Finding the Silver Lining, by Phil Hesketh

“Every cloud has a silver lining”            

Life is often cruel and unfair. That was especially true for me this week. During a routine training session, I somehow managed to fracture my fourth metacarpal in my right hand, ending my Crossfit Games season one week before the Regionals. Physically I felt awesome this year, I really believed I could podium or even win my Region, I had never felt so confident or happy and I believe it had a positive effect on all those around me.

I sat in the doctor’s room staring at my x-ray and listening to him telling me that I would be in a cast for 4 weeks. I was heart broken. It is the toughest thing I’ve had to deal with mentally, after putting my life in to the Games for the past four years.

I took the rest of the day to feel sorry for myself, replaying the Regional events over and over in my head. The next morning, I woke up with a choice to make. Either continue to sulk around and infect others with my poor attitude or take the opportunity to become a positive role model.

The first thing I did that morning was scribble down on a piece of paper (had to use my left hand) my ‘Silver Linings’. Now, I’m not religious and don’t have a faith or believe in karma. But I am a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason. I’m not saying that me breaking my hand is some sort of sign or path to a higher calling. But every set back in life comes hand in hand with an opportunity. Whether that opportunity is something as simple as taking your girlfriend on holiday or something way more meaningful that could positively impact another person’s life.

Everyday we are presented with obstacles in life, big and small. So everyday we are also presented with opportunities to deal with these obstacles and it is how we deal with them that allows us to continue to develop as a person and enjoy life.

Like I said, one of the first thing I did was to grab a pen and a paper and write down my ‘Silver Linings’. Something as simple as this really helped me become more positive about my situation. I’m still obviously upset and I think that shows with my behaviour too, but it’s a start.

The next stage for me was to create a plan. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m pretty organised and like to plan everything out in advance. Planning things out helped me to not get too upset about the fact that I wouldn’t be able to train properly for 8 weeks. I wrote down a list of all the exercises I could still do and figured out what I needed to do to start the process of winning the Regionals in 2017. Obviously our plans don’t always go as we first expected, but I think it’s good to have a clear image in your head of where you want to be in a week, 3 months or a year’s time.

The final stage is to put your plans into action. It’s ok to write down on paper what you want to do in life but then you have to go out and actually make it happen. Two days after getting the cast I was in the gym doing my air squats. I spent way longer on mobility than I have done in the past year combined. I wrote the workout on the board with my left hand, very neatly too if I do say so myself and bought two new books to read.

I guess the message that I’m trying to give here is that everybody has problems. A problem that may seem insignificant to you could be someone else’s Everest. No matter what it is, there is always an opportunity too. Make decisions, good or bad, and then learn from them. Make a plan and then put it into action. Write down your Silver Linings and appreciate them.

As always, No Weakness.


By: InnerFight Performance Coach, Phil Hesketh