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Optimistic Realism

I have been accused of being a goal setter on more than one occasion and by many people across all of my different circles. I see how goals can be a road map to a destination, but I also am aware that goals can get in the way by setting an unrealistic sense of purpose.

In my field, goal setting is required. Goals usually include a skill that will be reached by a certain time. This is probably why I am hyper-focused on goal setting with this recovery. Many times, though, goals can get in the way of your ultimate achievement towards healthy hips. This was beautifully (but gently) illustrated to me by my yoga teacher, Olivia.

I attended my first yoga class after hip surgery almost two weeks ago and was beyond thrilled and, almost, giddy. After class, I asked Olivia, "Do you think I'll be ready for the more advanced class in a month?" She looked at me and gave me the nicest (and I mean nicest) evil eye. She reminded me that yoga does not typically fit the "western" ideal of goal setting, but rather of honoring one's body in the present.

What I took away from that simple sentence was, "don't let the goal dictate your recovery,

but let your body dictate your recovery." What that does NOT mean is that you don't push yourself outside of your comfort zones. There have been many times where my PT asked me to do something and my immediate thought was, "I can't do that!" I try, though, and find out that I actually have a "Little Engine That Could Moment" - I KNOW I CAN! But (and this is being said with emphasis), you still need to trust yourself. You need to become intuitive with your body and its abilities. Be a realist. Optimism is great and necessary for healing,

but a healthy balance of optimism and realism will get you further. Being unrealistic will get you injured and set you two steps (or more) back. Forward progress is what you're shooting for so cultivate your inner "Optimistic Realist" persona.

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