(#206) Two Shoulders. One Realization

Do you know when a goal is the wrong goal for you?

A couple months back, I wrote on this blog about my most recent shoulder surgery. (I had my right shoulder done 3 years ago. This year I “balanced” things with work on the left wing.)  Though my progress has been great, I am still a few months away from “being back to normal.” Whatever that means. New normal as they say?

Today, one of my gym buddies asked me about the prognosis for post-surgery life.  Would I be “good as new”? Would I be able to work out like a 20-something gym rat? Would I have limitations or a reduced capacity for activity?

Good questions that made me ponder, once again, the value of healthy goals.

No, I will not be able to mimic a 20-something in the gym.  But that was never my goal with this surgery. I had short-term goals (pain relief and ability to accomplish simple everyday functions that I was not able to do). Long-term I want to continue with my routine, albeit revised, in the gym.

Image: Markuso/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: Markuso/

Unfortunately, for too many years my gym goals centered on being able to lift heavier and heavier weights so that I could achieve a body type like others in the weight room.  That led to my first shoulder injury.  I did not learn from that experience—and went right back to feeling I could keep ratcheting up the regimen. And then I suffered through a second shoulder injury from attempting to act like a 20-year old in the gym.

So, it took two shoulders to understand the goals I had set in the gym were the wrong goals for me. As a trainer told me, no matter how much I lifted and trained I was not going to have the “guns” (biceps) of the “big boys” in the gym.  We just have different musculature.  Those packing the heavy “guns” would have a tough time keeping up with me in a cardio session/class.

For some people, recalibration of goals is a failure of sorts in their eyes.  “If I have to scale back then what good is the surgery? Why bother if the prognosis won’t allow me to be what I used to be?” Here are a few thoughts:

  • Keeping a goal that obviously harms me (physically, spiritually, emotionally, or socially) seems foolish.
  • Diminished capacity does not equate with diminished motivation, desire, and ability to achieve. I can still set lofty goals.
  • Reflective recalibration leads to a refreshing reality check.
  • Unhealthy goals lead to injury…which leads to pain…which leads to operating at less than capacity (anyway!)…which leads to down time.

I don’t have time for injuries. I don’t want to continually work around the injuries. I don’t want to spend money on injuries.  Especially when I can make an effort to avoid the injuries.

Some might call that rationalization or getting lazy or giving up or getting old. I don’t. As long as I continue to stretch myself and reach for challenging goals I will be fine. The trick becomes in identifying the line between challenging and damaging.  In my case, two shoulders have pointed out the line. And I have decided to listen.

Are you paying attention to your feedback?

Video recommendation for the week:

This week’s video takes a different look at whether or not we should announce our goals to the world.

Make it a wonderful week—H.T.R.B. as needed.

Check out my website (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

Information on my newest book, Choices for College Success (3rd ed.), can be found at Pearson Education.

(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
This entry was posted in Goals, health, Life lessons and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to (#206) Two Shoulders. One Realization

  1. Pingback: (#215) Consistent Talk or Consistent Action? | Steve Piscitelli's Blog

  2. Pingback: (#240) A Blogger’s Retrospective: 2014 In Review | Steve Piscitelli

  3. Pingback: (#215) Consistent Talk or Consistent Action? | Steve Piscitelli

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