Thursday, January 28, 2016

Optimism Bias and the Injured Runner




I love this Ted Talk. It is 17 minutes about the optimism bias most of us have, it very interesting, as are most Ted Talks.
Optimism  - being able to believe or envision a different reality.

However, being overly optimistic can be harmful, because you ignore the obvious warning signs or risk, and you could end up in a worse place; too much too soon.

SO, as I try to wrap my mind around my current situation of a tender foot, crooked toes, no running, and my goals slipping away...
Do I remain optimistic?

Yes, but I have come to place where running  is not the most urgent matter.
The runners paradigm has changed. 

It is not that I am being negative or giving up, I just want to be healthy. I do not envision a future where I am just getting by....

Trust me, I am already tired of hearing myself talk about this stupid foot. 

If you read my diagnosis post you know the Doc wasn't optimistic with me at all. Well, I ain't got time for that...
SO, on to the next doc (Feb. 18th)
I hope my sports guy is more optimistic...but even if he isn't,  I am completely optimistic I will heal up and move on. 
My real problem is, can I stay sane and how loooong it will all take. From most accounts (thank you people that share their lives on the internet) I am looking at four months. 

In true Karen style, I am posting the Wednesday word on Thursday...that is how I roll. 


Stop by Deb Runs, the link up host and check out some other posts! 

Is it possible for realistic and optimism to co-exist?
Have you ever been through something that took way longer to heal than anticipated?
If you watched the Ted Talk - thoughts??

28 comments:

  1. I do think you can be both optimistic and realistic. I know 4 months sounds horrible! But not when you take a step back and look at the big picture. If you knew absolutely that 4 months would heal your foot, you'd have no problem with it, right? I think it's the fear of the unknown that makes us crazy! Hang in there! Let's be optimistic about your next appointment!

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    1. I am trying to do that! I keep trying to tell myself it is not that long...eventually I will convince myself :)
      The unknown is scary but I feel better now that I found some people who still run after this, crooked toes and all lol

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  2. I'm an optimist... my husband is a pessimist - I say that we balance each other out to realistic :)

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  3. I say there is always a balance of realistic vs optimism. If they didn't coexist we would either be up in the clouds with dreams or down in reality without ambition. There has to be a balance.

    Oh gosh the ITB and PF issues went on forever. To this day I still have to tape my right foot and still pull back when my ITB is whispering to me. NO BUENO!!

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    1. I agree a 100%! I don't want my head in the clouds dismissing what is front of me, but I try to remain motivated lol
      Your PF and IT issues were bad :( I hope you can keep that at bay now! That is good tape helps, do what you gotta do.

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  4. I COMPLETELY believe being an optimist and a realist coexist because that is exactly how I would describe my thinking about most things! I enjoy being a realist because I don't like setting myself up for disappointment, which is obviously the risk as far as optimism is concerned. But as far as how I react to things around me, I definitely err on the side of optimism because it is better to be happy than sad. And seriously, being happy is a DECISION.

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    1. We are alike that way! I always try to look at what is realistic,and the norm in a situation but I still believe I can beat it lol I want to read your post! I will, work is very crazy right now and I came home and slept...I will catch up soon. Being happy is a decision :)

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  5. I hope they can for your sake.

    I didn't run when I broke my ankle for almost 5 months. And I didn't know if I wold be able ever again. That was the tough part. When I had the stress fracture and the broken foot, I was optimistic because i knew that I would heal.

    I think that you will too.

    I am optimistic for you.

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    1. You know I thought I had a stress fracture and I was pretty sure I would running again before I could blink, but sometimes it doesn't happen that way...
      I have read accounts of folks who never recover from this type of injury, but I found some who did! and I am hopeful I will come back. I just think it will be like your ankle, a lot longer than I want to stay out.

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  6. Are you saying that when people run through injuries they are being overly optimistic instead of not very smart? If so, I think you might be on to something. At least that's how I prefer to look at it!

    Thanks for linking up! Better late than never! :-)

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    1. That is kind of how I feel about myself Deb. I kept jacking around with the sore foot for a few months, clinging to any slight improvement- I wonder now if I had taken a few weeks off in Dec..but hindsight is golden right?!

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  7. Oooh I love TED talks and I'm going to check that one out. I do think it's possible for optimism and realism to coexist. The optimism kicks in when you focus on making the most out of the options you have. xoxo

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    1. I like that thought about options. I need to expand to a few more maybe, and I am sure I will eventually get into a better rhythm :)

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  8. I am an optimist for sure! But I also like to think I let realism creep in at least a little. I always like to think I am a glass half full about to be refilled kind of girl. I did have an injury several years ago that kept me sidelined way longer than I would have guessed. I still deal with it from time to time in fact but my doctor thinks it is more in my back than anything and as long as running doesn't hurt to go for it. So I do!

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    1. I feel glass half full most days, but when you think long term it becomes a little more challenging for me.
      That is good you had something the you can work around. Same thing my Doc said about my knees, use them or lose them, he felt staying strong would benefit me the most. I am glad the injury didn't keep you down.

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  9. Obviously, I totally believe you can be optimistic and realistic at the same time. In fact, I'd say it's imperative to be so!

    I could say I'm optimistic that my easy pace will be a 10 mm this year, but considering it hovers around 12:30 -- not terribly realistic.

    Better to be optimistic that with continued hard work, I will continue to lower the pace I consider easy.

    I love your attitude!

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    1. Thanks Judy :)
      Pace is a funny thing, the same pace can feel easier some days and incredibly hard the next run.
      I am sure it will be hot by the time I get to run again and I will back to those 11 min miles feeling like death lol

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  10. I always enjoy TED Talks so I will check this one out, too. I am a very happy and upbeat person, but I tend to always prepare myself for worst case scenario. Every time I have been injured, I imagine my life without running "just in case". I guess even now I often will think of my life without running. I think I do this because my body is very injury prone and I am not sure I will be able to run forever. I try to imagine what my workouts would be and how I could be just as passionate about other sports. I know that sounds kind of bad, but I am what I am. That being said, I work my ass off in PT and am committed to my "stay healthy plan" so I hope I don't have to find out what life without running would be. But if that day comes, I hope I can move into a new way of life without fighting it too much.

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    1. Oh my, I do the same thing with the worst case, just because a few times I have tried to tell myself it'll be fine, it is not that bad, and ended up in surgery.
      It is hard to over come what we inherit in the gene pool and how healthy our growing years were, I seem to be injury prone as well. I always have to look back to my younger years, I have tried as an adult, as I know you do also, to do what I can to take care of my self.
      I am going to have to get a stay healthy plan after I get through this. My body does not like mileage. I have to say I have really enjoyed my walks, even though I ache a bit, the fresh air and being outside does wonders...
      Hopefully that won't come too soon, but I agree I hope I can move on w/o fighting it too much.

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  11. I am so sorry to hear you are injured. :( It really sucks when you try hard to do what you love and I feel like I'm being 'punished' or something by my body when I'm injured.

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    1. Thanks Heather. I have felt that way! I get very annoyed my body will not keep up. I am trying to be patient and let it have the rest it needs.

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  12. Generally speaking, I'm pretty optimistic. I tend to see the good in most situations. But I am sorry to hear about your injury, which I imagine is very frustrating. Hoping that healing comes your way soon! Thanks for visiting my blog earlier this week!

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    1. Thank you :)
      I enjoy the link up and I am trying to make my rounds and read more blogs. Some weeks are challenging time wise though:)

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  13. I would say I am an "impatient optimist"! Sometimes with a hard hit, it takes me a bit longer to pull myself up by my bootstraps!
    A couple of things I have learned: focus on what you can do, and when in a funk, focus on others--It helps me stop the negative cycle in the brain.
    I will have to come back and watch that "ted talk".
    I am the same as another reader, My hubby and I balance each other out.

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    1. I am totally in that place, this was a harder hit than I expected and I am having a hard time getting my self back on track totally. That is so true about stopping the negative cycle in the brain.
      I do enjoy the Ted Talks and it helps me to get a grip on what is going on in my head lol
      It is good to balance each other out :)

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  14. Thanks for sharing this Ted talk! I absolutely love these talks. My all-time favorite one was the "power pose" by Amy Cuddy - have you ever seen or heard of it?

    I absolutely believe optimism and realism can co-exist. There are so many ways to look at the world - NOTHING is mutually exclusive, in my opinion!

    I know 4 months sounds awful, but in the grand scheme of things it is not long at all. Think of this as your opportunity to focus on rounding out your fitness and keeping your routine varied! Once you do get back to running, you'll feel so mentally refreshed. That is priceless!

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    1. I have not seen the power pose but I am going to watch! At my old job I tried to watch at least two a week, but I have not continued that when I started my new position about two years ago, I need to get back in the habit.
      Four months does feel eternal right now lol but I know it'll pass.

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