“WEI CHI “
When written in Chinese the word “crisis” is composed of two characters: 危機
One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.
I love wei chi. I don’t actually know if this translation is accurate; I’ve read conflicting online reports. No matter. The concept of wei chi, as I’ve come to understand it, is more important to me than the actual word. It represents a way of looking at challenges and setbacks.
For a runner, wei chi represents a way to look at injuries. Several of my friends are currently dealing with injuries. Some of these injuries are directly related to running, though not all of them are; one of them is due to a freak accident. What they all share in common, however, is that these injuries have forced my friends into an unwanted layoff from running. All of them have made it very clear that they are very displeased with these turn of events. But they are also all ready to figure out how to make the best of the situation – how to find opportunity from the chaos of their running.
I’m reminded now of the boxer Larry Holmes. I was a big fight fan back in the late 70s to mid ’80s, and I remember reading about this young fighter when he was just starting out. He was a big heavyweight with speed and a good right hand. He worked at one time as a sparring partner for Muhammad Ali, but he didn’t seem to be skilled enough to break into the very top of the elite ranks.
Then he injured his right hand. When a right-handed boxer injures his right hand, sending him into the ring is a lot like sending a soldier into the field with nothing but the clothes on his back. Still, Holmes kept going into the gym while he was healing, spending all his time working on his left jab. Ultimately, he honed that jab into a lethal weapon, and it took him all the way to the heavyweight championship of the world.
For a runner, this would mean making forced downtime productive by working on strengthening weaknesses. Improving core strength, getting in the habit of cross-training, working on flexibility, and improving form. Making the most of the opportunity.