Control What You Can
This note is a rework of a posting I made a couple years back to a local gym page. It covers mindset and dealing with injury /setbacks in training.
I have noticed many posting about, or referencing working back from, various injuries and physical ailments. I can sympathize with each of you and have unfortunately had many past injuries that I have dealt with and learned to live with in some cases. These struggles have given me a point of reference to reflect on my own approach to continued physical improvement, and what it takes to optimize quality of life in relation to fitness as the years go on. I felt I would share what I’ve learned in hopes you can garner something from my thoughts on this subject.
First off, there are a great deal of things in life we cannot control. While it is understandable to feel a myriad of emotions when setbacks occur (disappointment, anger, frustration), realize that after an injury you need to focus on the “what now” aspect rather than staying stuck in self-pity or anger at the situation. We are the master over our reaction to and perspective on things that occur in our lives. Many people get injured and quit. Life is meant to give you setbacks. It’s how you adapt that defines who you are and how successful you will be in any endeavor (physical and otherwise).
Approach failures and physical breakdowns as learning opportunities. Weaknesses and deficiencies in form most often appear in this manner. Being able to sit back and evaluate the what, how, and why can go a long way towards goal realization and sustaining a high level of fitness over the long haul.
Avoid letting your ego get in the way. I have struggled with this one a great deal. I’ve put pressure on myself to hit certain numbers on lifts or allowed myself to feel disappointed on current abilities because I have focused on what I used to be able to do. As we age, we will all inevitably have declines in max performance and ability. It is best to focus on the things that we CAN do in relation to our age. The overall goal is improving the quality of life and amount of years we have to enjoy it.
If you’re beaten down, know that your future is in your control. You can change who you are and what you do tomorrow. Where you are and how you feel today is temporary. It is irrelevant. It is unrelated to where you are going.
What if your current hurdle isn’t an injury or setback but struggling with just starting the journey?
If you are overweight, underweight or generally unhappy with your health or appearance, start lifting weights and eating reasonably. Start NOW. I cannot overstate the positive impact a healthy regimen will have on your confidence and happiness. It is life changing. You are free to do whatever you want. Remember that. No matter your current situation, know that you control your own destiny.