Kesson Physio

What’s your Marathon?

February 16, 2021

What’s your Marathon?

Often our patients share with us their frustrations of not being ‘how they were’. They will say things like: “It is so annoying, I used to be able to run up and down the stairs countless times in a day without thinking twice”; “I used to spend all day in the garden, doing all the jobs without a break, now I need to ask for help”; “I used to spend all my time on my feet, running after the kids and managing a job and a household now I have to sit down after going to the shops”.

Any of this sound familiar?

The theme here is that we often see our patients beating themselves up for not performing like they used to when ‘they were younger’, when they had ‘no pain’ or ‘before they had their injury’. Often part of our response is to explain that the emotions they are feeling are remarkably similar to grief. They come to realise they are mourning the loss of thoughtless movements, or of guaranteed capability that they totally relied on. This can be one of the toughest challenges that any of us will ever face.

It is important that we support patients to focus on the present, rather than the past. That is when magical things start to happen. They suddenly start to notice what they can do now and see ways they can improve. They realise that by adding little by little, this eventually turns into a lot.

A useful exercise we use is to work out with our patients what their “marathon” is. To some it may be as basic as getting out of bed, dressing independently and making breakfast before wanting to sit down. For others it may be something more specific, such as returning to horse riding for pleasure. Whatever their goal (read ‘Marathon’) is every patient then proves to me that they know the fundamental ‘Dos and Don’ts’ of marathon training.

For convenience I will summarise, but I bet you already know. It is simply this…

When training for a marathon:

  • Don’t start trying to run a marathon every day and see how far you can push yourself each time. This technique is guaranteed to fail, where every day your distance achieved gets less and less. (You are welcome to test the theory, but I wouldn’t recommend it)
  • Do set yourself up for success. Start with a reasonable distance that you are confident you can complete regularly through the week and build on that.

Once you have decided on your Marathon, apply these principles and two remarkable things will happen:

  1. You will be kinder to yourself and more realistic in your expectations
  2. You will start to move forward and in time realise how much closer you are getting to running that “Marathon”

If you would like our help in supporting you achieve your Marathon, get in touch.

We are here to help you Move Better, Live Better.

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