Obstacles will arise…Stick to it, and get through it.

Posted on: December 10th, 2010 by Rachel Cosgrove

About 8 weeks ago I posted my before picture which was post surgery and my jeans did not fit and I announced that I would be joining into our Thermometer Jeans Challenge. My goal was to get back into my jeans and after 8 weeks it is time for an update.

Getting back to my routine post surgery has been tough(to read about my recent surgery click here), I have had a few obstacles arise…

With my clients, I always start every challenge off at the first meeting by giving everyone a heads up that over the next 8 weeks you will have an obstacle arise and your success depends on how you will respond to that obstacle. I always say, every single one of you WILL HAVE an obstacle whether you get sick, or your kid gets sick or you have a family emergency or a last minute trip away…something will not go according to plan so decide now how you will respond to it and that you will Stick to your goal and your vision for yourself and get through it…Stick to it, and get through it.

Sometimes when I am working with clients and they have a goal in mind such as losing 2 jean sizes in 8 weeks and one obstacle after another obstacle comes up, they can start to get very inpatient with themselves and their body and many times start to feel like they should just give up. But always the ones who

“Stick to it, and get through it”

are the ones who at the end of the 8 weeks end up getting much closer than they ever thought despite the obstacles or even end up hitting or surpassing their goal. Having to stay focused through their obstacle (and sticking to it) it is even more rewarding and they learn so much about themselves and what they are capable of(and get through it).

I hate to say it but as a coach when an obstacle arises for a client I actually get excited for the challenge because that’s where my job comes in. I see it as an opportunity for my client to learn about themselves and for me to help pull them through those obstacles and show them what they are capable of and that they don’t have to give up no matter what.

This past 8 weeks has reminded me and helped me to relate to how my clients feel when these obstacles arise. I had set myself a goal and then felt like I had obstacle after obstacle arise. I started to feel like I was making excuses and that I was never going to get back to where I was physically. This was a good lesson on being patient with myself, something I have said to my client’s many times. Post surgery you are not the same and have to give your body time. I quickly learned this as I was anxious to jump back into where I was. “Be patient” has rung through my head these past 8 weeks.

Week One- My first workouts back I realized that I had to be careful and really take this slowly because I was so sore. This first week I had a hard time picturing myself ever doing a chin up again or even a push up for that matter. I was doing high incline push ups and it was making me sore. The fact is, I had 4 incisions in my abdomen that had just healed and I hadn’t worked out for 6 weeks. Being at this starting point helped me to relate to how my client’s feel when I tell them they are going to do a push up or a chin up and they look at me like I’m nuts. It seems so far away and out of reach at this point.

Week Two- Travelled to Vegas for a TV show and a business conference. I knew this ahead of time so planned out my workouts and the place we were staying had a great gym. Obviously my workout was modified some but I could stay on plan. No obstacles yet…

Week Three – Unexpected Travel to Oregon for a busy trip. We were only gone two days so I missed a workout and I did as well as I could with what I ate(except for that glass or two of Oregon wine I had to have) and when we got back I had committed to doing the swim portion of the CAF Challenge Triathlon. I was a little nervous about this but told myself I would only do the swim and take it easy, it was about raising money for CAF.  See my recap of that event.

The good news! At only the 3 week point my jeans were already buttoning! Barely…it wasn’t pretty…but they were buttoning. I still wasn’t feeling like my usual self but they were buttoned! I was back to doing real push ups(I had worked my way down from an incline on week one) but had not attempted a chin up yet.

Week Four – The obstacles started to arise! At that CAF swim I had caught a nasty cold. I don’t know if it was something I swallowed in the ocean water or just the fact that I did too much too soon by swimming the event or a mixture…but I was sick! This fourth week I didn’t work out and let my body rest and fight off this cold which seemed extremely persistent. Be patient.

Week Five- A week later the cold was still lingering and now I hadn’t worked out for a week and it was my 11th wedding anniversary and my husband and I were headed to Santa Barbara. Of course I enjoyed a splurge or two while we were in Santa Barbara and we had a fun weekend together but I was still sick and now hadn’t worked out for over a week….and had enjoyed a few splurges and was starting to let that negative dialogue creep into my head, getting inpatient….”I’ll never get back to where I was…” I heard some of the things I hear my client’s say start to creep into my head…

It is a strange conversation in your head when you are the client and the coach…

Week Six – Started to feel better and got back to my workouts but one night during this sixth week I went to bed feeling good and woke up the next morning unable to move because I had hurt my neck – in my sleep?!?!?!? Who hurts themselves in their sleep? Really athletic(sarcasm)…I hurt my neck SLEEPING. A little frustration. Another obstacle! How would I react to it? I seriously could not turn my head to the left so again had to miss a workout and instead foam rolled and stretched and told myself- Be Patient… At this point I was feeling very frustrated with myself and had to remind myself of all the things I say to my clients. And then yet again we had a trip to Oregon come up unexpectedly and were at the airport and on a plane and I was out of my normal routine and missed another workout and of course enjoyed another glass or two of Oregon wine.

When we got back from this trip I declared the next 10 days(before we were leaving town again) to getting refocused and not missing a workout. My neck was still not 100% but it was better. I went and had a massage that helped and took a jacuzzi every night and was ready to Stick to it and get through it.

Week Seven – Breaking the remainder of my challenge down into a 10 day challenge helped and is a strategy I use with clients many times – breaking your bigger goal down into smaller chunks and biting off a smaller piece – committing for 10 days at a time. It is amazing how in only 10 days you can completely change the way you feel. By the time we left town again 10 days later I was feeling good, fitting into my jeans(they were snug but they were on) and was back to doing push ups and even dead lifts and I had introduced chin ups using a band. I had added in stair intervals once a week which the first time I did I could not walk for days. I had not tried a chin up without the assistance of a band yet because to be honest I was a little scared.

Week Eight – As we returned from this trip which was a Thomas Plummer Seminar with the NFBA where I was able to get a workout in, a harder workout than I had done because it was the Hands On and lasted over 90 minutes (including ladder drills, plyos, sand bags, TRX stuff, kettlebells) I jumped in to the workout as if I was where I used to be and of course had people commenting- “Uh Oh Rachel Cosgrove is in my group…” and I look over and see my book sitting on the table that people are buying and asking me to autograph…and quickly realize I can’t wimp out on this workout, I am being watched…Pressure! The very last set of kettle bell exercises I felt one of my hamstrings talking to me and started to get scared I had pulled something…I didn’t…but my body had enough and I was completely sore the next day. I can’t even do a workout without hurting myself…the frustration, negative talk once again wants to rear it’s ugly head but I quiet it down and stick to it, and get through it.

The good news is that in the past 8 weeks I did get into those jeans- yay! And am wearing my thermometer jeans again, in fact I wore them to a photo shoot…

But I don’t feel like I am “back” just yet…I did try chin ups this past week and was able to get 3 solid chin ups from a hang without straining myself. Now that I am in my jeans, my next goal is a performance goal – to get back to doing 10 chin ups. I also had one of our trainers take me through the functional movement screen and I found that I do have some mobility, range of motion issues that could be related to the surgery that I need to work on. My new goal is to score a 21 on the functional movement screen (currently a 17) and be able to do 10 chin ups again.

One day at a time, we are each on our own journey.  This past 8 weeks has been a really great experience to understand and coach my clients even better. I had negative talk creeping into my head more often than usual and had to catch myself and stay focused on moving forward no matter what obstacles came up.

As you have obstacles arise remember to be patient and my new saying- Stick to it, and get through it. Do not let go of your goal and your vision of where you are headed – stick to it, stay focused and get through the obstacles. Remember Fit Female Credo #8 – Obstacles will arise, anticipate them.

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