If you’ve ever had the feeling you’re just not on your game, you understand how most of my week has been. When we become injured, ill, discouraged, we get too busy, or face any number of other proverbial speed bumps we inevitably will encounter during the course of our efforts to achieve greater health and wellness, we may feel set back a little. We might feel like we’re just not on our game. And that’s OK.
Most of the time, I tell my clients to lengthen their stride. Most of the time, we focus on progressively overloading the body; increasing the stress to increase strength and endurance. Most times, the idea is to move farther and faster, toward a goal. Most times, more is better; more movement, more effort, more energy expenditure.
There are sometimes, however, when scaling back is smart. If you’ve been injured or ill, or have been out of commission for a time, find a way to work more slowly. Do not stop, if it can be avoided (follow the counsel of your healthcare provider), but slow it down at bit, as needed. If you’ve sprained an ankle, hit the pool or the floor for core and body weight work, or get into a chair and work from there. If you ran before, but can’t now, then slow it down a bit; even to a walk, as needed, rather than give it up. (If you’re ill with a viral or bacterial infection, you should take a break to allow your body to use its energy for healing, not exercising).
It’s OK to back off a little now and then. We’re human and all subject to any number of unforeseen snares, but never allow a set-back to bring you to a full stop. Accept a set-back for what it is and keep moving forward. As I often say: “Never stop starting!” If you continually start, you’ve never really stopped at all! Consider yourself as an automobile, travelling along the road. You may pause now and then for fuel or a stop sign…you may have to detour once in a while, but you’re not broken down on the side of the road if you woke up this morning! You’re still on your way to where you’re going. Sometimes you’ll be at highway speed, and sometimes you might be creeping along in heavy traffic. That’s OK. Know you’re moving forward. Don’t spend too much time fretting over the time you’ve lost. Maybe you’ll make it up, or maybe you won’t, but it won’t matter in the end. As long as you keep moving forward; keep playing the game even when you’re off your game; keep doing whatever is in your power to do, and eventually, you’ll be stronger and happier for it.
Sally Windham is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor in Blanco, TX. Please send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org