To achieve our goals, we need to employ persistence into our attitude.
The main goal I’ve had all the way along this journey is to get better. Through my ups and downs this has never wavered. Getting better isn’t like getting over a cold because I know that I’ll never get back to 100%. Getting better for me, means exactly that - GETTING BETTER! Taking one more step each day so that it’s better than the last. Getting better meant, for me, getting over each challenge I’m faced with.
This is how we achieve our goals, by taking small baby steps towards them.
My journey has been tough, but it started from the moment I came out of a coma. I was encouraged to put in a little bit of effort, so that’s what I did. I put in a little bit of effort every single day. I was persistent.
Throughout my time in rehab, being persistent was relatively easy because the place ran like clockwork. A typical day as an inpatient at Epworth went like this:
7:50am - I would wake with a knock on the door for my 30 odd pills of medication, a jab in the guts with a small needle plus breakfast to wash them down.
9:00am - I would go upstairs for my first therapy session, Speech Pathology, for an hour. This was where I would practice talking and thinking.
10:00am – An hour of Occupational Therapy had me practicing those daily activity’s that I would eventually get back tousing in my day-to-day lives. Thinks like learning how to cook again, make shopping lists, catch public transport, reading instructions, etc.
11:00am - I went off to my first physical exercise for the day, at an hour of Physiotherapy.
12:00pm – I would then have an hour of Exercise Physiology at 12:00 called running group where we’d have a group therapy session that was all about lower limb work. This helped me to get my pegs working again.
1:00pm – I went back to my room for an hour for lunch and sometimes a quick snooze.
2:00pm – My final session for the day, another hour of Physiotherapy.
My day of rehab would then finish at 3:00pm every single day.
This was my routine 5 days a week for 6 months. I was doing 25 hours of rehab per week for 6 months. This was a challenge because I wasn’t doing this with a health, fit, buff body. I was doing it with a damaged one. An INJURED one.
Some of you may think that this seems like a long time, but it was just the beginning of what was to come. Once I became an outpatient that’s when the games began because the workload was totally on my two shoulders. I no longer my therapists there 5 hours a day kicking my ass, so I really had to be kicking my own. This meant I needed to start taking the responsibility into my own hands and I had to choose to take my recovery seriously.
My days as an outpatient also became all about getting better. Every day I would get up early and do an hour of exercise before I started the day. I was still going to rehab 3 times a week, but I also managed to get down to the local gym 4-5 times a week to do extra workouts. On top of that, I was also down at the park three times a week practicing my running drills. I was on a mission and that mission was to get better. This was the persistence I needed to get my life back to the level where I wanted it to be.
To this day, I’m still doing therapy as well as going to the gym 4-5 times a week. I do rehab in the hydro pool with all the oldies, and it’s great. No seriously, the oldies love me down there; Betty and Annie and Margie and Ricky. They’re my biggest fans, and we inspire each other to keep coming back!
The journey that I have been on has taught me the power of persistence and at many times this persistence has turned into pure determination. Don’t look at me and think that I’m always this motivated because trust me, I’m still human. I have my ups and downs just like everyone else, but it is my persistence that helps me stick to my goal of getting better, even on my down days.
I’ll tell you about a recent example. I woke up feeling like crap. I was coming off the back of a week in bed with a dirty, horrible virus called the man- flu (Girls if you’ve never had the man-flu, trust me, you don’t want it, it is horrible). It was 5am Monday morning, and my alarm had just gone off. I knew I had to kick my ass or else my motivation would keep going down. So, I got up and went to the gym. Even though I showed up, I still felt like crap. I could only put in 5-10 percent effort at tops. I went home early.
The next day, I showed up but still felt like crap. This time, I put in maybe 20-30 percent effort. The next day, I showed up again, and could put in 70-80 percent effort. By the end of the week, I was back. I walked into the gym and there was high fives all round. Margie was especially excited, but I gave her a soft high five, because I know that her shoulder is a bit weak.
My point is that I didn’t just give up. I had to apply persistence. It’s what I turn to whenever I’m going through a rough patch. Motivation comes in peaks and valleys, and when it is high, there’s no need to put in extra effort because you’re already kicking goals. But it’s when your motivation levels are low that you need be persistent and put in the extra effort. I knew that I’m was going to feel good again, as long as I pushed through and never gave in.
What happens when things are rough for you? Do you manage to be persistent in the things that you do and the goals that you’re trying to achieve?