Hakuna Matata – it means “no worries”…

I think most of us know the words to this song or at least would recognise it. Personally, I think Timon and Pumbaa were on to something with this moto. Wouldn’t everything be more simple if we had adopted the philosophy of these two childhood characters? Surely it would be – going through life with no worries and no doubts over what is going to happen. Never in a moment of worry have I, and I am confident no one else has, made a rational choice… Let me know if I am wrong but in my experience worry brings nothing but more negativity, lost energy and more doubt – which together are a recipe for disaster, especially if you are already trying to manage a hard situation in your or someone else’s life.

RuthieSo why am reminiscing over one of my favourite Disney films?
In my last blog I wrote about the injury to my hip which has caused me to throw plan A for 2016 into the waste-paper basket and start drafting up plan B. Of course, this event brought much worry in regards to the disappointment of now and the questions over the four weeks rest, the following months and this 2016 racing. However, nearly two months down the line I want to share how I made the most of this time and did not get caught up on the can’t, instead creating a “HAKUNA MATATA” mindset!

Ok, lets be frank I would be lying if I said I didn’t once worry or become upset about the situation, of course I did and still do. However, what I am doing is finding distractions and creating a mindset that has already helped me cope with the situation and make the most of now – as hey even if the next few months are not the ideal, surely they can still be pretty damn good?!

Screen Shot 2016-05-08 at 17.26.40Firstly, finding distractions are important. No this is not ignoring the problem but a way of working through them by keeping the mind sane and helping the time pass positively – why waste any day, even if it is not perfect?
If you are struggling with a hard situation that has caused your plans to be changed, whether this is an injury or not, I would suggest focusing on something else in your life, another area that you can make stronger. By doing this it provides a focus that your brain can be occupied by. This takes the mind off what is happening and all those worries about the unknown – which yup are useless!

For example, this may be getting a different job or focusing more on your current one, coaching at a local cub, going on weekend breaks with friends or just spending more time with the family. This not only gives you purpose again but also worth as you improve and build areas of your life you may have been sacrificing before due to your long training hours etc. Furthermore, by letting yourself do different things away from your normal life or routine it creates the space you need to gain a positive perspective that will be required to come back stronger when the time is right.

This leads nicely into the importance of creating the “Hakuna Matata” mindset for your situation. The Hakuna Matata mindset is about focusing on what you do have, not what you don’t. For example, if you are injured so you can’t train or have to miss an important race, ask yourself what can you do instead and what is still constant in my life NOW? Then you can create your distraction from that. This mindset helps you see things are not all doom and gloom, in fact maybe are a blessing in disguise or an opportunity to focus on something you wouldn’t have done before or certain imbalances around you.

TurtleFor me this was very important and still is as I start crawling my way back to fitness and race form. I knew that there were areas in my health that needed addressing, so I turned my efforts to sorting this out so I could start living the opportunity of making myself stronger for the future.

Through this mindset I have gained patience and understanding that at the moment I should not focus entirely on my training. I know many people advocate give 110%, 110% of the time, I used to be that person, but after everything I have been through this time around and over the last 10 years I want to change this to yes give a 110% but only when it is right for you to do so. You may disagree and think “this is pathetic/ she will never make it/ so much for dedicated”, but hear me out. At the moment 110% is not right for me because recovery is never a straight line. Why would I want to break myself back down mentally if I had to take a temporary step back or worst yet re-injure myself by pushing too hard too soon. By maintaining a few distractions I am able to quickly put these into play if needs be and not just be left to percolate back in the lonely world of an injured triathlete. Furthermore, keeping my mind refreshed and not entirely triathlon focused eases the pain of not racing and not training full hours yet. Turning my energies away keeps me living my life and focusing on my journey back to strength and not someone else’s. I will know when to turn the throttle up but for now I feel balanced, in control of my choices and patient that I’m doing the best I can do for myself now – and hey I’m enjoying the things I wouldn’t otherwise have done.

So I hope that these words can show that whatever the situation you can gain control to keep moving forward and living your life to the full even if it is not what you had thought or the perfect plan… what is perfect anyway…?!

Keep smiling and lots of love,

Elo xxx

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