Professional athletes train, and train hard.

That training leads to some incredible achievements and rewards – an Olympic Medal, a trophy or a Personal Best. Sounds silly, but in order to adequately manage my stroke recovery, I feel like I seem to train just as hard as a professional athlete does. 

From the early morning starts to ‘move’ and manage my pain, to the rehab drills, to the telehealth sessions in my work break. There’s also the importance of balancing my life to prioritise this over other meaningful things, not to mention the many sacrifices.

However, unlike many professional athletes, there seems to be little reward for engaging in my rigorous rehabilitation regime. No medals. No money. No trophies. I guess the outcome is less falls, less pain, improved posture and better performance in all the other tasks I carry out in my life.

It’s so incredibly hard to sustain this regime when there’s really no trophy, and the outcomes are not reaching phenomenal milestones. However, a trophy for some may be doing up their shoe laces, getting dressed or watching their daughter play netball.

Check out some of my daily drills here –

What’s a “Trophy worthy” in your eyes? Does that perception skew another’s achievements? What you feel should be rewarded, praised or even acknowledged?

Sometimes, maintaining the simplistic things in your eyes could be a massive feat for another.

I write in my book Reinventing Emma –

“…My iPhone beeps, signalling that I have a text. ‘Congrats on doing that walk, Em.” I smile and force myself to soak up the praise. To sustain motivation and remember to keep challenging myself is tough, especially when often I don’t see a huge change in my performance. Many of my achievements are hard to celebrate. They were once so easy and are seen as a cinch to many around me. When you’re continually trying to keep up with others it’s hard to allow yourself time to stop and evaluate your achievements. Quite often I respond to others’ congratulations sarcastically, failing to acknowledge the milestone. Instead I just keep going, striving for the next thing on my bucket list. I admit to feeling a bit hard done by when an accomplished task is not recognised. I know that I have to announce this achievement, even though it seems like I’m bragging. As time has passed, and people’s priorities have become so different to mine, it’s even harder to get their attention. My achievements can easily float by unacknowledged (Reinventing Emma, p 232)

As my recovery has progressed, eliciting this feedback and acknowledgment is even more crucial. 

So, consider thinking about people in your life. 

How can you recognise their unseen efforts?

How can you help them sustain their ability to train hard?