Injury sucks

Injury sucks

Injury sucks! They stop us from achieving our long term and short-term goals and at times, depending on severity, can completely disable our ability to do anything. Severe or mild, they often stress us out due to this inability to progress and / or move as desired. On top of that there is the crippling pain or annoying niggle that stresses us out even more. Well, they do me so I re-iterate; injury sucks…big time.

Injury is a stress…in many ways

That’s the rant over, now what can I do personally to ensure the impact is as little as possible and recovery is as swift as possible?! Well, I have recently had some niggles, some annoying and some pretty high impacting injuries. Regardless what they were, they all played some part to change how I go about my training and my daily routine. Repairing them is actually the easy part, or rather the easy to follow part: listen to the doctor/physio, treat at home with proven treatments (massage, ice / heat treatment etc…) and keep food & drink healthy to help the body promote repair.

As identified though injuries come with stress, and I have found a few things that help me keep focused and stress free. First and foremost, beyond all else, is I kept exercising. At my worst I was housebound for a while and struggled to sit up let alone move around the house. Any form of exercise seemed out of reach but that was short-sighted and the internet, here to the rescue again, had plenty of ideas to help.

Do something!

Using the mentality of yoga to focus on what we can do and to respect what we can’t, Kino Yoga review this with Healing injuries with yoga article, I sought out what was in my ability. When it was a niggle I used yoga to strengthen, something more then yoga helped free up the area of concern and at my worst yoga gave me something to do, even if it was some neck and wrist movements. It provided structure and helped develop patience and focus; a bonus quality of the practice.

The time I had free, rather than the time I was incapable (trying positivity), got me thinking about what I am missing in my training. Mens Health’s recent article Are you breathing properly? hits the nail on the head “it’s surprising how little we think about how we breathe”. It’s back on the agenda, as well as trying out apps like BreathGuru and Calm I also did a few breathing exercises such as those recommended by Dr Weil and they do not disappoint. Breathing is important and most of us, regardless of injury, can do this. It kept me training and kept me focused.

Its not all bad

Another though to mention was to embrace the downtime. With some injuries it is a a balancing act between pain and a drug fuelled mind from pain killers and it is easy to sleep (a lot) and just wait and moan away days (I’ve done this). But I am still here, I’m frustrated because I can’t do what I want to do now…but I know I will at some point. Patience! That’s what I needed to tell myself. Watch those documentaries, contact those friends and sleep if I need to…its part of the recovery process. Point I made to myself was this is indeed a process, I’m not waiting, I’m progressing and every hour that passes is progress. I keep hydrated, keep entertained and keep a smile on my face…the latter may be the hardest part but like Elbert Hubbard said “If you suffer, thank God! It is a sure sign that you are alive.”

Re-focus

Treating the mind isn’t as straight forward as treating the body, the mind is after all way more complex. They are however very connected! It is the inability to use the body that affects the mind. We can’t do what we want and that itself is debilitating and demotivational. Doing what we can will not only help with the stress induced from injury but can also be highly enlightening and even improve our outlook and improve what we once thought was a cast iron training routine.

Being injured does suck but can give us a new perspective, it’s an opportunity to reboot and change what we do for the better as it enforces some form of downtime. Focusing on what we can do is a way of dealing with it and possibly helps us venture into new grounds.

Thanks to https://quotefancy.com for the imagery.

The Impact Of Roles & Responsibilities

The Impact Of Roles & Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities are pretty simple to define right?! I am responsible for the choices I make, for those who depend on me in any given role I hold. As a father (or mother) I’m responsible for the wellbeing of my Children, as a project manager I’d be responsible for the project as whole etc… These responsibilities are easy when generalizing but when broken down the grey areas appear.

What are my responsibilities?

In my job the powers that be know this, they even break it down into a 3-page dossier of my roles within my role and all the things I am responsible for, but even then, I pick up tasks that aren’t in my remit. The responsibility of fatherhood or motherhood is almost limitless; “keep them safe” and “teach them morals” are just two of many phrases that come to mind but again, break them down to detail and the grey areas appear. Put on top of that that, as any parent or even onlooker knows, each day can bring in a whole new subject/challenge/issue to the table and it’s your responsibility to meet the demands of fatherhood/motherhood.

As stated, I’m responsible for my self too. My choices impact every aspect of my life and there are countless fictional stories of how a seemingly simple choice has had profound impacts on the protagonist’s future. Sooooo…if I am responsible for my future by the choices I make but the choices I make have unknown outcomes, what is it I am deciding?

Actually, if the results are such an unknown entity then why the hell am I responsible? Ok, I am not talking about “shall I rob that bank as I need money to go out partying” or “I’m bored, lets do some heroine” because we can all pretty much (well most beforehand, hopefully more than most after the fact) agree these choices are dumbass as it doesn’t take a genius to work out they are bad life choices. I am talking about the small things, the things that move us that bit more forward to our goal!

responsibility - the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.
 

Responsibility related words: http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/responsibility

We all have goals, whether we work at them day in / day out or they feature as an ignored subliminal thought process that seem unreachable, they are there driving us each day. For those that work at them it is easy to get swamped with questions about what are the best practices?…which advice I should take on board?…does my opinion conflict with the norm? The battle is constant. Even when on top of my game the questions about my methods from my inner voice are relentless. This IS MY RESPONSIBILTY. I make these decisions, these are my goals, it is up to me!

What is my role?

So, make the decisions and it could all go wrong; due to chance, due to circumstance, due to plain luck. It could all go horribly wrong. That could be a sad and defeating thought but it really isn’t. I thought about it for a moment; I do something and there is a chance it could go either way, but if I don’t do something then I do not have the opportunity to either win or lose. That goal of mine just gets shifted back into my thoughts, the less I do the more it gets pushed away from my conscious. My role is easy; my role in my life is to keep going, like the Film subtitle of the comedy trio Lonely Island’s latest film “Popstar”, you just need to “Never stop never stopping”.

Fitness Journey Of A Bearded Mud Lover. Being TrueSapien!

Fitness Journey Of A Bearded Mud Lover. Being TrueSapien!

Written by TrueSapien Matt Briscoe.

The fitness journey and changes I’ve been on have had a profound impact on my outlook on life and the kinds of challenges I set myself. I wanted to enhance my social profile and chose Instagram as my media of choice. I did not want to brag about the activities I was completing or to seem big headed in my approach. The aim of pushing my workouts and races was to inspire others to do the same for themselves.

In the relatively short time that I have been doing this (18 months) I have lost 3 stone and had a complete lifestyle change. Yes I still have cheat meals and drink (occasionally) but an overall change in emphasis has occurred and I am following a different path to the one I was on in 2016.

I stumbled across Truesapien as I was posting online and instantly jumped on board with their ethos and beliefs. Challenging yourself and not settling for mediocrity meant that I was being shown the progress of athletes online who promoted the brand avidly. Wearing the brand and going out of my way to improve myself has resulted in new personal best times in a number of distances during my training time.

Breaking through the 20 minute mark for the 5km distance, smashing a year old 10km PB and half marathon times have been a number of achievements this year. It has changed my mindset and caused my to strive for new challenges to test myself. The completion of 25 miles at Europe’s Toughest Mudder has now resulted in the desire to complete even more in Germany later this year. I now constantly find myself looking at events online which have the potential to be the next big challenge and the guys at Truesapien have been supportive at every stage.

Being Truesapien has been motivational and the community of others is there at every step of the way to encourage you to push harder and further to smash goals and targets set!

We’ll be featuring posts from Matt’s Blog, ‘Fitness Journey Of A Bearded Mud Lover‘, on a regular basis as he continues his journey. If you want to read more in the meantime head over to his page!

CHALLENGE LIFE. BE TRUESAPIEN!

Don’t worry, be effective (and therefore happy)

Stress comes in many forms; the UK left the EU, England was dumped out the Euro 2016, the pound has dropped in value, a project at work is behind and they are laying off people and not to mention the a raging argument with the wife, my car vandalized and bills are piling up. SO safe to say i might have quite a bit to stress about, but so does everyone else so i’m not special or part of a small minority. Stress is a part of our everyday lives but what’s it really all about? I mean maybe we, as a generation, are stressing about things we don’t need to or prematurely?

There is a saying “Don’t worry about the things you cannot change” but i’d like to take that a step further. It is normal to worry about your own and your loved ones welfare so job security, financial problems and that looming dark cloud over you that is the unfinished argument with your spouse will cause distress and they are all things you can have an affect on. You are responsible for maintaining or acquiring a job and for the expenditure of your household and you can choose the best method to resolve the ongoing argument, and the stress these give you make them a priority in your life. With that said though, finding a solution for any of these issues won’t be found by further worry or stress. You’ll need a range of skills to help find resolution in any given situation but worrying isn’t one of them, the stress the issues have brought has done it’s job by prioritizing them in your life. So reword the phrase “Don’t worry about the things you cannot change, and concentrate on the things you can change without worrying!”

 

The man that brought to us “How to win friends and influence people” (which is excellent and a must read if you haven’t already) also put together “How to stop worrying and start living” which is a great insight into living efficiently and diminishing stress. Like the best seller before it the advice is timeless (published in 1948) and unlike other “self help” books it’s entertaining and doesn’t just rehash the obvious.

Stop counting Calories!

Well…don’t stop exactly but stop making it the priority number one! Many diets look at the calorie count of food and it seems the norm to check the amount of calories in food when shopping. Packaging even has marketing ploys on them that home in on this trait by declaring that there is “Only…” so many calories in this bar, dessert, snack etc… Outside the shop and it seems restaurants have sections on the menu that are specific to calorie intake such as the “Under 300 calorie menu” and magazines have article after article about burning those last calories or the most calorific foods. We are calorie obsessed, and it is all in the name of losing those few extra pounds. If losing weight is our goal then it is true that calories burned minus calories eaten needs to be a deficit number in order to lose weight, however, this is a very black and white view on dieting and the human body is a highly complex machine that requires more than just fuel to work optimally and to carry on working to it’s full potential for as long as we live.

Losing weight is so important to so many that being healthy (a word that seems to be losing credibility) can be sacrificed. The “calories is all that counts” attitude means many are missing the required nutrients for a healthy living diet. I have even heard of people missing meals so they can eat that cake later or go out on the pop with friends. Makes sense, right? You can only eat so many calories per day so cut down on food throughout the day because Aunt Jackie’s birthday party is on this evening and it’s going to get messy and wine, beer and cocktails. On the other hand there is the calorie compensation too; a cake has manifested in the works canteen…the piece and a half you had needs to be offset somehow, another 20 minutes on the treadmill will make up for it. Again, makes sense? I mean calories in from the cake have been burned off by calories out on your run but once again; the human body is not simple, it is a complex machine and calories only define energy consumed / burned and have no bearing on the nutrients.

This is the mentality of counting calories brings about, we disregard all the other factors. If you are serious about “getting into shape” then I may assume that you are out of shape and that it didn’t happen over night. It’s the same to get your desired body;it takes time and, let’s face it, it’ll be a long and arduous task but it’ll work and it’ll be worth it. Not only slim but healthy, strong, mobile and all round performance will improve in all aspects, not to mention you will look better as your body isn’t just losing weight but gaining muscle.

So STOP making calorie deficit your only goal and change your lifestyle; eat healthy, keep hydrated and exercise regulary and properly (and have fun) – you’ll have the body you want and reap a whole host of benefits and bonuses that come along with a healthy lifestyle!

Small Life Changes, BIG Health & Fitness Benefits!

Don’t fall into the trap of over complicating your goals!

I recently read the results of a survey from a major British charity which focused on reasons why people didn’t exercise regularly even though they ‘wanted’ to achieve related health and fitness improvements.
The conclusion seemed to suggest that people considered visiting a gym or commencing a structured exercise routine as too daunting, resulting in resounding failure.
It’s tempting to discuss the ins and outs of the nations desire to actually recognise where their shortcomings are or where they could improve but that’s for another time.
The point is that there is a common misconception that self improvement in the area of health, fitness, nutrition or lifestyle in general requires a huge and emphatic immediate change.
Is this because our culture is an all or nothing one where we believe in immersing ourselves, ‘binging’ or ‘fadding’? Whilst focus and commitment to goals is important in achieving success sometimes the perception that such a huge commitment is required is enough to end it before it’s even started.
As with everything ‘simple’ is the key. Small milestones and adjustments should be focused on rather than the desired end result. For instance, someone wanting to ‘eat healthily’ may be totally daunted by the prospect of a radical crash diet and total reconstruction of their weekly eating habits. Using the approach mentioned above, a more successful method would be to make small, regular and manageable changes to a diet. Instead of 2 tsp of sugar in tea, maybe 1 for a week and then 1/2. Substituting an evening snack for a piece of fruit. White bread to wholemeal. Or maybe consider adding daily healthy smoothies into your diet. Small changes that can be maintained built upon.
Same with fitness. If you want to ‘get fit’ firstly define what fit means to you? If it’s to have a six pack then firstly make similar changes to ones mentioned above with your diet. Then choose a basic core exercise and do just a few repetitions each night for a week. Then another or more difficult version for the next week. They are all building blocks and moving you closer to your goal whilst building your confidence to achieve. Some useful exercises which can be done at home can be found in this useful Men’s Health article:
Use the principles discussed above on any aspect of your life and you can achieve anything!