Dealing with Setbacks

This article speaks directly to what I’ve been dealing with lately, namely how do I deal with what I want to achieve, versus what I have actually been doing to achieve those goals?  I find I have been pushing the daily experience of life away.  I haven’t been able to be with how my body is, or the way my old habits reasserted themselves.  This has spilled over into not being able to be with the people around me … how they are, and how they aren’t.

I have decided to tackle this with baby steps.  I am focusing on one habit at a time, and being patient to watch the changes grow.

The Athletic Mind, Part 1: The Role of Perception in Athletics | Breaking Muscle



Progress Through Adaptation

I figured it was about time for a status update on how my workout journey is going.  The rehab is going well.  The race is going to the tortise this time for sure … slow and steady is going to win.  I have gone from having to lay face-up on the ground using 3 pound weights as a substitute for push ups, to where I am today.  I can finally do a regulation “military” push-up off my toes.  Yep, I’m up to a push-up with my full body weight.  HOORAY!  I am starting these out easy as well by only doing a few reps, and then going back to doing bent-knee push-ups.

It’s pretty clear now that I am going to take about twice as long as the program intended for me to get the results they promised, but this is such a huge victory.  This is the first time that I didn’t let an injury like this become an excuse for me to quit and stop exercising entirely.  This means that while re-habbing my shoulder, I’ve also been building strength in my core and my legs, which wouldn’t have happened if I gave up on exercising entirely.

How are you doing on your exercise journey?  Are you encountering set-backs?  How are you dealing with them?  Would you like some support?  Let’s get the discussion going and keep supporting each other on our quest for improved fitness and health.

7 Steps to Prevent Getting Stuck in an Emotion | Tiny Buddha

7 Steps to Prevent Getting Stuck in an Emotion | Tiny Buddha.

This article is quite helpful in getting back on track.  We want what we perceive as a positive experience to last forever, and when it doesn’t we get disappointed and depressed.  We start out towards our goals on a high of inspiration, but what happens after we’ve been on the path for a while?  How can we keep going?  Some of the tips in this article might help you.

Let me know if you have other tips besides what is in the article.  I’d love to hear how you stay motivated.

Get Gritty to Get Busy!

I like watching TED Talks.  Friday’s talk was by Angela Lee Duckworth about how our previous predictors of a person’s success don’t work as well as we thought.  What really shows if a person is going to be successful and reach the goals the set for themselves is whether or not they’ve got grit.  What’s “grit”?  Think tenacious, stubborn, willing to try and fail, and try again.  That’s grit.

We used to think IQ, or SAT scores, or socio-economic status would predict a person’s level of success, but how many of us know smart people who haven’t done much with their lives?  How many of us know people who started out life with some adversity, but never gave up … and instead used that adversity to drive themselves to succeed.  That’s grit.

My goal is to bring grit to my fitness goals, and grit to developing this community.  What will you bring grit to in your life?



Pause is off … it’s time to Play!

I had to take a break from my exercise routine for two weeks.  It’s tough to exercise when you can’t breathe, so I gave my body the time it needed to tend to that very important prerequisite.  Now that I’ve got breathing back online, I re-started my exercise routine this morning.  For the first time, getting back to exercise was a relief.  I realized I miss it.  I love the feeling in my body after I have challenged it physically.

The real challenge has been being kind to myself about this time off.  There is still a part of me that wants to beat myself up for taking any time off, or question if I needed that much time off, or tell myself that I have lost the few gains I had made around getting my shoulder fit by taking this time off.  It’s exhausting, and really, more work than the work out.

What I am taking on is that I did what my body needed, and where I am at is exactly where I need to be.  In that space of grace, I get the opportunity to find the playful nature of exercise.  I get to have fun and realize that this really is all about play.

Listen First …

Today I skipped my morning workout for the first time.  I have a pretty impressive sinus infection going right now, and I chose to listen to my body.  This was a tough decision to make.  I have been sticking with an exercise routine with more consistencey, and longer than I have ever done since high school.  When I was younger, skipping a work out meant talking my parents out of taking me to the workout, which is trickier than just letting myself off the hook because I didn’t “feel like” working out.  Since I started this new program in February, I have worked out five or six days per week, every week.

Since I have a history of letting myself slide when I felt only a little “off” my top form, I had to ask myself if I should listen to what my body was telling me?  Would it be more important to keep my “streak” intact?  Was I just fooling myself and letting myself slide?  However, I had to note that when standing at the sink and getting light-headed, perhaps it was a sign I wasn’t up to “powering through” my workout.

I am learning to trust myself.  I am learning that when we stand in what the moment is giving us, instead of how the past has played out, it is much easier to deal with what is currently happening.  I am learning that it is just as important to listen to myself first, as well as to listen to others.  If I don’t listen, if I just put in the noise that comes from replaying past experiences, there is no way to be truly aware of what is really going on, and no possibility to make a decision I can trust.

How are you dealing with your “off” days?  Have you had any off days lately?  Are you listening to what your body is telling you?


Uf-da versus Uh-oh

Part of the support we can provide for each other as we proceed on our fitness journey is to talk about some of the bumps along the way.

Today was the first time in four weeks that my shoulder was able to tolerate a modified push-up!  I want to do cart-wheels, but I’ll hold off on those until my shoulder is stronger.

Last summer I had been doing a VERY intense DVD workout, took some time off, and when I re-started it, I injured my left shoulder.  I’ve had a history of dodgy shoulders since I swam competitively in grade school and junior high.  Shoulder injuries are well-covered territory.  I took months off to let it heal after last summer’s injury, and finally re-started exercising mid-February.  I figured I’d play it safe and do a less intense DVD workout program.  I was doing fine for a couple of weeks, and managed to tweak my left shoulder again.  How did I know I tweaked it?  I failed the, “Ouch Test”.  When I moved my left arm around through its range of motion, a few positions produced sharp pains in my shoulder.  That’s when I knew I had injured it.  I modified my workouts to keep going, while at the same time only running my shoulder through its range of motion, building up the strength of the muscles around it, and then gradually started challenging it again.

What I have learned through this injury and modification process is that there is a difference between the soreness you get from asking your body to do more than it’s accustomed to, versus over-doing it and injuring yourself.  I was describing this to my accupuncturist that my shoulder felt like, “Ooof!  That’s a little heavier than normal, but I can handle it,” instead of, “Ouch!  That did it!”

Have you learned to listen to your body?  What signals do you get when you’ve gone too far?  How are you staying true to your goals, while working with your body’s ability to adapt?