Thursday, 12 August 2021 10:55

Ease up, lighten the load

Written by  Farmer's Chaplain, Colin Miller
Farmer's Chaplain Colin Miller. Farmer's Chaplain Colin Miller.

OPINION: Like many of you readers, I played a lot of sport in my younger years.

From making school teams, I moved on to different club teams, depending on where we were living at the time. With our children, Saturdays through the winter months sometimes saw us going three different ways getting to their games. Watching other games as well, both as a spectator and on TV, means I have clocked up some serious miles with sport.

It is interesting to note how much sport has changed through the years, much of it for the better, obviously. One area to see huge, much needed change, is with sports medicine. Many of the names and terms used today for conditions and injuries were unheard of back when I was competing.

For example, I could not have told you what a stress fracture was back then. My personal introduction to stress fractures came many years later through the media, possibly with the injury to All Black great Richie McCaw in 2011. Stress fractures come from ongoing repetitive force, often from overuse; my medical research informs me. And proper recovery time is usually somewhere between 6-8 weeks.

The treatment is rather interesting too, I think. Ease up, rest up, seriously lighten the load! And stop the activity that is aggravating and causing the fractures. Just medicating it is not given as an option. Of course, if you don’t listen and follow the advice, the end outcomes will be more serious.

As I am no sports physician, I think I’ll stop this about right here! However, this example can teach us much when we use it as an allegory and bring it across into the realm of our emotions and overall mental health and wellbeing.

‘Stress fractures’ within our emotions, or within our mental realm, is what I am referring to. How fitting in today’s world!

Today, stress is a wellknown contributing cause for many sicknesses, and with many mental wellbeing issues. I’m picking most of you will know someone, maybe even you yourself, who have suffered through some challenging days because of exactly this.

This is such a widely known and researched subject; nobody should be surprised to learn that online, self-help ‘stress tests’ are available. You can measure yourself against suggested ‘stressors’ to see how you are doing. These are worthy attempts to try and get your attention if you are over-cooking things and living far too close to extreme over-load.

Let me put it this way: stress fractures are your body talking to you, perhaps even starting to shout at you. Ease up, lighten the load, rest up some! With these emotional and mental ‘stress fractures’, something on the inside is talking to you, pleading with you for your attention.

The alarms are going off… crash-and-burn is around a corner up ahead! It truly is a mistake to just try and medicate it, while you keep-up your microwave schedule.

A dear and close friend comes to my mind right now as I prep this. Someone we knew well over a lot of years. What I have written today fitted him to a tee! Sadly, he is no longer on the earth with his family, or with us today.

I encourage you; if your mind has been talking to you, please listen. Ease up, take a break – it’s important. And if something deeper in you than your mind is talking to you, it’s even more important to listen-up.

No one knows us better and cares more than He does.

Keep well and God bless.

To contact Colin Millar email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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