Never let a crisis go to waste

Imagine, its 3 months before the Olympics and you suffer serious ankle ligament injuries requiring surgery and 6 weeks in a protective boot. What's worse is that your sport is weight bearing and requires a huge amount of force to be put through your ankles. What do you do? Curse your bad luck and accept that you won't be fit enough to challenge for medals or do you focus on what you can do and get creative?

This was the scenario facing Swiss cross country skier Dario Cologna before Sochi. Unable to ski Cologna and his coached asked themselves the question 'what could we do that will contribute to our goal of winning in Sochi'. The answer came in the shape of a sledge.

 Dario Colonia focusing on what can be done

Dario Colonia focusing on what can be done

By doing a block of training on a sledge using just his upper body for propulsion he was able to just about maintain his aerobic fitness and also develop his upper body strength to a level that he would not normally have achieved when doing plenty of ski training with his legs.

Come race day, Cologna had just enough aerobic fitness to hang in there with his competitors and then on the final hill, where upper body strength can make the difference, he pulled away to take the gold medal.

We might not be facing setbacks 100 days before the Olympics but there there are always things that we would like to be able to do and for various reasons can't, in sport and our work. We want to run up long hills to prepare for that trail race but we live on the flat, we wish we could heavily promote our new product but only have a tiny marketing budget. Focusing on the reasons for 'not being able to' just sap our mental energy and get us nowhere. There is a better way.

Focus on the resources that you do have available, the time at your disposal and the scary, exciting, goal that you are shooting for. Then get creative to challenge your body and mind to learn and develop. Amaze yourself with what you can achieve.