After a few weeks in isolation, adapting my regular rehab regime into my day, I’ve hit a wall! In fact, learning that we are likely to be in isolation for 6 months, I certainly feel that sustaining this is going to be tough. My rehab facility has offered me TeleHealth sessions, but the ‘hands on’ facilitation and guidance is hard to get from a computer screen. I have listed a zillion excuses in my mind to put my daily rehab on hold until this isolation phase is over. However, I know that I need to be proactive to ensure that I can better manage my physical and emotional wellbeing.

So… I‘ve recruited my personal carer to meet me for a few hours over at my local park to assist me (at a distance) in doing my rehabilitation.  Although she’s no physio, at least she holds me accountable, accompanies me and films me doing these exercises. Plus, having these sessions filmed enables my physios to give feedback on how I can vary things.

Surprisingly, one of the biggest barriers in our initial park session was more about perceptions. In my mind, I’d pictured side-stepping, march, marching, walking and running like I’d done in rehab for months whilst my carer followed me with a camera. However, I felt the added weight of worrying how she would perceive my unco-performance. In the safety of my rehabilitation walls, this was not a concern – they’d seen my wobbles.

I had never attempted running solo before but thought I’d give it a go. What’s the worst that could happen? Being without rehab was proving to be tough enough! I was reluctant to ‘wait’ another 6 months before I could resume trying to run again. Towards the end of our session when I declared to my carer that I was now going to try to run, I wasn’t sure what she expected. I tried to not let this fear stop me from trying though, laughing whilst saying to my carer

“Just film this and call 000 if needed!”

My first attempt was terrible! I jogged on the spot and then just collapsed in a heap. I was so worried about others’ perception of me that I wasn’t concentrating on my performance.

I took a breath and tried again. However, this time I attempted to just think about running. Nothing else! I recalled some of my physio’s regular verbal prompts of ‘look up Em’, ‘Relax your arms’ to ‘don’t overthink things, just run!”

And I ran!

Although far from running well, shifting the focus onto my own performance rather than zapping my little energy worrying about another’s perceptions, really helped. Yes, I still wobbled; i still fell, but I had focussed on my own performance.

A huge barrier to many of us practising something we aren’t so great at is about perception. Both how we perceive ourselves and how others will perceive us. Choose to believe in yourself and invest your energy into your performance.

Remember – “What the mind perceives the body believes”.