselves and/or their respective sport or industry a disservice by crawling into their cave and hiding during the recovery process.

Through my entire career I have taken steps back in order to make leaps forward.  I expect no less out of my chosen sport!  Injuries and setbacks happen.  How you deal with them is what makes up your character.

Over the years many of us have discussed the new workforce – the knowledge worker – the guy who is portable and ready to move around because of their specific knowledge.  This applies to skilled trades as well as professional employees.  What happens to the excellent salesperson who has a car accident and cannot drive (or slips on the ice)?  Do you send them home on disability?  Or, do you give them the opportunity to change tactics and get on the phone to follow up with their sources?  The skilled trades specialist who has a caste on because it has just been plain slippery out there and he can no longer do his vibration routes for 6 weeks.  Do you change things up and have him show someone how to collect the data and then he interprets it?  The result in these situations is not just keeping that knowledge in operation, because time away will draw away that experience (things become rusty from a lack of use), but also you will maintain the needed service while having others mentored such that the program can be expanded.

The athlete that becomes injured – should s/he crawl away and hide while healing?  Or share the knowledge that they have obtained coaching others.

What it comes down to is the fortitude of the person and the support of their organization in how this unusual (hopefully) opportunity is.

Recently I have run into even more people in the industries I serve that have returned to their sport, or have started entering sports, in their 40s and 50s.  Are there dangers inherent with this?  Heck yeah!  However, the rewards often outweigh the risks and even the injuries that may, or will, occur.  This means that we have to be ready to adapt from a professional and sport standpoint when they do.

In my particular case, I have used the opportunity to do a few things I drifted away from professionally, including research, adjusted how I compete (bench only in 2014), have been working behind the scenes in the sport while also handling publishing and live-video opportunities to promote the sport, and, of course, have been assisting with some coaching.

How do you handle these challenges when they occur?

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