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We’re sorry you’re here, but we’re glad you’re with us!
It’s the week before the Boston Marathon, and I—Cindy Kuzma—won’t be running the race, for the first time in six years. I’m disappointed and know I’ll feel left out on Marathon Monday. But I’m also excited to watch an amazing elite field and cheer on my friends who are racing.
Sitting with all those conflicting emotions has proven a bit challenging. So I’m glad that this week on The Injured Athletes Club, my co-host and mental skills coach Carrie Jackson Cheadle talks me through a mental exercise that’s all about making peace with feelings that seem opposite or incongruous at first.
We started by calling it Good News, Bad News—but flipped it to Bad News, Good News midway through, as we realized we naturally think of the challenges first (and that it’s more helpful to end on a high note).
On this episode, we discuss:
- Some of the positive emotions that can accompany injury—including looking forward to improving other parts of your performance or spending time with friends and family
- Why it can be hard to accept those upsides or square them with your disappointment or other negative emotions; why we fight for one side to “win”
- How thinking back to high-school or college graduation, with its blend of melancholy and anticipation, can help us remember it’s possible to honestly feel a whole range of things at one time
- Why getting stuck either in the positive or negative side—or in either defying or conforming to others’ expectations of how you “should” be feeling—can be detrimental
- The way staying open to the lows is necessary to experience the highs; after all, they’re both an essential part of the human experience
- Situations in which Carrie’s seen her athletes use Bad News, Good News, including overcoming new pain, setbacks, and other obstacles
- How, practically speaking, to make it work (including some fun variations, such as writing your own clickbait headlines)
- The way this quick, simple exercise can build over time into greater resilience to handle more serious situations
- The definition of psychological flexibility, and its potential link to levels of anxiety or depression
- Other tools you can use to cultivate psychological flexibility, including redefining obstacles as opportunities and staying open to possibility
Don’t forget, we’re back the second and fourth Thursdays of every month with new episodes for you