A few months back, I was reading about a wrestler who was training for the World Wrestling Championships in 2010 which was held in Moscow. His name is Jake Herbert and he wrestles in the 85 kg weight class. He was discussing how he wanted to prove to himself that he was fully committed to putting his best effort in training for what he called the most important tournament in his life. So on top of all of his training in wrestling, and the time in the weight room, he set a goal of doing 10,000 pull ups over a 1 year span.
He made the decision to give everything he had to achieving this goal he set for himself. It shows his dedication to achieve success, since he can't accomplish this type of goal in a day, week, or even a month. It shows that you need to stay committed to the task, even if it's a year or more away. This can be a hard concept for people to commit to. Many would say, “why on earth would he want to do that many pull ups?” on top of his training schedule. His overall pull up goal may appear overwhelming, but broken up into smaller pieces, it is easier to comprehend. If you only focus on the end goal, i.e. the 10,000 pull ups, it may seem out of reach for you. However, if you break it down, it works out to about 30 pull ups per day. That's not overwhelming in the least. Breaking your goals up into small pieces and making smaller goals to achieve along the way is a great way to stay motivated throughout the course of a long journey.
Derek Rose, of the NBA's Chicago Bulls, recently tore his ACL. He is looking at a 9-12 month rehabilitation program. Coming back from such an injury is extremely challenging, but it can actually more of a mental challenge than a physical one. He's no different than anyone else, professional athlete or not, that has had to overcome the challenge of a long rehabilitation. The NFL’s Terrell Suggs is also going through the same thing. He partially tore his Achilles a few months ago and is hoping to make a return before the end of the 2012 football season. These guys are forced to try to return as fast as possible, as their livelihood depends on their body. Even still, a 12 month rehab program can seem never ending if you only focus on the end result.
If you are recovering from an Achilles tendon rupture, rotator cuff repair, tendonitis, hamstring pull, ACL reconstruction, total knee/hip replacement, or whatever, you need to do the same thing. Break your goals up into short term achievable goals, but with the end result on something bigger. Maybe you set a goal to hike Mt. Washington 1 year out from an ACL repair, and a short term goal could be to walk 1 mile without limitation. Set goals, and achieve them. This is the way we PTs formulate goals for our patients. If your end goal is to run a 5K, your first short term goal may be to walk 3 miles 3 times/week, then we work towards running.It doesn't matter if you’re wrestling for a World Championship, or recovering from a bruise, your state of mind should be the same. Dedicate yourself and be patient. It's a formula for success in rehab and in life. If you would like to discuss this more, please contact me at Mike@JointVenturesPT.com