KNOWING WHEN YOU MUST CHANGE; When I injured myself back in 2015, it took me a year and a half to finally admit that I could not keep training the way I had been. When I think back I ask myself, “why did it take so long to accept that I had an issue?”.

UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY; I think in due part, it was ignorance. I had never injured myself like that before and I was not completely sure on how to go about it. I was in unfamiliar territory. It was only after some time that I realized that this injury was not going away by itself. I would have to be proactive about it. That is if I ever wanted to get back into fitness the way I enjoyed it, pain free.

STUCK IN HABIT; I was also very resistant to change even when it was very obvious that I could not continue the way I was going. It’s funny because you would think pain would be a good enough reason to make someone stop what they’re doing, but apparently not always.

I had become so accustomed to the ‘endorphin’ rush of a good workout. I basically just didn’t know and wasn’t used to working out in a different way. I didn’t have the tools. It was all stuff I would have to learn and develop overtime and I was very stubborn about it for a while. And so when I finally accepted that my exercise habits was the equivalent to shooting myself in the foot over and over again, I began searching for a different way. I had to change. I had to slow down in order to figure this thing out. It was all very depressing, especially for someone who relied on physically intense exercise as a form of therapy and as a coping mechanism.

LISTENING TO THE BODY; In addition to searching for the best resources and tools to recover, I had to learn to listen to my own body. And sense when I can push it and when I cannot. How to push it and how not to push it. Which moves to use today, and which moves to not use. Which areas of the body to work on today and which areas to leave alone. I learned to spend a lot of time warming up, learning what kind of warmups made the most sense, knowing where to focus on and for how long. But most importantly, I had to learn and figure out whether what I was doing was working for me or not. If what I’m doing is making it better or worse. A lot of it really boils down to coming across some good resources, paying attention to your body, being reflective, and checking yourself (or your habits).

PAIN AS A GUIDE; Pain is not the enemy. Pain is an alarm. It’s a signal. A messenger. And a very powerful one at that. Something is up and it needs your attention. I essentially learned to use my pain to guide me. And as frustrating as it can be, and in so many instances where I felt hopeless, it eventually led me to answers. For as long as I kept searching, trying to make sense out of it, and finding/developing tools that work for me. And I am better for it. Pain, for me at least, has been one of the greatest motivators for change; To do something about it.

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