Growing up I always used to hear the saying “There are two ways to learn, the easy way and the hard way. When you learn the hard way, you’ll never forget”.
Two years ago, when I first moved to Sydney from Brisbane, I picked up an horrendous and debilitating lower back injury – bad enough to earn the nickname “Crab-man” because of the way I was walking.
When going through my rehab work (from the teachings of Dr.Stuart McGill) I began to get improvements (in terms of pain) pretty quickly.
If you have never had a serious lower back problem then it’s hard to empathise with the constant agony you are in. There is no escape. Standing, lying, sitting, kneeling – every position hurts after a few brief seconds of release.
You fear every cough, sneeze and anybody touching you.
The pain is the best motivator, you’ll do anything to escape its clutches, even if that means an hour of boring rehab exercises and mobility drills.
As the pain subsides though, its amazing how it easy it is to become lazy and start to take your level of movement for granted.
Where once you had a minute-by-minute reminder to do the rehab work, you start to feel good and start to put off those exercises until “tomorrow”
It’s human nature to take the most convenient or easy route – do my exercises today or stay sitting on my ass watching tv?
After a couple of weeks of diligent rehab work, I became lazy.
Thought to myself “ahh its okay, back feels good I don’t have to bother”.
The trouble is that recovering from an injury is not an “on/off” switch, where suddenly everything is “fixed”.
It is a scale. With life dominating pain at one end and carefree movement at the other.
I was fast sliding back down this scale due to my laziness and was bullshitting myself into how well my back was to justify being a lazy prick.
One day, during a cold winters morning at 5.45am, my beloved Honda motorbike would not start. (it’s an older style carb fed engine – at best you call them temperamental…). This cued a frantic 15 mins of trying to bump the little bastard down every hill I could find, but of course to roll down the hill you must first push it up there – all 150kg of it. In full motorcycle gear. With a backpack on.
I got it started, got to my morning client on time (just), but the damage had been done. With my back tight from my laziness, the dramas of the morning had been the straw that broke the camels back (pun intended).
So I relapsed back almost to the very start again.
I learnt the hard way, but I’ll never forget.
Re-hab is a lot like going through a diet or lifestyle make over.
Your current health and fitness are the result of the daily habits you chose to exercise.
Bad habits will ruin your health and slide you backwards.
Good habits will build your health and move you forward onto better things.
Perhaps that is the key to success in all areas of life? health, fitness, business and even family?
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”