For reasons I won’t bother expanding on, I have been physically unable to walk for seven weeks. I am talking about my daily four-mile-long fitness walks through my Edmonds and nearby Woodway neighborhoods that I have been doing almost daily for about as long as I have lived in Edmonds.
Not only does my career revolve around fitness and health, but one of the ways in which I personally define myself is through my own exercise program; most especially walking, which I consider to be crucial for my overall health and well-being. Walking is also particularly good for helping me stay grounded and purposeful in my life. My walks are not only a part of my daily routine but also my very identity!
Sigh. Talk about low morale.
No one, including my own doctor, can tell me when I will be out walking again as I used to. It really is going to simply take time for my foot to heal, and nothing can change that. So I’m in this for the long haul, and I have no choice about it except to handle it as gracefully as possible.
That being said . . . it’s impossible to keep my spirits up 100% of this time in this situation, and I wouldn’t expect that of anyone else either.
Here are some of the morale-boosting tools I have utilized in this process:
1. I’ve focused on the things I CAN do. I can still do strength training, so I’m doing more of that. I am being even more conscientious about what I eat and drink, so there is no unnecessary weight gain to further impact my morale. I can still walk around, just not very fast. In the bigger picture, I can do almost anything. And as a trainer, I am well aware that I can easily incorporate another form of cardiovascular activity, such as biking or swimming, if it comes down to that.
2. I literally do my very best to keep in mind that I have no choice but to keep moving forward. Time always passes and nothing stays the same. One of the tools I have learned to use in the last couple of years is to remind myself that, “This too shall pass.” (Hmmm . . .reminds me of another circumstance I was in—and continue to be in—if I am getting through that, I can get through anything!)
3. I have pity parties for myself. My frustration and disappointment around this challenging situation are very real, and it’s important to allow those powerful emotions to be felt. So, every once in a while I sit and feel very sorry for myself. By honoring my feelings, they will eventually pass and then I can put my energy back into moving forward.
Ultimately, I try to keep things in perspective. There are many more challenging things that I could be contending with—and have. I truly believe that although we can’t possibly control every situation we find ourselves in, we have a lot of control over how we react to it. I do my best to live by that.
Pritam Potts, owner of Advanced Athlete LLC, is a NSCA-certified trainer and strength coach with 12+ years of experience working with athletes and clients of all ages. Her specialty is in functional strength applications, developing core and overall strength and coordination specifically for the purpose of enhancing the body’s ability to function optimally and safely in athletic movement. You can contact her online at www.facebook.com/mrsathlete and www.twitter.com/mrsathlete.