Over the last couple months I've been trying to focus on bigger, more complex movements in the gym. Things like deadlift and squat, which I'd been forgoing in favour of more focused movements. My strategy was to build up the individual muscles first, to try to get back to where I was pre-injury, and then start doing the complex lifts once I had that basis of strength. It was a good plan.
Another part of it is paying attention to my body, and doing the things that it demands from me. A couple weeks ago I noticed that it was not my legs holding back my deadlift, it was my lower back. It was not my back holding back my pullup, it was my scapular retraction. Small muscles and movements that need attention before the bigger ones can begin in earnest.
What that means is that back day (such as today) is less about the big movements like pullups, pull downs, and rows, and more about the basic strength movements, like back extensions and scap pulls, to round out that basis of strength I was talking about earlier. It's still the same plan, just a little delayed. And holy crap is it boring. And I probably look like an idiot doing those scap pulls. But, if you want results, you need to leave your ego at the door and do what's right for you. It took me over a decade to get there, but I've finally gotten good at that.
This same principle applies to everything else we do. If there's something holding you back, then identifying it and dealing with it will help you move forward. Sometimes it's something as big as a toxic person in your life who needs to be cut out of it (you know who you are, check your inbox before commenting here), which is never easy or fun. Sometimes it's realizing you're spending too much time on reddit, and not leaving yourself enough time to do the things you actually want to get done. I've mentioned previously the time I cut my TV viewing from 20 hours a week to 5 ten years ago so that I'd have time to work on my own projects (it's currently sitting at 8, and almost exclusively while I eat so that I'm not losing much time).
Right now, for me, what's holding me back is two-fold. First, I'm spending too much time on reddit. I use it as a news source, which leads me to spending a lot of time reading articles. Being informed is good, but not at the expense of the things you want to accomplish. Secondly, this building I live in is taking a serious toll on my mental health. It keeps me in a constant state of mild depression, and that affects my motivation and enthusiasm for the things I want to do. I'll routinely avoid starting work because I don't have the motivation, and then just start working anyway and get through it like nothing, because the work isn't hard for me, it's just that I completely lack motivation for it.
One of those things is easier to fix than the other. Cutting reddit out of my life just involves not going there any more. That's going to free up as much as two hours a day. Getting out of this building is way more difficult. I'm here because it's cheap, which makes it easy to make rent when business is slow, as well as while I'm in the process of changing my business' focus, which requires a lot of effort now for no money, in exchange for payoff down the road. I have options while I'm here that I don't have if I'm in a more expensive place. I can't move out until the new direction I'm taking my business in pays off, which doesn't happen until I've put in all that work, which is hard because the place I'm living to do it depresses me. And the cycle continues.
I'm not at the point where I need to ask for help, and I have some things on the horizon that are exciting, so I'm okay. The point I'm attempting to make here is one of being self-aware. It's important to pay attention to yourself and your habits, so that you can identify those problem spots. Only after you've figured out what they are can you address them. It's a difficult thing to do if you're not accustomed to it, but once you are it allows you to tweak your life like a video game. A year down the road, you'll wonder why you ever did those things that were holding you back in the first place.
At least, that's my opinion. What's yours?