Michael Schumacher, seven time Formula One world champion, awoke from a six and a half month coma this week. For the duration of his state of unconsciousness it was unsure whether Formula One’s most successful driver, who had suffered severe brain injuries last December in a skiing accident, would ever recover fully or even wake up. But, in an answer to the hopes and prayers of thousands of his fans, Schumacher has started into the rehabilitation and physiotherapy necessary for a return to normal life.
Following Our instincts
It’s a story of resilience and chance. Humanity have this inbuilt will to survive, to go on and not be extinguished. It’s that very part of us, the biology, that has been the basis of hundreds of stories of people making it against the odds, of our species triumphing and of individuals facing fears. Against serious and often deadly circumstance, we subconsciously switch gears in our brains, adrenaline kicks in and our genetics do the fighting for us.
It’s a phenomenal biological process that thousands of years ago, in primitive society, was essential. These days, however, our survival instinct is rarely called to action. We live in structured societies with laws, police and socially expected standards that ‘protect’ us from the kind of dangers that may have caused us problems in the past. We’re now much more complacent and relaxed. We tend not to look inward to our instinctual resilience, but to each other for security.
Mastering Our Instincts
Champions, fighters, sports people and hunters are different. They hone these ancient inbuilt bio drives and work them to compete and to win. The warrior spirit of a champion accepts no compromise and leans on the hacking of this biological process, that in the past aided our fight or flight. With discipline and training racing drivers and other adrenaline sport junkies learn control and sharpen their abilities, a practice that transcends their sport and manifests in how these champions face the trials of every day life. Many martial artists talk about the spiritual change that occurs in how they deal with problems, how they overcome illness and how they do life. Resilience and survival are not just biological transformations as much as psychological ones in the lives of sports men and women who harness it.
Michael Schumacher probably has no memory of what happened six months ago. He will likely have no understanding of why he, unlike hundreds of others like him, woke up. For some reason though, he did. Call it chance, but his biology prevailed and he has left the hospital. Now, however, the long road to recovery begins. The fighter psychology that after years of practice and discipline won him 91 Grand Prix’s during his career is part of his personal fabric, and now he will use that will power to rehabilitate himself. With warrior determination, have no doubt he can do it.