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The Wall

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    The Wall

    I just recently hit Mental wall my PT routine has gotten stale. Just recently got me license off medical list just waiting for hand controls to begin driving. But enjoying life outside of Physical therapy is really enjoyable. Looking to get back to work as well sounds great.

    My question is did any of you get mentally tired of your routine? Also as you transition back into society employment and other endeavors did you regress physically and what are some of the pitfalls you experienced? Thanks for your input
    Appreciate the small gains and the large ones will be ignored!!

    streamline your workout so it doesn't take as long. Try to create super-sets. Like instead of just a bicep curl raise the weight over your head with a bit of a shoulder-press and tricep extension. Same goes for a lat pull-down - pull down to your adams' apple and then swivel it down using a tricep extension. You will have to lower the weight, but if you keep 1 or 2 sets of full weighted non-supersets you shouldn't lose any strength. In fact I'd be willing to bet you will add strength due to the muscle confusion factor, especially if you've found your current workout feels like you are just spinning your wheels. Hydrate heavy prior to workout and keep your heartrate up - this will double as a cardio workout of sorts. I would do it right after work with a light hi-carb snack about an hour before. Then when you go home for dinner eat something high protein. And don't forget the iron, I was recently feeling like I had less energy due to a heavy training regimen and have since upped my iron intake as well as starting on a daily multi-vitamin. I feel stronger with more stamina.

    But truthfully, if you've earned a break physically and have better things to do (ie. drivers ed) you can rest for a bit. I have a tattoo appointment tomorrow and have allowed myself to lax on the physical activity and kind of nixed my crazy diet the last few days. I don't want to "hit the wall" while getting inked.

    Just don't quit. Working a full-time job is tiresome in itself so take it easy when you do start. Big lats and pecs do you no good pounding the pavement looking for a new job because you took too many sick days.


      To a large extent how you handle your physical conditioning relates to your job, as well as other aspects of your lifestyle. If you end up sitting at a desk all day, that is one thing. However, throughout my 35 year work history, I have been very active at work, often wheeling 5-6 miles a day, a half dozen van trips, etc. At times, I had to consume 3500 calories or more a day to keep from wasting away. Conserving energy was priority. Around home, I did much of my yardwork, shared cooking and washing with my wife, and enjoyed fishing. Very honestly, I think I peaked physically in my mid-40s, after having been injured at age 16. It is only after I retired in 2001 that I had to begin supplementing my routine activities with exercise. Now it is a problem because I ran my upper body into the ground and destroyed my shoulder joints and stressed my functional muscles.

      My advise:
      Pace yourself. You may have to keep going for another 56+ years like I have.

      Involve yourself in a variety of activities. In my opinion, real world activities are more effective and rewarding than exercise routines.

      Diet is just as important as exercise. Weight gain is a major problem wheelers encounter. If someone asked you to wheel around with a 50 pound sack of flour all day, you would tell them they are crazy. Yet that is exactly the way pounds of fat affects people. Many wheelers gain that much weight in a year or two. It is easy to calculate caloric intake. However, the other half of the equation is determining how many calories you burn off each day. Doing the math is critical. What you think is low calorie intake may still exceed what you are burning.

      Wishing you an active, healthy post-injury life.
      You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

      See my personal webpage @


        You've gone past the need for physical therapy. Many of us, me included, clung to the rehabs and physical therapists for fear or not being ready to face the world head-on. You've reached that point of turning the physical therapy in to real life training.

        Some people are more physical in life and others are umm more cerebral; If you were sports minded and very physical before injury, you are more likely to be the same after. If ya played comp. games all day long, you'll more than likley ....

        55 has some great sage advice. For me, it was all about proving to myself and others that this was just "a flesh wound" Rather than conserve energy I pushed it. My shoulders are not the best to say the least; but I think my continual effort to maximize my potential with what I have left physically is what makes me still strong today. I had a very physical demanding job that required me to be in peak shape at all times,; It just carried on after injury. We both went thru life in different ways and ended up with bad shoulders. In our day, we didn't know the ramifications because not too many people made it that long.

        I do get mentally tired of the routine. I change mine up and buy shiny objects for my handcycle and home gym to help keep me motivated. I also use the thera bands and cords of various strenghts(colors). I love 'em. You can have one stashed in your chair or car and workout anytime you have the chance.

        If you like a gym atmosphere, it's important to get a trainer to ensure you are using proper form and funtction. It's worth the time and effort. If you want to meet women; get to a gym. Hire a good looking woman trainer lol.

        If you stay with pt for a while; change the name of it to "training" rather than "pt". It gives the action (PT) a more powerful energy. Hope that makes sense.

        T's. right that we don't need to spend the day in a gym. Streamline it so you are maximizing efficiently. I'm in and out in 45mins. I do most of my stuff at home.

        It's a pleasure watching you blossom thru your posts. You've come a long ways in a short time. You're doing great! Once you get that license the whole world is going to open up. Pace yourself, have fun, work hard and enjoy life. To do that you have to be in shape. That's primary.
        Last edited by Patrick Madsen; 21 Jun 2011, 2:06 PM.


          warren - I think we all have different ideas of what you mean by "pt". I automatically assumed you mean weight training because that is what I do. Please enlighten us on what yours entails. FES? Weight bearing? Mat mobility? Walking? I don't recall how much function you have. In any case get creative if it's getting to feel routine, boring.

          for me variety is key in keeping it fun.

          It's raining out and I feel like wheeling hard? I'll take my rugby chair to the indoor track, they let me use it for free.
          The sun's not up yet? I'm in the gym abusing my body.
          It's nice out but not too hot? I'm on my handcycle!
          It's nice out but a little too windy to enjoy my handcycle? I wheel into the wind as far as I can and then turn around and sail home with a good tail-wind.
          It's nice out but too hot for my quad-bod? I'll go to the mall to wheel around and stare at all the short shorts, or more importantly what's inside.
          It's nice out, too hot, and I have loads of energy? Air conditioned track or gym, again they let me in for free.
          It's nice out and I'm lazy? I hit the river valley in my day chair and stay away from the hills. Grab the binoculars and do some wildlife watching.

          you get the idea. Stay active and keep it fresh and you'll never get stale. Like they say, variety is the spice of life. If you have the financial means to have different types of equipment it certainly helps. There are lots of different grants and funding available for us disabled folks.

          55 - thanks for your message. I quite often get tunnel vision of the gimp I want to be, your posts make me take a step back to realize I have a loooooong time to get there.

          and pat, you're a machine. The energizer bunny with a better beat and cooler fur.


            Great advice, all! Thanks, 55. I listen to my elders.
            I was an ultra endurance mtn bike racer for over 20yrs & would ride over 10,000mi a year & toured all over the planet - "taking it easy" was not in my vocab.
            Now, I really have to pace myself - I have a full time metalworking job but I still cannot do my old 10-12 hr work days.
            Some days you go big, some you lay down.
            Some I can off road handcycle, others let's just go fishing.

            You may think that an active SCI's routine is a slack one but it's a workout just getting through the day. My day would kick anyone's ass, mine included.

            Just get through your life & have a good one.
            Steve Garro.


              Thanks to all for input..appreciate the great advice.

              @tooley My work out consists of predominantly lower body work I am an t-5/6 incomplete. Squats using a Moveo machine (like a Total Gym), Moto med activley, anti-gravity excersise in the water, Ambulation using a walker..this is the best. Climbing stairs up/down need 2 railings. Leave wheel chair in car only need for therapy sessions and long distance stuff..
              Appreciate the small gains and the large ones will be ignored!!


                ohh.. stay in that pool as much as you can (til you have gills). The full-time resistance of water is unmatched. Every muscle that can fire will fire.

                I am very envious. There will be a day when you can leave all this behind. We'll be rooting for you. The battle you are waging, in my eyes, makes you a superhero. When I dream I'm fighting to walk, it sucks cuz I wake up and I'm still a pile of shit.


                  Originally posted by tooley View Post
                  ohh.. stay in that pool as much as you can (til you have gills). The full-time resistance of water is unmatched. Every muscle that can fire will fire.

                  I am very envious. There will be a day when you can leave all this behind. We'll be rooting for you. The battle you are waging, in my eyes, makes you a superhero. When I dream I'm fighting to walk, it sucks cuz I wake up and I'm still a pile of shit.
                  Thanks for rooting man..keep your head up bro..I am rooting for you too! keep on dreaming it will happen
                  Appreciate the small gains and the large ones will be ignored!!