Thought and Intention on an Olympic Scale

Downhill skier Lindsey Vonn injured her leg in a training run just a few days before the opening of the 2010 Olympic Games. I’ve been very impressed with her reaction to her condition.

An interview with her aired just prior to coverage of the opening ceremonies. The host questioned her initial reaction to the injury, wondering why she refused to get it x-rayed to see if her leg was broken. Lindsey replied that she wanted to see for herself how it was before any other examination was performed.

Now, to some folks, it may seem that Lindsey had so much at stake that she simply chose to be in denial about the extent of her injury. But, let’s follow the wise advice to consider the source and take a look at who made this statement.

Vonn is a world-class downhill skier, meaning that she routinely flies across the snow with little protective gear at speeds reaching 80 or 90 mph. She knows a little something about focus and intent. As a premier athlete, she is also very in touch with her body.

After the injury, the first thing Vonn did was to ask her body how it felt and what it needed. She didn’t need an outside authority to give her the answer. The next thing Vonn did was to give her injured body exactly what it requested, the main factor being rest.

If Lindsey were in denial, she would have continued to train and increased the injury, or she would not have dropped out of so many competitions. She was in the run for five medals. Instead, she chose to focus on her main discipline and stated that one medal would be plenty.

If she did not consider herself the authority of her own body, she may have tried to meet the demands of her sponsors and the expectations of the TV networks, who were counting on her to be the Michael Phelps of these games. To be in harmony with her body’s needs, she declined to march with the U.S. delegation during the opening ceremonies, denying herself one major part of fully enjoying of the Olympic experience.

You have to have a good head on your shoulders to make split-second decisions as you whisk down a slippery slope. Fortunately, Lindsey Vonn has plenty enough sense to put things in perspective and honor her long-term health. And, she obviously has honed many of the same skills as an intuitive healing practitioner and listens to her own body-voice as well as the skill of focusing intent toward a clear purpose.

She may have injured her leg, but the rest of her is doing just fine.