Since beginning this blog, I have spoken about my friends, fun, adventures, creations, and triumphs. If you really follow along you’ll also know that I’ve written of my disappointments, heart breaks, and discouragement.
Good, bad or sideways, I’m not writing to “talk about myself” I’m speaking to share myself, and my experiences, with a group of friends, fans, and followers, who for one reason or another landed right here.
Of the many things contained within this site, I have shared a lot of fitness content, which I think can be broken down into 3 main areas: My knowledge, my goals, and my lifestyle.
Last year, I experienced a major challenge to all 3 categories, when I injured my neck.
I didn’t immediately know how severe my injuries were.
I felt like I couldn’t maintain momentum towards my goals.
I couldn’t do the things I wanted to, and had grown accustomed to.
This week, a follower who has become a part of my fit fam, Long Vo, wrote a blog post speaking to his struggles following loss, and injury. I know what it feels like to have others looking towards you for inspiration, or some kind of other worldly talents, and finding you have only “real life” to report on.
My fitness mentors, Kmaecags & MyleeYC are incredible individuals who have surmounted huge obstacles in their quest for self betterment, healing, and recovery.
Today, I invite you to read Long Vo’s words. Not to feel sorry for him, and certainly not to sympathize with him. I invite you, my friends, fans, and followers, my peers, and my fellow fitness fans, to read this post, and consider your own defeats. They aren’t insurmountable. Sometimes you just need a boost to get over them.
Earlier this year my boxing trainer passed away. He died doing what he loved as cardiac arrest following after taking a blow to the chest in a sparring match. I was heartbroken and traumatized by it as I lost my passion for boxing. As I tried to tell my training peers about his death, no one really understood or can empathize how much he meant to me. I even got, “man that sucks.”
A few months later I got word there was a boxing fight happening within 2 days. Something in my heart told me to take it even though I haven’t been boxing for awhile. It was the only way for me to greve over my trainer James Buggs passing away. So I took the fight.
When the bell rang, my opponent came swinging hard first. When I got hit, I felt my feet not being able to move as swiftly as I usually do. What had happen was:
“The boxer’s feet are often the first clear signal that he is on the verge of being knocked out. When the neural networks that emanate from the cerebellum (the part of the brain responsible for coordinating motor activity) are disrupted by a concussion, a fighter loses his ability to coordinate foot movements.”
In my mind I knew I had to pull a “Plan C” and fight more defensively with a philly shell defense and try to bait him in. We ended up trading blows back and forth and ending up being the fight of the night. To this day people on the street from time to time recognize me and ask me when am I going to fight again.
Months after the fight I went through recovery mode. My neck would seize up time to time, my body wouldn’t move as well as it should, everything ached. I would have black outs time to time or would have extreme anxiety in pubic. Emotionally I felt that my whole identity was taken. Everyone knew me as the “Fitness Guy” and was the explosive plyometrics personal trainer. I slipped in a deep depression.
I think what was worse that I felt that I had to go through it on my own. I disconnected from my coworkers as they didn’t relate and I couldn’t join them with their workouts. Fitness blogs on tumblr didn’t help me either as most of the messages consisted things like “Lift Hard or Go home” or “Just go in there and work hard.” Yet I couldn’t do any workouts at all. Any attempt I tried it hurt my body worse.
Not all was lost as my saving grace was Tita Suicide
. At the time were were casual Fitness pen pals, just talking shop about fitness. However she was going through some back problems and was very transparent and open about it on her blog.
We shared our experiences about our injuries and we were able to empathize. She helped me realize to love my body and for all the work and performance it gave me, it was time to give it love back and let it heal.
Moral of the story:
-Empathize and understand what people are going through, don’t “sympathize” and narrow down their experience.
PS. Tita, Get Well Soon! Thank you for empathizing. It was only a few words but it really helped. You’re my hero
Remember! We’re all in this together.
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