While I believe that being unstoppable is a choice, using drive to defy conventional wisdom is just as important.
During a follow up after my surgeries with my orthopedic surgeon he told me that I would never lift weights again. I remember the day clearly. It was the Tuesday night after having surgery on both of my shoulders.
The next day Laura went to my gym to cancel my membership knowing that I would have a long recovery process.
It was a punch to the gut. Fitness was and is a passion of mine. It’s a way of life for me. I workout 4-6 days a week and don’t know anything different.
I made a decision in that moment that I was going to defy the conventional wisdom of medicine and I was going to push my body to rebuild what I had lost. I wasn’t going to be told what I could and couldn’t accomplish in my life. I wasn’t going to allow my injuries to dictate the rest of my life.
When I came home from the hospital I began researching and consuming everything I could around topics such as mobility. I wanted to understand how I could better prevent further injuries while working to rebuild the muscle that was lost.
I consumed every interview, video and book that included Kelly Starrett or that he wrote, a world renowned expert on mobility. I subscribed to his MobilityWOD website and even got in contact with a local doctor that he mentioned on a podcast interview.
After getting past the 4 weeks of passive physical therapy I asked my physical therapist to push me harder. After he would work on my shoulders with his movements and massage work we would start working on mobility and using resistance bands and light weights. This would progress into working with heavier weights and machines until there were tears in my eyes.
I wanted to improve. I needed to improve. My entire focus was on healing and rebuilding what I had lost even though the muscle that I had was also what caused me to break my shoulders in the first place.
I set my goal on completing my first ever Spartan Race event, an event that was taking place at AT&T Park and was coming up one month before receiving medical clearance from my orthopedic surgeon.
I am proud to say that not only did I accomplish that goal but I have gone on to tackle 6 more Spartan Race events including the Spartan Race World Championship this year.
I was able to accomplish this because I defied what I was told I could not do. I used my drive to push past what my orthopedic surgeon told me that I would never be able to do again.
This also ended up helping me to discover a sport that I’m now passionate about - obstacle course racing.
I hope that this provides you with an example that you can apply to your life. Understand that you can accomplish what you’ve been told that you can’t. It may not be easy but it can be done using drive and focus.