Friday, December 19, 2014

Two Steps Forward

Last year, around this time, I was gearing up for my big New Year's Resolution.  I was determined to eat better, lose a few pounds and make exercise a habit again!  I know...I shared this resolution with about 200 million other people in this country!  I resolved to start this on January 2nd because there is always leftover pie on January 1st!

So on January 2nd, I really worked hard to make it happen.  I started off great!  Through January and February, I ate more vegetables and less bread.  I stopped going back for a second helping at every meal.  I started going on some long walks and even ran a bit.  I did push-ups and pull-ups and other exercises that can easily be done at home and in the office.  By the end of February, I had lost about 20 pounds and I was feeling good!  I had established a few new habits that were working for me!

On February 28th, a friend asked me if I could play for his indoor soccer team because they were missing a few players.  I eagerly agreed and played pretty well.  It was a blast!  With about three minutes left in the game, I was chasing down a ball that was heading towards our goal, I flipped the ball against the wall to my right, then cut left.  Unfortunately, my knee cut right, and POP.

I tore my ACL.  I knew it.  I limped off the field, and grabbed some ice.  A few days later, the doc confirmed my injury and scheduled surgery for March 20th.  What a downer!  For the first time in quite a few years, I had made a resolution that actually stuck!  It stuck because I chose a few easy habits that I could actually maintain.  The question became, would I be able to keep up with my new routines through the six month recovery period?

Post surgery included  massive back pain and a nasty hematoma under one of my incisions.  Six months turned into eight months.  A few months into rehab, I felt like I had failed to maintain my new habits.  I wasn't focused on the veggies as much and there was really no way to get my exercise with a bum knee.

What's the point?
Looking back now, I realize that I didn't exactly fail.  I may have missed days (or weeks) but the general habits are still there.  Missing one day or week does not mean that I destroyed my resolution.  It does not mean I broke the good habit and I need to start from scratch.  It doesn't mean that I need to wait until the next January first to begin again.  A habit is not broken so easily, especially if my resolve to keep it is strong!  "Two steps forward, one step back" is still progress!