After my car accident and the 5 years of endless issues, symptoms, stress and uncertainty, once I finally found somebody who could tell me ‘’why’’ and I realized I’d be able to train again and feel normal, what brought me the most joy was being able to train, play sports, and perform basic daily activities without hurting, or worrying what might go wrong.
Over these 5 years, the worst case scenarios had almost always played out, so now I’m having to work really hard to retrain my mind so I don’t immediately assume the worst. It hasn’t been easy. I’m even working on this in my therapy.
When I was going through these horrible years, I got to the point where I’d lost all hope that I’d be able to play soccer again or train. The scary part was that I stopped caring. My one hope was that I’d be able to get through a day without experiencing all of the extremely unpleasant, frustrating, and unpredictable symptoms.
In terms of my coaching, I felt like a total imposter. I often doubted my abilities, and I even had to modify clients’ workouts as on many days I was in too much discomfort to demonstrate certain exercises, or at least I couldn’t move properly to demonstrate using proper form. So I felt like a fraud, and was a frail shell of the coach I think I’ve become.
During this time, I also felt a great deal of shame as I’d kept all of my symptoms, fears, emotions, and the amount of money I was spending a secret from everybody as I had been judged, ridiculed, and even told by some (including various doctors) that I was imagining my symptoms or was overreacting, so I didn’t feel like I had a lot of support.
This secrecy, and the double life I’d been leading, absolutely crushed me. I will never make this mistake again, and am working so hard to express how I’m feeling to the people who matter, and who have earned my trust.
While aesthetic goals and tracking numbers are helpful to many people, there is so much more to working out than just that. What keeps me going and brings me joy is playing, moving, and training freely without hurting. While I still do have performance-related goals and I want to put on a bit of weight, my driving force is feeling healthy, happy, and empowered.
Figure out what brings you joy and empowerment, and make it your driving force.