Use Challenging Fitness as Motivation through Injury

This is a little tiny blurb, tutorial, advice piece, whatever you wanna call it. Bad injuries are… Well, BAD! They hurt, they debilitate, they leave you mentally strained and even possibly mildly depressed. Torn ACL’s, MCL’s, torn achilles, large muscle tears in the legs, broken legs, all of these are injuries that are relatively traumatic, and leave you unable to walk and able to lift on your legs. Also, these injuries leave you from being able to do a lot of the functional fitness that we all know and love; things like box jumps, jump rope, cardio, riding a bike, etc. So, as you recover from your traumatic injury you are going to find yourself wrestling physically, mentally, and even spiritually.

Physically your struggles are obvious, but maybe you don’t realize spiritually and mentally how much your traumatic injury is effecting you over time. With my torn achilles I’ve definitely noticed a “down-in-the-dumps” mentality. I’m still in a splint, so until I get in my cast on Wednesday I won’t even be able to make it to my gym. I’m not able to do so many of the things I’m used to doing, and I’m not able to use my God-given gifts and assigned tasks in the same way that I’m used to being able to do them. Spiritually this leaves me calling out to God and seeking His guidance while simultaneously feeling a little upset. I know the Lord will work this out for good in the long run, but in the meantime I have some hard times as I work through my present reality. My spiritual battle has led me at times to be mentally defeated as I recover from my injury. Well, the simple fact is I have two options, and so does anyone else who has a traumatic injury: you can either sit around and make excuses and feel sorry for yourself (that’s option A)… Or, you can find a way to give yourself “assignments,” and challenges to look forward to that will help you be productive to the best of your current abilities (that’s option B and B is for better). You can actually use challenging fitness tasks as motivation for you on a daily basis as you recover from injury.

Moving forward I plan to break the mundane cycle of a slow recovery from an achilles tear by having one specifically challenging task to complete for every single day I’m in the gym. I’m looking at being able to workout probably 4-5 days a week, and thankfully I have a home gym to use until I’m in my splint Wednesday, and since I can’t drive I can use my home gym if I ever don’t have a ride.

What are the different challenges I’m going to give myself each day at the gym? Good question and I’m not quite sure yet! If you’ve got a good one then send it over to me. I’m not going to be lifting on my left leg at all until I’m able to walk again, because I don’t see the wisdom in me doing something that could possibly lead to something like a hamstring pull and force me into a wheelchair for a period of time. If I’m going to be functional then I’m going to need my left leg to be as not sore, and as not injured as possible, so doing things to risk that just doesn’t make sense until I’m able to walk again. So, I can do things like see how many times I can sit on my butt and lift a 45 pound plate over my head, see how many times I can roll and unroll the forearm rope in a 30 minute period, see how far I can go with one leg rows for 45 minutes, try and do as many dips as you can in an hour, do a full hour of nothing but bicep curls, count how many neck rolls and sit-ups you can do for an hour, and you see the possibilities are endless really. I just need to be creative, and challenge myself, and it will help a ton!

I have a video to show you what I have in mind for challenging fitness that you can use to help motivate you as you work through a traumatic injury. What I did today was I did as many sit-ups as I possibly could (getting at least my shoulders up off the floor) without any stops at all in the action; I got around 250! When I was done with that I did something REALLY challenging. I bench pressed the bar 1,000 times (I actually did a few extra). The last time I did this I was playing football and had a coach standing over me yelling at me the whole time, so I had some help then that I didn’t have this time around, but nonetheless I was able to complete the challenge. Check out the vid if you wanna explanation, and if you wanna see how you could do this sort of thing in your own home.

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