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Getting BACK at it…

November 20, 2009

A good friend of mine who is doing P90X recently wrote me:

Hey Jeff…so I have a slight problem…and it dawned on me…perhaps you could do a blog on injuries, and how to keep positive while modifying your workout.
I have a pulled muscle, I think, in my lats, right under my right arm pit, slightly around the back. IT feels like someone is stabbing me and ripping….so, I know that I have to be gentle, but it doesn’t mean I have to forgo all workouts. I have kenpo today, and I’m a bit worried how that will work.  I started to feel it after Yoga on Monday, but yesterday it got worse after Core.

My quick response is pretty similar for any injury that occurs (especially one that stabs and rips!) – talk to your doctor.  Yes, this does depend on the severity of the injury, but if it impairs your ability to workout, then you need to have it checked out.  Now, with that said, too many people walk into the doc’s office with little questions in mind.  Your doctor is your resource.  They earn good money from their vast knowledge of the human body – so take advantage of that time instead of just putting your hand out for a prescription.  Ask what you can do to recover faster in addition to any medication.  Ask how it might be prevented.  Ask for other exercise ideas they might have.  Ask, Ask, Ask.
While you’re injured or unable to work out, let’s face it, it sucks.  I know this all too well based on my current condition – hacking up, lesser ability to sleep, congestion, etc.  It limits your ability to workout to the level you’re used to and it leaves you a little testy – at least it does for me.  That testiness is just frustration at not being able to perform to the level I like.  So, what to do to keep your motivation up?  Easy!  I call them the Three Re’s.

RESIST

When you’re not feeling well, temptations and old thoughts can quickly fill your mind.  Self-doubts can trickle in saying, “Ha!  See you’re not as bulletproof as you thought!  If exercise is so good for you, then how come you got sick?”  Don’t buy in to this flawed logic.  Everyone gets sick and that is often unavoidable depending on who you are around during your day.  Exercise and eating right WILL help you fight off many illnesses, but it’s not 100% going to deflect everything that comes your way.  Resist those negative thoughts and go to the next RE:

REVIEW

The importance of Before/After pictures is always trumpeted, but when you neglect to take them, it’s something everyone wishes they had done.  When you’re down and out, take out those before pictures.  Review your successes in terms of how many inches you’ve taken off the waist, how much weight you’ve lost, how much much healthier you feel – and review how much more you are able to do in your workouts and in life.  This review time is the perfect way to resist those negative thoughts.  It helps to remind you of how far you’ve come and what you’re really capable of doing.  In addition to your pictures, review your WHY.

Your WHY is the CORE REASON you are improving your lifestyle by exercising.  Your WHY is a driving internal force that only you can use to keep motivated.  Perhaps your family’s side has heart conditions or diabetes and your WHY revolves around staying healthy to avoid that.  Perhaps your WHY revolves around being healthy so you can be a good role model for your kids.  Your WHY is YOUR’S and its power is perfect for times like this so that you can remind yourself why you’re doing a self-improvement program.  Your WHY gives you that staying power you need to draw from every now and then.  Now that you’ve reminded yourself of how well you’ve done and WHY you’re doing it, you’re ready for the next RE:

RE-COMMIT

When injuries plague an athlete, there are hesitations that come to mind.  You might be hesitant to get back out for fear of re-injury or expectations of a lesser performance (I’m human – I do that, too).  But while you’re out of commission, get out your plan and review the next phases.  Make mini goals – whether it’s more weight to lift, more reps – or perhaps you can suggest a new reward system for yourself when a goal or end goal is achieved.  The mantra for BeachBody is “Decide. Commit. Succeed.”  I love that slogan and I don’t think anyone would mind if you changed that middle part to Re-Commit.  Re-committing is the opposite of another word: Quitting.  When I think of re-committing, I envision taking the old batteries out of my electronic device and putting fresh ones in.  When that’s done, it’s a new day and it’s time to bring it!

I hope the Three Re’s help you in your thinking.  And, if you’re ever injured, don’t forget to take time off to recover.  Coming back too soon could disrupt that recovery process as well as prolong it.  But while you’re down, don’t forget to Resist, Review and Re-commit.  REmember that!

What “RE’s” or motivational tips do you use?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 22, 2009 2:51 pm

    Excellent blog, Jeff. The three R’s are really important…thanks for Reviewing them.

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