For every passionate advocate of social media there is an equally passionate critic. Whatever your view might be, you have to admit that it has brought some positives to our everyday world. If you go onto Instagram, Twitter or Facebook right now, my guess is you will struggle to scroll down for too long without finding an ‘inspirational’ quote or motivational poster somewhere. The old method of covering our walls with post-it notes has been replaced with covering our virtual walls with their own posts.
Some people live and die by these quotes – for every challenge they can face on any given day, they have a quote that can offer the perfect solution. Read a hundred quotes, read a thousand if you want, but when it comes to getting results they count for absolutely nothing if you don’t put in the necessary work. Don’t we all know that one person who will tweet, “the roads are always open” and yet you never see them doing any cardio in the gym.
The point is that these forms of motivation only work if you are going to work hard. Some of them do work, of course. When you think that you have pushed yourself to the absolute limit, thinking back to that quote on that poster can give you just enough to push yourself even further. This presents its own problem – how far should we be pushing ourselves?
People will always interpret things in their own way and this is where the danger is. One person will read something like, “push yourself”, and know when to stop, but others will keep pushing until they do themselves serious harm. When it comes to clichés, the 2015 favourite for avoiding injury is definitely, “listen to your body”. How ambiguous can you get? Now we have a choice to make: listen to our bodies, or push our bodies further than we thought was possible?
Suffering a serious injury can wipe away a thousand quotes’ worth of motivation. Admittedly, some injuries are awfully bad luck – an awkward land, a millimetres’s overstretch or even an unfortunate slip. Even so, our bodies are very smart machines. In certain cases our bodies will know of an impending injury and will do whatever it can to warn our brains. The key is to know the different types of pain.
Time for another 2015 cliché – “pain is weakness leaving the body”. This might be the most dangerous one of them all. Muscles soreness immediately after training is to be expected, as is soreness which sets in after around a day (DOMS). If you have suffered an injury, you will know the difference between expected muscle soreness and serious damage.
Overtraining will feel completely different to an injury as well. If you have experienced overtraining you will know the things to look out for. Constant fatigue and insomnia are often good indicators that you might just be training a bit too hard. Whereas suffering an injury will leave you with dull aches and constant pains, rather than just that lethargic feel.
I really can’t stress enough the importance of getting to know the different types of pain. Sometimes you might stop training because you think you are injured, when really the pain you are feeling is completely normal. On the other hand, you might think it is just DOMS when you could have a serious injury.
Motivation is key to success. Whether you need to do a little bit more, or even a little less, exercise is a good thing. Anything that can encourage more of it in society is as equally pleasing. So if you see a quote and it gives you that motivation to do a little bit more and achieve a bit more success, brilliant. Just remember it is you that has to do the work at the end of the day. Keep that in mind and you can achieve even your more challenging goals!