You’ve jumped on board a fitness challenge and you’re pumped, ready to smash it! You know other people that are participating and you’re keen to show them what you’ve got! You get part-way through the challenge and your body grabs you by the font of the shirt, looks you in the eye and says, ‘NO! I’m not playing anymore!’. What do you do?
When to push through!
Whether it is from injury or just pure exhaustion because you’re not quite at the fitness level that you’ve been pushing your body to, it becomes a tough call to know what to do. Your mindset is super strong, and you have been telling yourself that you can smash this one out! You are mentally there, and nothing is going to stop you! If you listen to your body and step back from the challenge, have you failed?
I’m a big advocate for listening to your body. Most of the time, it knows what is best for it and it can just be our ego getting in the way! At the same time, I know the struggle with admitting that you’ve failed at something, not a nice thing to have to face!
Not quite fit enough...
So, lets firstly look at the case where your fitness level is just not up to the task. In this case, we definitely don’t want to just throw in the towel, or we will never improve our fitness level! On the other hand, if we push too far beyond our capabilities, we can become very fatigued and then this is when our form slips, and injuries can occur! Have a look at what you are capable of and continue the challenge at a reduced level. Don’t beat yourself up about not being able to continue at the level suggested! If you are challenging yourself, that is all that matters! You don’t need to be at the same level as everyone else! It is difficult to design a challenge that everyone will be able to do!
Injury letting you down...
In the second case, where there is an injury involved, we need to consider the level of injury. If there is someone you can chat to about what alternate exercises you can do in order to still complete the challenge, then do so. You also need to look at the reasons you are participating in the challenge. What are the consequences of withdrawing from the challenge? If the only consequence is a bruised ego, then you need to just suck that up because continuing with an injury could mean the difference between a lifelong injury or a quick recovery!
Let’s at least come to a compromise here! There have been numerous studies about how effective visualisation can be. Instead of physically completing the activity for the challenge, visualise yourself completing it! Now, I’m not talking about simply thinking ‘yep, did that exercise today!’. It is a little more in depth. You actually need to give yourself some time, a quiet space, close your eyes and really visualise yourself performing the exercise! If done correctly, visualisation can improve our physical performance. Read more about it in this article from Psychology Today.
Know your 'why'!
The main thing in either case is that you really need to think about your ‘why’ for completing any challenge and ask if that ‘why’ is important enough to risk injury over. There are times when saying ‘no’ and ‘failing’ are not a bad thing!
Visualisation to improve movement
Our minds are indeed powerful! We can improve our movement through visualisation. Read about the technique here.