Set-backs of course are not exclusively limited to just training programs. In life we can encounter obstacles that set us back from our goals, ranging from illness or injury to a lack of motivation or other emotional/mental blocks.
For instance, midway through a training program, you could suffer an injury which prevents you from following that program for a period of time, halting your progress in it and in some cases causing regression.
Or, perhaps you are working towards a promotion to increase your standard of living, but find yourself unemployed for one reason or another.
Or maybe you had been studying for a test for a certification that you did not pass.
These are just some examples; but all share one common thing: They Suuuuuuck.
Ask anyone who’s been in a similar situation if you yourself have not. These kinds of set-backs can be mentally draining, taking the wind right out of your sails and sending you spiraling down a road of regression towards the goal.
They can also emotionally scar you, making you afraid to try again for fear of failing.
In some cases, they can also physically limit you for an extended period of time, or perhaps even life.
Recently, while working on a cherry tree, I injured my hand and thumb, which has now taken me out of my training program, and working for a week, with at least another week of recovery ahead of me. After all the hard work I have been putting in in preparation for my upcoming races and working towards achieving certain bodyweight control exercises, it felt like a kick right in the metaphorical groin from life.
The first thing in overcoming your setbacks is to step back and Take Perspective.
“It’s only a short term injury recovery.” This is the first thing I say to myself. There are people who have suffered far greater injuries that take years of rehabilitation to correct for; people whose very quality of life changed forever from injury. Or, even someone who has the equivalent of nothing but what’s inside of them; no roof, no clothing, no food.
In essence, no matter how bad you think or feel you have it, there are very good chances that someone out there has it worse. So cancel the pity party and move on.
Next, it is beneficial to consider the following: “There are stories of people over coming greater obstacles than I now have in front of me. There is nothing separating us butTenacity.”
If you are feeling bummed about your personal struggle, consider those who have overcome even greater obstacles. Historical figures who have overcome society to make real change. Individuals who have lost limbs but still find ways to make competitive presences’. “Hopeless” drug addicts who have made a critical turn around in their life and made a name for their self.
One thing we tend to lose sight of in this day and age is hope. It’s not that hope is in short supply, it’s simply that with the fast paced technological driven world we live in, human drama is more exciting than the power of the human spirit and we are not exposed to the strength of the human spirit as much as we are its short comings.
The final step is to Readjust, or Refocus. Just because we hit a wall, or encounter an obstacle doesn’t mean forward progress has to be stopped. If you cannot go over or around a block, find a new challenge and revisit your previous trial at a later time. If you injure your leg and can’t squat, you’ve still got a perfectly good upper body you can work. Law school not working out right now? Pursue another passion and see where it takes you. We are only as limited as we let ourselves. We only have as many options as we place before us.
To my specific situation, this injury in my hand may be preventing me from lifting, but I am still capable of running. So what better time than now to put all of my training focus into my cardio vascular health?
So what is the take away here?
Shit happens. That’s why we have toilet paper.
Your problems only seem big. Take a step back and observe just how small they really are.
Your only limitation is yourself.
If a path is blocked, seek alternate route.
The human spirit has moved mountains. What’s your excuse?
Don’t be set back, always move forward, and carry tenacity with you in whatever you do.