Many of us have suffered some kind of setback in life. Setbacks in the gym are sometimes the hardest for so many of us as this is our place where we release stress, anger, all the emotions that are hitting you on that day. We can walk out the door mentally stronger to take on whatever is coming our way. Some of us will recognize that it wasn’t the gym that hurt us; however, some of us will feel it was the reason for the setback. For someone who has battled back issues and recently been sidelined for eight weeks due to a surgery, I know it can be hard to show up and not feel frustrated. Here is some advice that has helped me to keep wanting to not cancel.
The gym isn’t the reason for my back pain! I’m to blame for NOT listening well enough to my body and talking to my coach. The bareball didn’t put the weight on it, I added the weight. My coach didn’t scale it enough for me, I sometimes didn’t tell them how bad things were feeling to force me to scale movements. We know our bodies the best and when something is off, it means slow down, go down in weight, and/or adjust the movement. By doing this it keeps you coming back and not sidelined. There is a misconception that scaling something is BAD! That mindset has to be left at the door. Stop comparing yourself to others in the class and start comparing yourself to the person you were when you walked into the gym. It’s important to be honest with yourself and the coach, believe me your workout will be just as hard if not harder when modified appropriately.
Lastly, if you’ve been out for an extended period of time, don’t try to pick up right where you left off. You need to ease into your weight, your movements, and your intensity. While it’s going to be the biggest struggle, you need to tell the mind to SHUT the HECK UP and remember you need to treat yourself like a newer athlete. The body needs time to get back into the routine, and by listening to your coach and body, you will find the set back is making you mentally and physically stronger.
Be diligent on your journey. Remember it isn’t the NOT gym that is the issue, it’s our mental state of instant gratification that is hurting us. There are NO shortcuts as we walk through the doors, there NEEDS to be only SMART cuts!
-Erica Erickson, Group Fitness Coach