Story: By the time you read this blog, assuming all goes well, I will have a new left knee. I’m hobbling around to the point I can barely walk. Thank goodness medicine has advanced to where I have this opportunity. It’s debatable if had I been more careful during my life, whether I would have been able to preserve my original knee. Part of the dubious credit causing a knee problem goes to an opposing college wide receiver, who tore out my knee with a crack back block. I will never forget the distressed look on my Dad’s face when they carted me off the field in an an ambulance. However, at 19 years of age, I shrugged off the injury and felt invincible like young people often do.
Key Point: There are many times in my 40-plus year work life when I took my health too much for granted. After I finished college, my knee healed enough and kindly supported a long and gratifying period where I was a runner. Long distance jogs became my stress relief, and a time for much reflection. The Thanksgiving after being fortunate enough to finish the New York marathon, while still in my early forties, the same knee gave out. Arthroscopy and no more running. Did I do proper physiotherapy? No! Why? The truth was that I was afraid to miss work commitments. I was a new VP in a big company, and felt I couldn’t afford to take time to heal properly. I told myself I didn’t need to. B.S. Even a few years ago, after ignoring carpal tunnel symptoms and waiting too long for full recovery surgery, I was taking meetings by phone an hour after the operation. It was ignorant, and frankly a little arrogant.
Some of you will appropriately shake your heads at my poor judgment regarding the above anecdotes. You are wiser and more emotionally mature on this matter than me. However, I know others are not too different than I have been. For one reason or another, you are putting your health on the back burner. Ask yourself honestly why? In some cases, the very physical nature of a job just puts a lot of stress on the body, and making a living competes with better choices. However, in many situations we ignore or add to health issues that will catch up later in life when we just don’t need them to. A lot of executives fall into this category. Of course, this is easy to better appreciate on the eve of a major surgery.
I hope this message connects with a few readers so you might avoid getting a new body part because of what you will do more of or less of, starting today! Organizations are currently more enlightened about the total well being of employees. And I promise you that the organization will be just fine while you take care of yourself . Later in life, when you’re dealing with the consequences of your avoidance, the organization you “sacrificed” for will be long gone. Organizations are built to replace parts. Human beings are made to keep our originals. Please remind yourself of that!
Personal Leadership Moves:
- Take care of yourself first. This is NOT a new concept to you. However, the courage to act that way me be.
- Commit to keeping all your original parts in great working condition as part of your overall development strategy. With exponential advancement in bio medicine, you might even be able to make those originals better.
Original parts in Personal Leadership,
One Millennial View: Thanks for the sage advice that I believe all Millennials should keep in mind. It’s easy to ignore physical injury, to keep running through a pair of sore legs, lifting with a sensitive shoulder, and more. Tending to these issues is admitting that something might be wrong, which is an unwanted setback for anyone. Needless to say, we’ll all be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers as we might contemplate or reconsider the health of our own routines.
Edited and published by Garrett Rubis