Re-Write Your Story - The story of Bruce Gordon, 56
Breathe, Reframe and Find the Beauty
Through my athletic endeavors as a participant, coach and writer I have met some really tough individuals. Tough in that they were able to endure some really extreme mental, physical and spiritual challenges. Challenges that required incredible endurance, courage and discipline.
In some way not readily apparent, these special people are able to transcend the limits of what seemed possible. To cause havoc in contact sports and not get hurt, or to get hurt and play through the pain, to battle with a terminal illness and push through and live, or to go to battle with a special forces unit and perform superhuman tasks and live to tell about it.
For some reason, I’ve always considered these “tough” people to have special talents and therefore be beyond normal. Thanks to Eric Baker for setting me straight. In his book, “Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science of Why Everything You Know About Success is wrong” he explains the reality that exists for all people.
Eric Barker talks about the dilemma facing the US Navy Seals. The demand for Seals was greater than the supply. The Navy realized that they could not lower their standards. That was when they discovered the importance of positive self–talk. Eric Barker explains, “By teaching their candidates how to be mindful, how to breathe in stressful situations and techniques to change their inner voice from a negative one (I can’t do this, I am ringing the bell and going home) to a positive one (I can do this, I will not quit on my team) they nearly doubled the number of candidates who made it each class.”
As I was reading Eric Barkers comments regarding the Seals, I instantly realized that at times every one needs to be able to reframe – change their experience (self-talk included) from negative to positive and find the beauty in their reality. I refer to this process as the ability to “re-write your story.”
For Bruce Gordon, whom I’ve written about before in this column regarding his ability to use intentional breathing to manage the discomfort of rehabbing from a massive heart attack. With his rehab now compete he refers to his present condition as his “new normal.” The term new normal is his way of re-writing his story. Which has allowed Bruce to live within the restrictions and construct that his doctor has put on his ability to exercise. He can now only exercise for one hour and his pulse must not go over 135.
In Bruce’s words, “I’m lucky to be alive. I work every moment to breathe my way to being grateful to have my life back. My new normal allows me to ride my bike, swim in my pool and do light exercise. A far cry from the extreme nature of an all out 400-mile bike ride and swimming across Lake Coeur d’Alene in 12 hours in really cold water and setting a marathon swimming record, covering 19 miles in 12 hours.”
Bruce sources this limited amount of exercise combined with the HiLevel Intentional Breathing for allowing him to process the PTS from his near death ordeal. Bruce continues, “In an amazing way, I have learned to breathe, settle-down and be calm. I have always been driven to excel in every area of my life. Now I feel blessed to be able to calm down and connect with people in a very special way.
Bruce has successfully re–written his story and he continues to breathe, reframe and find the beauty in the entirety of his life.
Photo by UCHEALTH
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