Have you ever found yourself thinking, if I could go back in time to when I was in high school, knowing what I know now … (fill in the blank with what you would’ve done differently to create a more positive outcome in your life now)?
Stop. Don’t go there … ever again.
I know. I set you up for the same fantasy that most aging athletes go through. For me, it’s happened more often than I’d like to admit.
Most often, facing your own mortality is the main reason to want to go back in time.
You remember how things were different. You didn’t wake up feeling stiff and achy when you were in your teenage years, or even your twenties. And you didn’t feel vulnerable to injury when you would train and play hard. Now it’s almost a regular occurrence.
Those feelings are a living nightmare for any athlete. So of course you’d want to daydream about the past to avoid dealing with your reality now.
It took me years to wise up and figure out that the game of “what if’s” is an exercise in futility. I came to realize that it detracts from moving forward in a positive way.
The true power is in taking action in the “now.”
If you’re feeling “stuck” in your aging body, then keep reading to improve your perspective. And learn how to take proper action today.
First, it’s important to embrace your truth. Aside from your genes, your physical condition right now is a reflection of everything from your past. That includes what you did right, what you did wrong, and what you didn’t do at all. Be that for better or worse.
I’m talking about the accumulation of physical stress.
Of course, that accumulation is not all negative. Some of it has been beneficial to your fitness goals. Here’s an example. Your years of consistent physical activity have helped you improve your fitness. This includes building stronger muscles, and improving your cardiovascular fitness and mental toughness. And that has helped to raise your self-esteem and desire to be successful.
But on the other side, that accumulation can also take away from the freedom in your body that you once had.
The repetitive stress from exercise and compensations from prior injury all adds up.
It causes a slow degeneration of your body that lurks behind the scenes when you’re younger. Then, one day in your thirties, it rears its ugly head with a level of breakdown that you can’t ignore.
Halloween is over now, so let’s put that monster to sleep. For good.
To put your past in the past, you must embrace the following 5 realities:
1. The longer you put off identifying and addressing your deficiencies, the longer they will perpetuate. It will take longer to unglue them and regain optimal function.
2. What you accumulate over time, doesn’t go away overnight. It often takes several months of doing the all right things to get your body right. So patience and perseverance are necessary virtues to practice.
3. You need to take an ongoing inventory of what’s working and what’s not working in your training plan. As well in your daily life. Then, adjust until everything is moving in the right direction.
4. Be proactive with areas of your body that are feeling good. So that they continue on that path. This means doing pre-hab exercises on a regular basis to maintain your mobility and stability.
5. Remember that more is not always better. It’s often what gets most athletes in trouble in the first place. Instead, relish yourself in quality and making steady progress over time.
Take action today by signing up for my Search and Rescue Mobility Program. You’ll receive access to a simple self-evaluation tool to discover your functional baseline. And then I will assign a daily self-care routine for you to follow. So you can build the habit towards permanent results.
Get yours here.
As always, stay athletic.