Perspective

by Mindy Collette

As a full-time employee, living over an hour away from the city now, it can be very difficult to get to the gym. To make time to lift weights, pack protein shakes, L-Glutamine, and BCAA’s. But, where there’s a will there’s a way, and it’s been going well so far. Actually, really well…until the other day on my way to the gym, when I was pushed, probably accidentally, in the subway on my way down the stairs. I fell onto my tailbone and bounced down 7 stairs (on my coccyx), landing on the platform. I was winded, from pain and shock, and really really really disappointed. I knew upon standing there was no way I could lift weights that day, however, because I’m determined, I still went to a yoga class. (I probably shouldn’t have)

Today marks almost a week, as I write this, and it hurts badly just to walk on my left leg. Despite my pain, I still went to the gym yesterday and did chest. Midway through my third set on bench, my back couldn’t take it and I slowly lowered the weighted bar to my chest. Thankfully, a couple, waiting for the machine, helped me get the bar up. At first, I was so embarrassed! I felt weak and like that one incident completely negated any other workout I’d ever done, and the muscle I currently have. But, then I got to thinking about it, and realized that I was having the wrong attitude. I didn’t CHOOSE to fall and bounce down a flight of metal stairs, and had that not happened bench press would have been fine. So, ‘maybe’, I thought, ‘I’m too hard on myself sometimes.’

Today, there is absolutely no way I could go to the gym for weights. When I fell, I also pulled my left trap muscle, trying to catch myself, and inadvertently, pulled my right lat as well. I’m a physical mess! Just as I was really starting to get back into it too! What can I do? I can be frustrated and have a bad attitude–which will probably make my healing time even longer–or I can buck up and take the time I would lift to do other things I’ve been needing to do like write this blog, or my book submission, or finish the article that’s due.

If I could say the one thing I’ve definitely learned in 2013, it would be: perspective. I could have allowed my fall to hold me back, and put me in a dark space, but instead I determined to seize the opportunity to write, to enjoy the holiday with family, work on myself interpersonally, and pursue some things that have been set on the back burner. I don’t know what all 2014 has in store for me, or you, but what I do know is that I will continue to apply awareness of perspective to every situation I encounter so I can grow. Tonight I’ll go to the gym and do arms and shoulders, since that shouldn’t affect my spine too much, and I’ll practice yoga. I’ll do what I can do, instead of focusing on what I cannot.

Let us all leave an even bigger impression on 2014 than we had imagined before, setting our intentions and aspirations high.

“You can, you should, and, if you’re brave enough, you will.”
–Stephen King–

Happy New Year, fellow vegan athletes, wishing you positive perspectives and passionate perceptions for life!

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