So, there I sat. Feeling sorry for myself. Spiraling into a deep, dark place!

by | Jan 18, 2019 |

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‘New year, new you’ didn’t quite pan out for me this year.
I was full of high hopes and enthusiasm, but then it happened.
On New Year’s Day, I was knocked on my ass (metaphorically, of course) in the most mundane way. It was an accident that would effectively bench me, leave me watching life from the sidelines and trigger a mood dip deeper than the Loch Ness Monster’s hideaway.
Before I go further, let’s put this in context: I walk barefoot over fire and broken glass as part of my work; I bend rebar and break arrows with my throat and, in my past, I’ve been known to throw myself out of perfectly good planes just for kicks (and to raise a bit of cash for charity). So, when the incident now known as #Baileygate happened, somebody, somewhere, was having a good old laugh at my expense – or, at least, reveling in the irony!
Bailey (he also answers to Bob and, occasionally, B@stard!) is our youngest dog. He came to live with us last year, having been returned to the breeder and ending up in need of a home with other hounds. He soon settled with our rescued Labrador, labradoodle and two cats.
Ladies and gentlepeople, despite my track record of being able to pull off the craziest stunts with ease, your Pink Powerhouse Of Personal Development has been effectively hobbled by a COCKAPOO!
It happened on a lovely, sedate country walk, by the side of a river, on January 1 2019. The bigger dogs were trotting along off-leash. Bailey – whose recall is great until he spots a bird, a rabbit or a leaf – was on an extendable lead.
Now, I’m usually pretty good at controlling this… I call him back or tension that lead a little before he pelts in the opposite direction. This time, I messed up. My wife was walking up the trail behind me and I turned to speak to her just as our youngest pup sprinted off in the opposite direction.
There was a jerk, and a cracking sound, then searing pain.
Folks, my pain threshold is pretty high, but this was something else. Something inside me was very, very wrong!
We hobbled back home. I popped some pills and I waited. The next day, I woke up hurting and struggled through to evening before accepting the inevitable: rest and ibuprofen wasn’t going to sort this out!
The emergency osteopathy appointment wasn’t pleasant. My osteo‘s a great guy, but I was pretty banged up, so this was going to hurt.
We can’t be 100%, but it seems like that sound – the one loud enough for Ash to hear as she walked behind me – may have been my ribcage dislocating! It righted itself, but I was left all out of line and with soft tissue injuries affecting my back, my shoulder, arm, hand and knees. The muscles around one half of my sacrum had locked up and, on my second appointment, my osteopath extraordinaire kept me distracted beautifully while he gave one painful yank of my right foot, then proudly announced that my legs were the same length again!
Now, you might be wondering why any of this is important to you and why I’m waxing lyrical about my smallest canine trying to tear me in two. In fact, it’s not really the injury that’s important here, but the way I ended up feeling.
The extent of damage meant I had to ditch the gym for a while. I’d had a concerted focus on health through 2018, to the extent that I managed to kick my asthma into touch so much so that it hasn’t bothered me for months – I’m pretty sure I’ve beaten it! My core strength was growing, my shape was changing and I was working with a PT twice a week.
My injuries also meant I had to rest, ice my back, and definitely avoid all those normal things like lifting shopping bags or doing anything that meant me twisting or lugging things around.
I hadn’t realised just how much of my self-esteem was linked to strength and wellness. It’s probably anchored into childhood stuff – I can pinpoint it pretty easily, but that’s another column for another day.
I also hadn’t realised just how much exercise hooked into my mood.
Sure – we all know about endorphins and how much exercise can boost our emotional state and combat depression – I just hadn’t realised how much I’d come to count on those sessions with my trainer and how effective they were at keeping the old black dog away.
So, there I sat. Feeing sorry for myself. Comfort eating stodgy foods. Worrying. Spiraling into a deep, dark place, self-esteem going through the floor.
Until, of course, I decided to change things!
I had an open and honest talk with my wife, and then with my osteo. I said that, although he probably wanted me to rest for a bit longer, I really, really needed to get back into the gym.
Last time I sustained a back injury, some years ago, my osteo told me I could only go back to the gym in 20 minute bursts. Whaaaat?! That’s hardly worth wrestling with a sports bra for! I never went back.
This time, things are different. I have the relationship with my awesome PT, Tom Coaten, to keep me on track, so there’s a degree of accountability to think about. That made me even more determined to get back into the gym.
Luckily for me, Tom is also trained in rehab after injuries, so we had a conversation and I decided to book back in.
Rather than asking, I told my osteo about my decision, and we had a sensible, grown-up chat about making things happen safely and sanely.
I had my first two rehab sessions in the gym this week, and I can already feel my mood lifting. Things are looking up!
I had another big realisation too – about the importance of accountability.
I know myself well enough to realise that had I not engaged a personal trainer all those months ago, I probably wouldn’t have gone back into the gym. I might well have just sat there for even longer, getting fatter and unhealthier and waiting for the asthma to return.
I’m an ideas and ideals gal. My brain works fast and my enthusiasm and inspiration burns brightly… which means it burns out quickly if there’s nobody to prod me into action longer-term. I’m all about the sprint… the thought of a marathon bores me to tears, so I need encouragement to keep going.
I know that without the support and encouragement of my awesome assistant, I would probably have become a little less than regular with the production of my weekly Awesome Sauce emailers by now.
I know that without the prods from my PR and wife, I might not be anywhere near as consistent with my articles and press coverage.
I know that without the presence of Malcolm Out Loud, these columns of mine would appear once in a blue moon.
And none of it is because I don’t care. It’s because I think up one thing, get excited by it, dive in and then get all consumed by the next big idea. I’m fiery and impulsive and time passes so swiftly in my world that I’ll think it’s almost time to send in my next weekly column when, in fact, four months have passed!
I know I’m not the only one, so I really, really want to drum home the importance of creating accountability here for any other fiery creative types like me!
Consistency is important – not just in terms of business and brand, but in self-care too. If I hadn’t created accountability for myself by hiring a PT, I’d be sinking by now. I’ve been there before and I don’t want to go back. I WILL NOT go back!
To make that all play out in the real world, we first need self-awareness, so we know our own limitations.
Secondly, we need determination and clarity – an idea of what’s happening, what we want to achieve and what’s needed to get there.
Thirdly, we need to engage whatever’s needed to pull-up our shortcomings and keep us on track. For me, that’s accountability. It might just work for you too!
Until next time,
#UnleashYourAwesome,
Taz
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Inspirational Speaker | Best Selling Author | Empowerment, Confidence & Visibility Coach | Extreme Empowerment Specialist --- FOUNDER: #UnleashYourAwesome personal empowerment and business breakthrough seminars | #BrandMastery program. -- ACCOLADES AND PRESS: Co-host - America Out Loud | TEDx Speaker | DIVA PowerList | SourceTV Evolutionary | BBC Radio regular | Featured: HuffPost, Kindred Spirit, Sky TV and more.

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