It can be hard when emotion is involved

One of the most interesting ironies in life is how good we are at seeing when others are getting things wrong in a certain situation but when we get in that situation we can’t see the mistakes that we are making. A classic example of this is the bad relationship.  

As an outsider looking in it can be so clear when our friends are making mistakes, because we are removed from the emotion of the situation we can rationally look at it see a clear path to a better place. I’m sure many people reading this have had the experience of offering what you consider to be wise advice to a friend who may be experiencing a tough time in their relationship to only be ignored because ‘you just don’t understand’. At the same time you have probably been in that emotional place yourself where that rational advice offered from others doesn’t even register in your mind because your emotions are cranked up to 100%. This overly emotional place can often lead to a lot of bad decision making. 

When it comes to fitness there is one area that can stir similar emotions to those experienced when you are in a bad relationship, it’s when people get injured. Somebody asked me the other day what I thought when I saw people who were obviously injured and were still out there doing their exercise. You know the one, that person who is all strapped up, moving awkwardly, grimacing with every step due to obvious pain. When someone is in this situation, all rational thought can go out the back door. 

The first thing we need to remember here is that exercise is an amazing thing. The benefits are massive, I could write thousands of words about all the good that exercise can offer to someone’s life. One of the most powerful benefits of exercise is the esteem that you gain when you have the right kind of fitness challenge, one that presents you with adversity that you overcome and helps you to see yourself in a new light. Suddenly the words you say to yourself are positive words, the possibilities of who you can grow to be open up in your mind and you have the character to want to move towards this person, the belief you have in yourself grows by the minute. What is it that gave you all of these amazing benefits? Exercise. So if you had to suddenly stop the thing that gave you all of these amazing benefits do you think you would be rational? 

To be forced to stop something that makes you feel so good about yourself is one of the toughest things to face in life, even when this is the wisest decision to make. I’m sure if you speak to any sports medical professional they would have a multitude of stories of people who do more damage to their body when they get injured because they keep going and don’t stop and follow a recovery plan. So is there a solution to this situation? There’s the obvious answer like getting a recovery plan from your medical adviser and sticking to it but let’s look at a plan for the emotional side of the situation first.  

If you find you are in this place allow yourself to explore what emotions you are experiencing and what they represent to you. Why is it so important to keep exercising this way, what does it give you? If you spend time figuring this out you can then try to find other ways to gain these experiences/emotions/esteem in other areas of your life while you are getting your body fixed. Through doing some reflection you may discover that you feel you are losing yourself if you don’t have a challenge in your life and while you normally get that from physical challenges you could focus on finding another way that would keep you focused for the next few months during recovery. 

It could be a hobby, work, even a safe form of exercise that your doctor says will not affect your injury recovery. By finding another way of experiencing these good emotions and good self-esteem there is less chance that you feel you are losing something in your life  which will make it easier to make healthier decisions. 

Getting injured is never nice. The rational thing to do at this time is to do all the correct behaviors to get you back on track asap, although this isn’t easy. By devoting time to dealing with the emotions that come with this time you are actually increasing your chance of getting back to exercise because you won’t make unhealthy decisions. 


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Bevan Eyles