Until You Can Do What You Want

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.

DOING WHAT I CAN (FOR NOW)

As I left the gym the other day though, I had a wake up call with my “secret” bad attitude. I could either keep coming to the gym and do what limited movements I am able to do, or I can stay home and do nothing for the rest of my physical therapy.

Bitching about it wasn’t going to change my situation. Being constantly frustrated was not healing my injury or strengthening my body in any way. Only by working out, committing to my rehab protocol, and staying focused would I eventually get my body back to 100% and doing the things I want to be doing.

So until I’m healthy and can do what I want, I need to be ok with doing what I can right this moment.

ISN’T THAT TRUE OF LIFE?

We graduate college and want to enter the workforce as a high-level manager because we *think* we’ve got everything it takes now to lead efficiently and rack in the sales. Then we get frustrated when we have to start with an internship or entry level position.

We enter the gym for the first time and expect to know all of the movements and lift all of the weights. Then we become annoyed that we have to start with a PVC pipe and intro class.

We expect more of ourselves and desire to accomplish much more, so we are frustrated when that success isn’t immediate. We’re stuck doing what we can for the moment. It’s not what we want, but if we were to step back and look at the big picture, it’s what we need in order to one day do what we want.

WE DO WHAT WE CAN UNTIL WE CAN DO WHAT WE WANT

We need that entry level position to effectively learn our company story, the skills required to succeed, and how to manage teams. Some examples we’re given are great, others aren’t, but we take all of that experience and channel it into helping us rise the corporate ladder.

We need that movement training with a PVC pipe and light weight so we’re our most effective self lifting a barbell and heavy weights. Our bodies stay healthy because we use safety in order to prevent injury. And those complicated movements we want to jump right into? We learn the basic building blocks piece by piece so we can stack them together and perfectly execute that lift for a PR.

We have to start slow, doing what we can before we can ever do what we want. As a child, we crawled before we learned to walk. We stood up and fell down (alot) learning to walk. We didn’t give up because we fell down every time we tried to take a step. We just kept getting back up, doing what we can inch by inch, until that magical day, we started walking without falling.

WORKING THROUGH IT (PART TWO)

I can skip the gym, wait 6-8 weeks, and then start working out again. I can be bitter about this injury for another two months, and probably, be a pain to be around. Or I can laugh at the cards I’ve been dealt, head into the gym to do my limited movements and physical therapy, and focus on doing what I can until I’m ready to do what I want.

Just as you can find joy in the process of doing what you currently are able to do…

  • Speak to small groups for fres
  • Take an intro class at a new gym
  • Write your first blog post

Before you’re able to do what you want, like…

  • Speak from a stage to a thousand screaming fans
  • Compete at a local competition
  • Publish your first book

But we can’t accomplish what we want, unless we’re willing to start today doing what we able to. We can’t get to that “one day” doing what we want unless we start doing what we can on  “day one.”

What’s one thing this week you can start doing that will help you get one day closer to doing what you want?

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