We all face setbacks from time to time. It’s a natural part of the cycle of life. These last few months I’ve had my foot in a boot (again) which makes it the second time in two years for anyone keeping track. It’s been frustrating for sure and I’m certainly not an expert but I have learned some valuable lessons from this experience that I’d like to share with you today. We will all face setbacks at one time or another. Accepting that things are not always in your control, finding something within my control, and discovering new possibilities are three ways I’ve dealt with my disappointment.
I won’t bore you with the cascading list of problems with my foot. I’ll simply summarize. My foot has been in a boot since late October. In mid-December I had surgery to correct the issue with my forefoot and now I’m on the road to recovery. I’ll be in a boot for another three months.
I truly enjoy exercising and suddenly all of my usual forms of exercise were limited. I missed out on an entire season of tennis. I wasn’t able to go outdoor for a run. Running outdoor was my opportunity to connect with nature, elevate my heart rate, and sweat. I relied on the mood-boosting endorphins to keep my mind clear and my outlook positive.
Learning to accept that you are not always in control and that sometimes you just have to accept “the plan” was the most important lesson I had to re-learn. This is a life-lesson I struggle with. I had to move past my disappointment and accept “rolling with it”. Once I was able to do that, I focused on finding something that I could control. I didn’t want to sit on the couch for the next six months without any exercise especially during the holidays and cold winter months so I found a healthy eating group to join. Focusing on healthy eating is something entirely within my control and probably something I don’t focus enough on. Finding a group gave me a plan to follow, provided accountability, and took my mind off the fact that I wasn’t able to be as active as I like. Eating healthy also provided the feeling of being in good health that I gained from my usual forms of exercise. I’ll do another post on the accountability group that I joined because I think it is so good!
Finally, I learned to find possibilities. Without the ability to rely on my outdoor runs and tennis I sought out other forms of exercise to break a sweat. I can tell you having a foot in a boot can make that very difficult, but not impossible. I found things in the gym I still could do and modified other exercises to elevate my heart rate. I discovered the arm cycle machine at the gym (which admittedly is very boring). I began hitting a boxing bag (while seated) which was great for relieving my frustration and definitely raised my heart rate. Finally, after I realized I could still cycle on a stationary bike, I found spinning classes that I could do (many of the usual spinning classes require cycling shoes which is a no-go for me because they load the forefoot to lock into the pedal). None of these were my preferred forms of exercise but my ability to continue to exercise was back in my control and I discovered that I really enjoy spinning!
I hope 2020 brings you good fortune but in case you face a setback I hope that you will find these tips helpful to maintaining a positive outlook.
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