Corinne Austin | Personal Training

Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t

I’m 33 years young and have been in the fitness industry for about 12 years. I’ve always been healthy and active – I must have my Mum to thank for that! Physically, I’ve never really struggled with anything. I’ve always been happy to give new activities or sports a go, and whilst I’ve never held any titles or represented clubs or provinces, I’ve always had a certain degree of competence and occasionally success. I guess, looking back, things have always been physically quite easy for me to achieve, and the world has been my oyster.

Until about four weeks ago when things suddenly halted. After completing my first ever Olympic-distance triathlon (thanks to the coaching efforts of Sam Warriner) in Rarotonga in May this year, I was on cloud nine. I was addicted to the discipline of following a sporting goal and I needed a new goal to focus on. So I set my sights on running my first ever half marathon in Whangarei this coming September. My base fitness was already pretty good, and with the help of running extraordinaire Ady McKenzie, I was on a great plan to boost my running speed and distance, and prepare me for the half marathon.

But then I got a niggle in my hip. So I didn’t run for a week. But after a week it was still there so I decided to stay clear of exercise for the next week too. Still no relief. So, long story short I visited my chiropractor, and my physiotherapist, and after a highly-anticipated x-ray I was told that my newfound passion for running may have to take a back-seat.

I felt like my legs had been ripped out of my possession. Disappointed – yep. Frustrated – indeed. But I dare not get trapped into the vicious cycle of negative thought. I decided to take what wisdom I could from this process and share it with you.

In the wise yet somewhat witty words of my physio, I may not be able to run, but I was still allowed to ‘thrash’ everything else! Underlying lesson: focus on what you can do, not what you can’t.

Too many of us narrow our options and choices by concentrating on our limitations which are brought about by focussing on what we can’t do. If you alter your mindset to focus on the huge amount of things you can do (rather than on what you can’t) you will essentially set yourself free. A more positive mindset will be reflected in a happier and healthier you.

Try to avoid using a black and white view of what you can or can’t do. Try to view the world as a colourful place with an array of ‘colours’ available to you at any one time. Let those many happy and vibrant colours work for you.

Fortunately, healthy living doesn’t have an on or off button. It’s a winding road of speed bumps, bridges, mountains, detours, and give way signs. Be a positive driver and enjoy the scenery. The journey belongs to you and you are the sole creator of your destination.

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