I tore my Achilles almost seven weeks ago during a men’s basketball league game. As anyone who has gone through this recovery process can attest, it has not been a fun seven weeks.
I’ve been actively doing physical therapy 2-3 days a week with the awesome team at PMST in Dallas, but have found mentally, it’s been even more of a recovery process. I’m used to working out 5-6 days per week, staying active throughout the day, and overall moving easily.
That’s quite a bit harder with your foot in a boot, unable to put pressure on it.
WORKING THROUGH IT (PART ONE)
I went back to the gym my third week after the injury (when I had the initial cast removed) to start limited upper-body workouts. I could bench press. I could hop over by the dumb bell rack and do shoulder press or flys. There was a handful of core movements and situps I can do. It was enough of a combination to give me a decent workout in the corner of the room while the rest of the class moves through the full body group workout.
And despite my laughter or joking with classmates and the sweat on my shirt from these limited movements, I was damn frustrated. I don’t like limitations. I don’t like being unable to workout with the rest of the class or do the same movements. I’m very limited to what I currently can do for previous six weeks and what I will be able to do for the upcoming six-to-eight weeks.
And as many of you who have dealt with injuries know, it sucks.
“The whole idea is to make progress and get better every day and try and stay in the moment. You do that whether you are in last place or trying to build up or whether you are in position for fighting for (playoff) seeding.” – Brad Stevens, Boston Celtics head coach
Do you ever feel exhausted when visualizing how much farther you have to go?
I remember that day, not too terribly long ago, when I opened my credit card statements and saw that between four cards, I had about $200 available credit. Every one of them were maxed out. How did this happen? I asked myself. And how the hell do I fix it?
I was fighting back tears, anxiety, and if I’m honest, overwhelming fear at what to do next. I had dug myself a hole trying to build a business and now was in a position that I felt would bury me. After a near panic attack, I took a few deep breaths and started to evaluate the situation.
I didn’t get into this situation in one day or with one purchase, so I won’t get out the same way. What can I do today to get into a better situation tomorrow than I am right now?
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It’s been a whirlwind start to the year and if you’re anything like me, it feels like I’m already a behind just a few weeks in. Right?
I spent this past week in Philadelphia with a handful of other public speakers working on our new keynote speeches and training to be better storytellers. One evening, a group of us went out to dinner and started talking about the experience. The conversation hit me right between the eyes as something I think you can relate to.
Each one of us sharing how we thought we knew how to speak effectively from the stage, but the last few days had busted our egos pretty good. We were being hard on ourselves while trying to better ourselves – and ironically, that doesn’t work.
One of the guys in our group made the analogy that he’d just come to terms with. A lifelong skier, he shared that if he were going to take up snowboarding, he’d expect to spend a few days falling, getting beat up & bruised rolling down the mountain while training to pick up this new skill. He knew how to ski a mountain great, but trade his skis for a snowboard and he’d be in trouble.
He’d expected the bumps & bruises snowboarding, but was being down on himself for going through the same experience learning how to better perform from the stage as a storyteller.
The snow was the same, but the equipment was different. His speech was slightly the same, but the delivery was different. Why wouldn’t he have bumps and bruises? Like him, I get incredibly frustrated by slow progress, even though in a different arena, I’d expect the progress to be slow and painful.
Can you relate to that feeling?
We start out toward a new goal and become immediately frustrated when we struggle with it – yet, how many of us would be that hard on ourselves if picking up a new sport or trying a new hobby? Most likely, we wouldn’t be at all. We’d understand it’s part of the process of improvement and would continue working away.
In other words, we wouldn’t let a few bumps or bruises cause us to quit.
The same mindset applies to the pursuit of our goals. Any new adventure is going to have a slower, rockier beginning. Don’t be so hard on yourself for that skinned knee or bruised ego. It’s all part of the process.
Just keep competing. You’ll get there.
I believe in you.
[blogoma_blockquote ]Our growth is never in the easiest of times. Sunny, calm days do not make us stronger individuals. It is only in times of turbulence and storms do we grow stronger. Just as an athlete cannot strengthen his muscles without forcing them to lift a heavy load, our spirits do not grow without enduring the hardest of times.[/blogoma_blockquote]
Just a reminder for your Thursday. Embrace the “suck” in life when it hits. These will be the moments that strengthen you more for tomorrow. Never give up friends.