Life’s Detours are not Dead Ends


Have you ever been driving and hit a road detour? Sure you have, we all have. Sometimes we encounter the detour just a few blocks or miles from our destination.  Sometimes you can even see where you need to get to, but instead of driving straight there you now have to take a turn, weave through some neighborhood streets, take another turn or two, until you are eventually guided back to your original path and onward to your destination.  No one likes hitting a detour. It cuts into our time, our plan, our ——. But you know what? You still get to your destination.


We get hit with detours throughout our fitness journey and our life journey. We get injured, we don’t hit the goal for a race, we get fired from our job, we lose motivation personally and professionally, and the list goes on.  In each of these instances in sport and/or life, and more often than not when this happens our mind turns negative. We think things like “why is this happening to me”, “I’m not good enough”, etc.  We think our “road” has come to an end, but it hasn’t, we have just hit a detour.


In the documentary 180 Degrees South Yvon Chouinard , founder of Patagonia Clothing  makes a profound statement when the main character in the film has to call off his almost 12 month long journey a mere 200 meters from his goal of summiting a mountain in Patagonia that he has dreamed about since he was a child. Yvon says, “If you get to the edge of cliff and can’t take another step further or you’ll fall off the edge what do you do? You don’t go backwards. You turn 180 degrees and take a forward step towards a new path, a new direction”.


If or when you get injured in training, lose your job, or whatever your “detour” may be, don’t lose hope. Don’t allow your mind to go to that negative space. Instead, reroute your journey to a new direction. If you are injured in sport, this is a great time to focus and learn about foods and supplements to heal quickly, or it can be time to focus on other areas of your fitness that may have been lacking.  This would be a great time to focus on mindset and meditation. The same goes for your professional and personal life. If something happens at work, instead of blaming someone else, look within yourself and see what you could have done better/different and learn for the next time. The aforementioned have all happened to me, more than once, and each time I have had to redirect my path. It has made me wiser, more patient, and given me the ability to not lose hope, rather, I see these detours as a chance to take a few right turns and weave through a neighborhood or two.  Each time this happens I learn something new, and each time I still reach my destination, even if it took a little longer to get there.

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