There are times in your life where you feel like no matter what you want to accomplish, everyone and everything is passing you by. Almost like you are stuck in neutral. No matter how much you want to go to the gym or go for a run, you feel like you are just moving in slow motion. Or worse yet, not moving at all. This is especially true when you are coming back from an injury and don’t know where to start.
This feeling was particularly true with me at the end of my 2019 season. I ended 2019 by taking 9 weeks off from all running and leg workouts thanks to a bone bruise on my knee. All caused by the now infamous “Don’t Text and Run” mishap I had at Fenway during one of my fun laps. For those that don’t know, I made a bonehead move of trying to send a text while running through the bleachers at Fenway Park. I nicked one of the bleachers which caused me to lose my footing and come down on my knee. That was literally a Homer Simpson “Doh” moment.
The worst part for me was not recovering, it’s what came after. I felt like I didn’t know what to do once I was cleared to start running again. Physically I felt great for the first time in a long time, but I had gained 12 pounds and was missing more workouts than I was making. I knew I needed to start over with my running and with switching my workouts to more of a Tabata and HIIT style, but I couldn’t find the motivation to do it. I kept finding excuses to put it off. “I’ll start tomorrow” or “I’m tired so I’ll just sleep in” was becoming too common.
I honestly and truly felt like I was stuck in neutral. I wanted to move forward, but I felt like I was not getting anywhere. Finally, one day I said “Enough!” I was able to get myself through that first roadblock by turning off my Garmin. Going for that first run with no pressure was a huge first step for me! I wasn’t watching my speed, my distance, BPI, cadence, or the per-mile time. Instead, I was focusing solely on regaining my form and just reminding myself fundamentally why I liked to run – for as much as I can say I do like to run, haha! I took it slow and I just kept adding back one thing at a time.
If you have ever felt like you are not getting anywhere – like you are stuck in neutral – just know that you are not alone and that everything will work itself out. What ended up working for me was coming back slowly. I simply focused on one thing and then another and then another. Taking things one step at a time without putting that added pressure on yourself will do wonders. I’m still not back to where I want to be, but I am moving forward again. I no longer feel like I am stuck in neutral and having fun is why we do what we do, right?! If you don’t enjoy what you do for a hobby, then why are you doing it?
It’s up to you and only you to push forward and get yourself out of neutral. Let’s both make 2020 our best year yet!
by Justin Termini