I have been dealing with an injury for about 3 months now. Seeing chiros, physios, and start PT in about a week. I have lost a great deal of size, strength, and mostly - motivation.
I am having trouble coming up with a “plan” and sticking to it. Obviously, like 99% of T-Nation, training is my love and passion, something I cannot do without. Due to the injury, I can’t do most things without pain, or furthering my problem.
Hopefully the physical therapist can help me create a plan to stick with. But I’ve got 5 long, boring days until then (not to mention I’ve struggled for the past few months).
I can do push-ups, BW squats, and ab work. I can do things like somersaults and bear crawling, as well as all the mobility I want (and need). I just can’t find the motivation to do it. I woke up this morning with the intent to work on some specific areas with mobility, and do some BW circuits and some ab work. I’ve been up for about an hour and I have ZERO motivation.
So my question is, how are people tackling the mental aspect of a physical injury? I probably come off as a baby or a lazy person, but hear me out - being unmotivated/depressed is harder to deal with than one may think. [/quote]
What is the injury again, exactly? I might be able to give you a little advice. See, I used to be almost fully handicapped for several years before getting a new hip (as part of an experimental program – ended up having a feature done in me in the NY Times as one of the all-time great recovery stories). I know lots about starting from scratch (actually couldn’t walk) and no motivation. My most recent training program (ended in April) saw me gain at the rate of roughly 1lb./10 - 12 days. Of this, about 20% has been fat. Think about that. This is simply excellent progress for anyone. I am 51, btw… So I have put on nearly 20 lbs. 16 of which is muscle. Losing that last 4 lbs was not hard either.
Motivation: You don’t want to deal with this. Ever. So don’t. Make a schedule and stick with it. “Doing it is what gets it done”. If you have to amp yourself up to train you will miss workouts, lose momentum and gradually grind to a halt. The mindset is this: If it is 4 o’clock ( or whatever works) you are in the gym. Period. Even if you don’t feel like it at all, go there and change into your workout togs, then make the decision (the one time I did this and bailed on working out it was because I was coming down with a killer case of the flu.) Otherwise, sitting in a gym all ready to go and saying “no” sure feels like a cop-out.
Exercises: Tell me what your limits are. I’ve tried damn near everything and have very good ways of training around pretty nasty physical problems. (Aside from being For instance, you can BW squat? Awesome. Have you considered working up to pistols? (Just an example, don’t just go out and do it). Need to figure out what you lack because of the injury, address imbalances it is causing, if any, and balance out your training. Being injured is a great time to work form and activation — take the long view. Technique will get you the most bang for your buck. So if, say, you have a back injury, doing light deadlifts and really burning in the correct form will mean that once you are recovered, you can really make progress. Hitting the supplemental and complimentary exercises to the big lifts can help you make simply awesome progress when you get a clean bill of health too.
Success: “Nothing succeeds like success”, as they say. You should engineer your training so that you have attainable goals and can see progress. Going to the gym and suffering through another lame workout because you are hurt will kill off any enthusiasm you may have and might make it so you give up training entirely. I’m serious. Aristotle was oh so right when he stated that we are what what we do repeatedly, so excellence is a habit. Part of my success has been my ability to chart training so I can always feel like I did something worthwhile. Oh and part of this is being realistic about what you can really do. Never be afraid of your workout. (This is the one major reason people try then stop doing Crossfit.) Aim for solid workmanship. Not sure what this means? Start asking folks here on T-Nation.
Intensity: I am an intensity junkie. I can tell you how to train very hard. Very hard indeed (yes, I’ve run training for a group of 20-somethings and had them tossing their cookies trying to keep up. No joke.) Sometimes, this is even necessary. ;D My point is that I do it in bouts because I enjoy it and like the feeling, but it is only one training protocol. It may be applied to everything, but with the caveat that you can get overuse issues and give yourself a whole host of other injuries too. Have to be smart about intensity.
This is a phenomenal post. You have covered absolutely everything in great detail.
I am not entirely sure what the “issue” is, but my symptoms are back spasms in the mid-left back, and a very stiff back. Possibly stiff/out of place ribs. I also have some ribs that keep popping out on the right side, as well as some upper back/lower neck pain.
I am very happy with the great posts I have seen in this thread and in the other. Some very great people out there that know how to tackle these roadblocks.