Horizon PT - February 2020

physical therapy and rehabilitation February 2020

3600 Miller Road, Flint, MI 48503 • 810-620-8042 • horizonptflint.com

MOTIVATING YOURSELF OUT OF A RUT In the Groundhog’s Shadow This month, I want to talk about the most important holiday no man should ever forget: Groundhog Day. Alright, Groundhog Day isn’t the most high-profile February holiday, but this holiday — or more accurately, the movie “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray — got me thinking about something we all experience. In the movie, Murray’s character finds himself reliving the same day, Groundhog Day, over and over again. While no one in real life has ever literally had to relive a day, there are times when it feels like we’re going through the motions, doing the same thing over and over again. I felt this way myself for a time when I was going to physical therapy school. I wasn’t exactly in a rut, but I did feel like I was doing the same thing day after day. It was a relentless march of school, school, and more school, never ending. Even my weekends didn’t feel like getting a few days off. During the week I would study in class, and on the weekends I studied at home. There were no breaks! I felt like a robot, just enduring school every day because that’s what I was programed to do. What kept me going was my goal at the end of the road. I had to keep my long-term goals in mind. If I didn’t, I would have quit. When I got tired of the monotony, I’d think about why I was doing it. I was in physical therapy school so I could become a physical therapist and open my own practice. With my own practice, I would be able to help my community while being financially stable enough to support myself and my family. Thinking about the possibilities of days to come motivated me to get through all the days in between. This is a tactic I revisited while studying for my board exams. The test is brutal, and studying for it took up every second of my time. When I wanted to give up, I’d look out the window at my car. At the time, I was driving a car that was almost 30 years old. I reminded myself that if I didn’t study hard to pass my boards and get a job as a physical therapist, I wouldn’t be able to afford a new car. In my

breaks, I would look at cars I wanted to drive to keep myself motivated. That helped me push forward when studying got hard. Focusing on what motivates you helps so much when you find yourself in a rut. Many of my patients who have been doing physical therapy for a while can reach a point where they don’t feel like they’re making progress. They’re still hurt or in pain, but they aren’t getting better as quickly as they thought they would. Not seeing your own progress can make things much harder. It helps to look ahead at what you’re working for. When you’re well again, you can return to your job, enjoy a game of golf without pain, or play with your grandkids. Find your goals and use that drive to keep moving forward. People often give up not because things are hard but because they don’t think things will ever change. If you feel like you’re reliving the same day over and over again without any changes, look to the finish line. Remember where that hard work will take you and what you’re working for. Hard work always pays off, so keep yourself motivated until you can reach your goals. “What kept me going was my goal at the end of the road.”

-Dr. Jerome Adams



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