I have been thinking alot about the word “PROGRESS” lately and how that relates to my life and my athletes lives. Dictionary.com says it is defined as “growth or development; continuous improvement”. Those are interesting words that can be applied different ways. Let’s break it down:
Continuous improvement is what we all want with our athletes, right? I always want to see the guys improving. Whether it is in decreasing pain, improving performance, doing a new skill more effectively, what ever it is, that is what we strive for every day. I was watching Stu McGill speak this weekend at the ACA Rehab Summit in Las Vegas. He talked about easy it is for us as clinicians and coaches to think that the athletes always need MORE in order to progress when actually, sometimes they need LESS! Sometimes they need less range of motion and flexibility, and sometimes they need less strength. Sometimes we feel like we need to train our athletes more. We need to do more therapy. We need to do more soft tissue work. When really, the tissue needs some time to recover. The body needs time to regenerate. In order to do that, the body needs rest. It needs less work and some time to adapt to the changes that are being made within the system.
So going off of the concept of needing LESS, sometimes that is what we need for our professional development. I know that is what I needed at the end of last year. I needed to work LESS! I was easily going 80-100 hour workweeks for the last 6 years, with virtually no time off. In case you were wondering, that is NOT sustainable. At least it is not sustainable for me. It is necessary to do at certain times in our careers (and don’t get me wrong…I would not change one second of it) but we need to be self aware enough to realize when it is time for less. Not because we are being lazy, or tired, or don’t feel like working, but because we need to refocus, clear our heads and redirect our lives.
Sometimes we need less clutter, less minutia, less drama, less noise in our lives in order to achieve personal growth. We need less dysfunctional relationships and more supportive ones. We need less “stuff” because we finally realize it is just “stuff”.
So ultimately, at least for me right now, less is more. That is PROGRESS for me on so many levels.