This blog post is dedicated to my Physiotherapist Tom Lucas at Physiomentum. It is based on a conversation we had about an analogy between trees and starting over when things go South, when we feel stuck, and when we seemingly have no answers. Tom stuck by my side during these past 2 difficult years, never giving up on me. For this and so many other things, I thank him.
I have a thing for trees..I always have. Especially in the Fall when the leaves are changing and falling. They show us how to let go of things. Then during the Winter with all the ice and snow, where they so seem magical. I can often just focus on the trees when I go out for an easy long run, it’s meditative.
Back in April 2017, I went to see Tom for my pre-race “tune up” appointment. It was my first race in 18 months after being off from running for over a year due to injury and we were talking about my journey and what it took for me to get back to running and now racing! He was recovering from a foot fracture that wasn’t healing as quickly as he would have liked. Tom mentioned and analogy that he came up with to maybe help others understand what is sometimes required to get back on a positive path with a positive action plan. He compared my journey and what he was going through with his foot to trees. I was instantly captivated, his analogy resonated with me until this day. Six months later, I am still using this tool.
Getting Back To The Roots…
When things start to unravel, when you feel stuck, or when you have no answers, think of a tree and go back to the root of things. Look at a tree with all of it’s branches and leaves, each part is a piece of the puzzle/issue. We often get so wrapped up with what is going on in the moment, that we forget to look back to the “drawing board”. This is not about getting stuck in the past and feeling badly about it. This is about sifting through the branches and leaves and getting back down to the trunk! The foundation of things..the roots of the tree and starting over.
Starting over is often difficult to even fathom, but it is often necessary in order to positively move forward. Once you do it over and over it becomes easier and almost “automatic”. I can’t even begin to count how many times I have had to start over from the root of things with regards to my running, parenting, and infinite issues with my son who is on the Autism Spectrum.
Sometimes, I am starting over” on a daily basis. I stop “obsessing” about the issue at hand and look back at what worked, what didn’t work and what I haven’t tried yet. Other times, it’s just a matter of letting go for a while. I will take some space from it, take a deep breath until I am in a better place to see through “all the leaves” so to speak!
You As A Tree
Imagine yourself and/or the issue at hand as a tree with all it’s parts (roots, trunk, branches and leaves). Now imagine dissecting each part in order to build yourself back up again, or getting back to the root of an issue in order to find a new positive pathway/solution. Usually, things have to fall apart or be taken apart to be built back up again. Trees do this every year, maybe we should to.