Staying positive and focused when faced with roadblocks is perhaps one of the most difficult things that we as humans have to do. It is also one of the most essential. I’ve been struggling with that recently.
Last year I tore the rotator in my left shoulder because I was being an idiot with a kettle bell. After over a year of being extremely careful, it’s been feeling great lately and my plan was to start weight training this week after I got back on my routine following two weeks of being no where near it due to travel and work functions. I was PUMPED to get going on stepping up my fitness plan. Then, in a twist of fate, I pulled a muscle in my other shoulder last week while carrying way more than I should have ever attempted by myself. All of a sudden I found myself again unable to put on a shirt without screaming. It wasn’t as bad as my previous injury, but it wasn’t good.
I talked myself off an emotional ledge and convinced myself it was going to be okay if I deferred my weight training plan. I would just keep going with the cardio routine I’ve been on, which has been serving me very well. I could see definition starting to form in my torso and I knew if I handled my newest shoulder injury with care, I could get going on my strength training in a few weeks.
So forward I went and I hit the gym like usual this afternoon.
I hobbled to the locker room after a session on the elliptical, pissed off. My left knee decided today was the day to quit on me with ten minutes left in my workout. I powered through the pain and completed what I set out to do, which was probably a stupid move physically. But mentally, I needed to reach the finish line.
Between my shoulder and my knee… I felt broken. What the hell was going on with my body? Negativity, as you can see, started creeping in.
After three years of hard work, I am terrified of going backwards. Long-term deviations from my state-of-normal, like the past couple of weeks, stress me out and make me feel like my formerly fat self is on her way back into my life. And the truth is, it should stress me out to a certain extent. A healthy amount of obsession is the ONLY way to make things happen for good. Half-assing it gets you no where.
It would be very easy for me to throw my hands up in the air and just “take time off.” To quit. Blame these roadblocks presented by my injuries.
But I can’t. I just can’t. And that’s how I know I’ve changed.
So what do we do when we can’t quit, yet can’t move forward as we had planned?
Adjust. It’s possible to reach your goals in another way. For me, I need to find workouts that are easy on my knee and shoulder until they are healed in order to keep the momentum going. Enter: even more cycling.
Stay positive. When negativity starts taking over, stop and look at what you’ve accomplished. Reassess the path you are on and find the highlights to keep you going. I did this tonight and reminded myself that despite eating at restaurants everyday for nearly two weeks and only getting half my workouts in, I didn’t gain any weight. Therefore, I haven’t rewound, just paused, and am starting again from the point I was before I went off course.
Focus. Not only should you look back at what you’ve already achieved, but keep focused on why you want to reach a particular goal in the first place. Push yourself to get there and find another way when a roadblock pops up. With focus and determination, you CAN get there.
What roadblocks are you facing? Are you letting them stop you? How can you find your way around them?