Finding Motivation After a Setback

August 23, 2018

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The end of May and the entire month of June were pretty rough for me. I unknowingly sprained my ankle by stepping off a sidewalk curb the wrong way and then further worsened the injury when my cousin challenged me to do the Manitou Springs Incline with her.

My sprain caused me no pain. It just felt like it needed to crack or something. That’s why I didn’t think much about doing 2000 vertical feet over .9 miles with a 3 or so mile hike back down the other side of the hill. It wasn’t until later that night when my right foot was almost twice the size of my left that I realized I had probably injured myself.

"Ok, I guess I’m taking some time off," I thought.

A week went by and the swelling had gone down considerably. Still, no pain so I thought, I’m probably ok to do some light walking around. A friend came in from out of town and we headed over to the Garden of the Gods to walk around for a bit. Big mistake. My ankle was so swollen when I got home that evening.

At this point, I’m kind of panicking. My brother and his family were coming to visit the following week and I had so many fun things planned. I wanted to go hiking. I wanted to take my nephew to see some dinosaur fossils (which we did do). We also had a family gathering to attend. I took another dreaded week off from the treadmill.

I was ok with taking the second week. My mind was distracted with getting my place ready for my three favorite people. By the time their arrival date came, I was sure my ankle was healed. By their third day here, my ankle was a nightmare. I’m an asshole, too. I didn’t take care of it while they were here. I mean would you? My nephew gives me so much life that I honestly didn’t care.

Once they left, and I was faced with the reality of my situation, I started to feel helpless. I went about 5 weeks total of moving from my desk chair to the couch and my bed. Just to stay sane, I’d remind myself repeatedly, “at least you CAN sit all this time.” I was begging my husband to take me to the grocery store. Or let me do the laundry. I had to avoid the stairs as much as possible, but the only way out of my second-floor apartment is via the stairs.

I did become increasingly pissed off at how inaccessible these apartments are. I’ve said it since we moved in here, that these places are not accessible at all. Like our apartment building technically has a disabled parking spot but there’s no ramp in the curb from the parking lot to the ground level apartments.

Every day that passed by that I couldn’t do what I wanted to do, I became more annoyed and agitated and my brain just felt cloudy and mad. I just could not shake the feeling that I was going to destroy all of my progress. That I was going to fail. The recently purchased sneakers, that were practically just begging to be broken in, were going to just sit in my closet forever. Embarrassing me every time I stepped in there to get my suitcase or swap out my sandals for boots.

I felt defeated.

When my ankle finally started feeling better, I let the fear continue to guide me. I was so certain that my injury had derailed everything I've accomplished thus far. I figured I probably slowed my time way down. That I wouldn’t be able to lift the same weights anymore. That’d I be weak and tired. I was clearly putting on weight (I didn’t).

I didn’t want to be seen at the gym. I was scared to put on the clothes I was receiving from Le Tote.

I had to have a lot of pep talks with myself. “No one is going to know if you’re slower or weaker or fatter except for you. No one is paying that much attention to you at the gym. Not even your own domestic partner is going to notice.”

And also, if someone is paying that much attention, WHO TF CARES?

Right? Right! Who cares? Why should I care? What does it matter? In the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter if I sit on my ass all day long or if I get to the gym and put a couple miles on my soles.

And that’s what motivated me to get back in there. Realizing that it literally doesn’t matter. Funny that I got there from “nothing matters” but that’s the kind of person I am. If nothing matters then you should just do whatever makes you feel good (as long as your good feeling doesn’t come from making others feel bad because your impact on others does matter).

If it feels good to relax, do it. If it feels good to run a marathon, do that. Ultimately, that’s all that does matter while you’re alive on earth.

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