A warm Sunday evening is a time savor the last few moments to relax and unwind with the family before the busy week ahead. This Sunday on (date) I found myself in a crowded emergency room with a broken and badly dislocated shoulder after a freak mountain bike accident 2 hours earlier. As I am no stranger to injuries, I thought, after the doc puts my shoulder back, a few weeks rest and I will be back in action, boy was I wrong. Nearly 2 years later, after surgery and a subsequent frozen shoulder, physical activity (apart from rehab) seemed like a distant memory. Shortly before the end of a 2 year recovery, I recall completing my first set of push ups without significant discomfort-it felt like winning an Olympic gold medal!
This was one of five debilitating surgeries, including a hand reconstruction, two groin surgeries and most recently back surgery that I have had the misfortune of undergoing.
Over my 20 year career in the fitness industry, I have made it my mission to explore every facet of what it is to be physically fit and healthy. I have lifted heavy weights, run marathons, played touch rugby, ridden stage races, practiced calisthenics and Pilates, and everything in between. I have experienced the highs of being strong and fit and feeling invincible. I have also made mistakes that I attribute to a combination of youthful inexperience (I wish the young me had the older me as a mentor and conditioning coach), and a personal battle for self love and acceptance (a topic for another day). These mistakes have resulted in debilitating injuries, years of chronic pain, inactivity, frustration and a loss of self belief.
Why am telling you this? Because, like most people reading this, I have had my own demons to slay and understand how debilitating physical, mental and emotional limitations can be. As a lifetime scholar, I can with confidence tell you that the most valuable lessons I have learnt have come through times of disability and personal hardships. These times have taught me a level of empathy for my clients and their battles with weight loss and achieving optimal health, that was previously not there, and in so doing have made me a better coach and person. In this two part series, I would like to share some the lessons I have learnt to help me and my clients overcome their mental and physical limitations in achieving their goals.
Part one covers 5 common mental limitations we impose on ourselves and offers 5 practical but powerful solutions. Part two looks at the physical limitations we create in our weight loss and fitness journeys and how to optimise your exercise for maximum results whilst doing what you enjoy and can sustain for life.