It’s Not a Race

Notice when you’re comparing yourself to a mental picture or expectation.

  • You might hear about someone else’s rate of recovery and decide that you should be able to transition from crutches to walking sticks when I did. Or you might wait longer than necessary because you don’t think you should be able to do something so soon.
  • Or you might become Fitbit friends with someone who walks far more steps daily than you should be taking. I got into the competitive spirit with my wife and a pal, but I had to make my goal to achieve my target range each day, rather than beating them.
  • As the weeks go by, you’ll get an idea of some everyday activity that you could resume. Maybe it’s standing on one leg while putting on underwear or pants. There was one day when I felt that I could stand on one leg. And though in general I am aiming for accelerated recovery, I waited another week before trying it.  It may seem like a contradiction, but we just can’t be in a hurry, though we should be doing all in our power to give our recovery momentum. Why?  Because being able to see our own progress helps strengthen that mental picture, that we are on track with measurable progress. Also because it will ultimately be more cost-effective and involve less suffering overall to engineer an accelerated recovery than endure a longer, more gradual recovery.

Explore: Does competitiveness spur you to stay active?  Does competitiveness spur you to push your limits?

Be aware of how your mind is trying to influence how you approach your exercise.

That’s me in the Sierras, a week after my PT cleared me to cross-country ski. It was no less sweet after waiting an extra week.


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