I have spoken before about the importance of mental training, but the road back has really shown me ways of utilizing this tool. On my down time, I had watched some webinars on metal toughness and fear, which were fantastic and I highly recommend this for anyone. One thing that stuck out for me before I had my surgery was the inability to pull a deadlift as the pain worsened. My body just called it quits. I developed fear, and didn't even realize it. My absolute favorite lift had fear wrapped around it, the fear of pain and fear of failure. I had to identify this and work on conquering it before I could even pick up that bar. I had to find where the fear was and use some tools to work with it.
I know I am better at identifying the difference between muscle soreness and warning pain. I am getting stronger so overcoming the fear of failure and seeing the end result of a successful lift and using positive intention. If my mind isn't in that lift, the mechanics also fail to be. I envisioned the body mechanics even the night before then I found when I did approach the bar, there was nothing but calm. When the weight climbed, a bit of fear tried to sneak back in, but I simply spoke to the lifter in me…Did anything hurt? No. You know what to do? Good then line up and do it. And I did, and it felt great.
I will probably be using more of this as I continue to progress in my training for nationals. At one point I looked at my numbers and thought, "that's not where you were." I changed that mindset. I am only 8 weeks post op. I took a good look again "That's not where you were!" I went from dumbbells to stacking plates on the bar, lifting over body weight, then more. You can spin the negative, or really see the positive. I will only see the growth and the positive. With that, more will come. We all respond to positive energy and feedback, so why not reward yourself with it as an individual, an athlete and a person.
I came into a situation while out in town the other day, a man was in my blind spot and not seeing him, I didn't move out of his way. Instead of asking me to move or excusing himself, he pushed me. Behavior like this in the past has been very upsetting to me, but instead I choose to use this as a lesson and as new drive. I hope this lesson shows my children to always show compassion and kindness and to never assume another's circumstance. This also gives me extra drive to work towards my goal of competing as a visually impaired athlete at Worlds and an athlete in sighted competitions. Just because an individual has a disability that you cannot see, does not make them any less. I am going to develop my own strength, for me and take a lesson from an experience, tie it into my mental training and use it as some focus.
It's not always easy to dig your heels into mental training, but the results are worth it. You can't always control situations, but how you react is all up to you.