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  • Inspiration from Hardship

    By Travis Steffen on Saturday, February 12, 2011in Help & Motivation  

    Today’s blog post was set to be a look into the future of WorkoutBOX, everything we’ve got coming out, etc. However, I just received an interesting comment on a previous blog that would be good for all of you to read. It followed one of my posts from a while back entitled “Relearning to Walk”, which talked about my journey back from a life-changing injury.

    Here it is, unedited:

    Wow, that is all I can say. So maybe your incredible story can help me. So this is my story.

    9 years ago I tore my left Achielles Tendon had surgery. Took months and months for it to heal. I have always been over weight yet very active. Whats funny is I dont know how I tore it. So now we are in the present. In 2007 I lost 100 pounds felt great. Crushed the bone in my right knee, had surgery (its actually a long story) gained 50 pound back. Got a job at a new gym was very happy and looking forward to exercise after a gruesome recovery. Wanted to take the weight off soooo bad.

    The day before the equipment was being delivered, I broke my wrist in 3 places playing dodgeball. I know what your thinking crazy huh. So now I gained 30 more pounds. So at the gym I met a personal Trainer who helped me. I started training bootcamp style LOVED IT!!!! 41 years old and loved getting my ass kicked. The more I did it the more I loved it. 5 days a week as much as I can. I feel in love with working out. Who would have ever thought. It made me the happiest I have been in a long time. I dropped 50 pounds and got into the best shape of my life.

    So guess what? 3 weeks ago I ruptured the tendon again this time so bad I spent 5 days in the hospital, had the surgery I’m on blood thinners. The worst part I can’t stop crying. I was on my way to doing things I never did running marathons, and achieiving goals I never thought were imaginable. Now I sit in a chair and cry. The doctor said I will never be the same. No running ever again. My trainer says differently.

    I am going to be using my personal trainer for my rehab instead of a physical therapist. Please send anything to me on what your input is. I need any advise. I also think I want to become a personal trainer. I am trying to still get to thegym to work my upper body and keep moving because It made me happy. I really hope you have words of wisdom for me.

    Thanks because I want your positive outlook, I want to stop crying.


    This was my response:

    Great post here, and I’d love to offer some thoughts, advice, etc.

    First things first, doctors say a lot of things after a major injury – but it’s mostly based on statistics. The fact is that most people don’t have the mental toughness to bounce back from a major injury. You, however, have proven to possess just that.

    Second, I don’t think there’s really any reason that a weight gain needs to happen while you’re injured. While you can’t complete certain exercises, there is a fair amount that you can still do. I didn’t mention this, but while in a cast after surgery I was in the weight room 5 days per week. Can you make as much progress as you could otherwise? Maybe not, but you can still make progress. Instead of focusing on what you CAN’T do, focus on what you CAN do. Believe me – with a little creativity, it’ll be a lot more than you think.

    Third, do NOT – I repeat – DO NOT use your personal trainer for physical therapy. Use a physical therapist. Most personal trainers talk a big game. They may get you in good shape, but the reality is that most of them have minimal qualifications and very limited functional knowledge. While you will soon bounce back from this injury, it is a serious one and should be treated as such. Go to a physical therapist. They’ve got advanced degrees in the field, and they’ve got one job – getting people just like you healthy again. They’ve done it before, and they’ll do it again. This time, however, after you’re cleared by your therapist, don’t stop doing the exercises he/she had you doing. Keep doing them and never stop.

    At the end of the day remember this one thing: everything happens for a reason. It’s hard to hear this in your position. I’ve been seriously injured countless times in the past, including the Achilles tear – but if I had never torn my Achilles, I would never have started my first company, or my second, or my third. I would never have run a marathon. I would never have traveled the world. WorkoutBOX as it stands today wouldn’t exist. And I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this message to you.

    Think about this long and hard. Realize that while one door may be temporarily closed for you, another has opened. So my question for you is this:

    Where does it lead?

    To Andrea: know that everyone here at WorkoutBOX is behind you. You conquered the injuries and the weight before, and you’ll do it again.

    To everyone else experiencing frustration: you can overcome it, whatever it is. Keep your chin up, keep a stiff upper lip, look in the mirror and give yourself a big smile.

    The future is bright, and you get to live and love every second of it.

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    About Travis
    Travis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.
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