Don’t let a setback kill your confidence!

Have you ever suffered a setback? This could be with anything in life. I’m willing to bet that you have. I recently had a setback while working out. Since January of this year I have really worked hard at trying to stay on a program and get to the gym at least 4-5 times a week. Most weeks I am able to get there no problem. I also have changed the way I eat over the past 9 months and lost 26 lbs in the first 6. I have stayed steady for now which I am okay with. Each week I push myself to try and do more. About 6 months ago I strained my shoulder while throwing baseball with my son. It had started to aggravate me at the gym, but only with certain movements. Nothing to stop me, but still annoying. I had treated it at work and really tried to do everything I tell me patients. It has since then gotten a lot better, until this past Friday! I was doing dumbbell bench press and my shoulder started hurting a lot more than usual. Not to stop me completely, but to at least acknowledge it was there. So, being a Physical Therapist I did what I tell all of my patients to do…STOP the activity. Man this was tough to do! I had to now practice what I preach! I didn’t want to stop because I wanted to work out, but I knew it would hurt me more than help! It was a set back on my part because I had been doing so well and out of the blue it started bothering me again! I had no explanation as to why it started hurting again. I was doing the same weight and exercise I did last week!

Now what am I going to do? How far is this going to set me back if I rest? Am I going to get weaker? Am I going to gain more weight? What if I just decrease the weight and still do what I have to do? All these questions went through my mind. Since my profession works with people that deal with this all of the time the answers were very simple…stop the activity that was making my pain worse. End of discussion. There was no question as to what I was going to do. It can only get worse if you keep irritating it.

I have been treating a lady for the past 10 – 12 months for a rotator cuff repair. She was doing very well throughout her treatment. Slow and steady is what I would say to her. She was very hesitant at first because of previous experiences she had had. She has since opened up and really started to get better. Then the unthinkable happened…she had a set back! She was having some unusual pain that she hadn’t before so she went back to the doctor. He was concerned and wanted and MRI. Well, she has another tear! As you can imagine this devastated her! She was so upset, and she has every right to be. She was ready to return to full duty and get back to her life and now this happened. Now she has surgery scheduled for next month and is so worried about being back to square one! The good thing is is that she already knows what to expect from therapy and recovery. She already knows what I am going to do with her and how to react to it because she had such a positive experience. It will be a long road for her, but this set back will not destroy her confidence.

So you suffered a set back, so what! These things happen all the time. In my clinic it happens. It can happen even when you are doing everything right. You followed instructions well, and you executed them to a “T” and you still got hurt! Sure you are going to get upset about it, I did. Only for a little while though. If you let it consume you it will ruin you! You have to push through it and understand that things will get better. Change your mindset about what can and will happen! It’s only going to get better from here!

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