Do What You Can


A few years ago I broke my ankle in a freak skiing accident. Sunday I was fitted in a boot I had to wear for 6 weeks, and Monday I was back in the gym. While I was unable to do my daily runs, what I still could do included lifting upper body weights, one legged stationary bike riding…even crutching around the block which turned out to be a great tricep workout! The personal trainers in the gym would say to me, ‘….you just snapped your fibula, what are you doing in the gym?!?’

I never understood this mentality. Maybe it stems from people’s general tendency to blame others, shift responsibility, and use excuses for their circumstances rather than being accountable for their own actions and results. The way I look at things, when it comes to working out and staying healthy, with a few rare exceptions (e.g. being hospitalized), there is always something you can do. Here are some examples, but the key is your mindset because until you manage your mind, you can’t manage your body. So when you find yourself physically challenged, take a few minutes daily to train your brain to find something to continue to nurture your health despite whatever circumstances you face.

  • If your legs hurt, go for a swim, do pushups, etc.

  • If you have a bum shoulder, do lunges, go for a run, hop on a bike, etc.

  • If you are travelling and don’t have your usual equipment/access to your regular gym, go for a walk when you get to your destination. Rent a bike and explore. Check out a local gym and try new equipment your body is not used to. Try a new activity like kite surfing or skiing or tennis or something else unique your location offers. Do pushups and sit ups in your room. The fact that you are away from home is no excuse for letting your health go. When I was literally forbidden to leave my crappy Moscow hotel room back in the early 1990s, I power walked up and down the drab internal stairs for an hour.

  • If you truly can’t workout at all for some reason (e.g. you have an important obligation like attending a wedding), then use the time to train your brain and tighten up your nutrition. Try some new type of fish or salad combination. Visualize the powerful workouts you’ll do once you get back home.

Bottom line, there is always something you can do. If I were locked up in a small cell I would still do calf raises, jumping jacks, pushups (if enough space), etc. Circumstances rarely limit you; your mind limits you. So override your mind which is just creating false excuses and recommit to your goal of lifelong vibrant energy and health.

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