Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Thought on Set Backs, both Physical and Mental


     "Let set backs deepen your resolve. You should always come off an injury or loss better than you went down...

Even people who are completely devoted to cultivating a certain discipline often fall into a mental rut, a disengaged lifestyle...then [injury or some other set back] throws a wrench into the gears. We are forced to get imaginative.
-Josh Waitzkin, the Art of Learning.

The message is: NOT to go through the motions until an injury or overall lack of motivation stops you from training. The challenge is to stay continually engaged and focused, which can require creativity in how we approach training.

Some suggestions he comes up with are interesting. In a Muay Thai context, they might be translated into:
  •  working techniques you aren't great at (seems obvious, but think about how much you actually do this)
  • working everything in your other stance, 
  • modifying the grip of your push up, 
  • running a different route at a different pace. 
  • Try a different training time that you normally don't attend (Clinching anyone?)
  • Offer to lead a work out, or offer your help to an instructor (good for anyone looking to teach)

Even a shift in your intensity can help. Yes, you always want to strive for improvement, but it wouldn't hurt to take a week or two to take training a little more recreationally (ex. take one day that you normally do a full class and instead:  go for a run, hit the bag, do some weights on your own). Just don't get stuck in this mode either!!
The opposite is true as well- sometimes you need to up your intensity to spice it up. Run harder, try doing double classes on one day, do extra pads with a friend. 

When injured, work on a specific technique that is unaffected by the injury. Chances are you injured a body part you use often, so why not work the areas you don't?  When I hurt my knee, I didn't train as hard or as much, but I did other things to stay frosty...been working my shoulders and back waaay more. On the technique side, I improved my elbows a lot in a month.

Keep your training proper, but when injury or motivation becomes an issue, change it up. Mostly anything is better than just stopping completely. Keep building yourself so you can live out the rewards of your consistency.

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