You can be at the top of your game one instant, and down for the count the next. How you pick yourself up and get back in the game determines whether you’ll continue on to even greater success or limp off to the couch and give up.
Setbacks will happen. In life, it’s hardly ever a smooth and even road to the things that are worth having.
Whether you face an injury or illness, or you simply have other parts of your life that take up your time and energy, these disruptions will test you and your resolve for self-improvement.
Susy Natal was going through one of those periods when she found GMB.
Below, Susy shares how a new way of working on herself and her skills helped her out of a serious injury, and got her back on track to even higher levels of strength and performance.
She Had a Body Most People Would Envy, but She Wasn’t Immune from Injury
Susy is a competitive fitness model and personal trainer, with experience across the board, from traditional bodybuilding to powerlifting to bootcamp training.
Despite her background with high intensity training and hard work, Susy suffered a significant injury that could have derailed her training for good.
I had been preparing for my first power-lifting competition, which ended abruptly when I found a bulge in the right hand side of my groin. This then led to about a month of complete rest and even walking around was with a hernia support belt in these weeks while I hoped for as much self-healing as possible. I was adamant to not have surgery, as this was a much smaller one than another that I had needed surgery for some years before.
That experience had been pretty horrible and I was hoping that between the hernia somewhat self-healing, and by improving my core strength, I may be able to live with it. It had only popped out twice in the first few days and was only about 2cm long.
So after a few weeks of complete rest I started first attending some yoga and pilates classes and I was introduced to GMB by my partner at the time.
Susy was intrigued by what she saw in some GMB videos and decided to try Floor One, which builds strength and agility with movements like handstands, cartwheels, and controlled jumps.
I started working on wrist strengthening, which was absolute agony to begin with. The first few days of trying to just get myself into a crow would end with me just sitting on the floor in tears. I had lost all of my strength in the weeks of being unable to train, and this was a completely new and alien form of training to me. I was only really accustomed to moving weights around me, rather than moving me as the weight. I felt out of my depth and considered giving up many times, but every morning I got up and kept pushing just a little bit further.
I started with the Floor 1 program as it was the only movement other than gentle yoga that I could do without the risk of further injury. Initially this was done wearing a hernia support belt, which was incredibly uncomfortable, but then continued without it.
In addition to dealing with a painful hernia, Susy had to learn a completely different style of exercise from what she was used to. That can be frustrating, but the results were worth it.
She set aside her ego and frustrations and continued through the program.
Sticking With Challenging New Movements Can Be Humbling, but It Pays Off
One morning – BAM. There was a crow hold.
I was starting to be able to apply pressure onto my wrists increasingly without the alarming amount of pain I had first felt. The scales were starting to make my legs feel stronger, and I started to believe that I might be able to get my health and fitness back.
I initially followed the floor program exactly, and then as I started to progress I started to work more on the progressions of some movements that appealed and then turned my attention to the basics of rings as my strength improved. I then got distracted by GMB videos and started playing around with whatever I found that looked fun.
After a few months I was able to start working with weights again – only light at first, but eventually I was able to start doing all the big lifts again without any need for a support belt and with no symptoms of hernia.
I have since maintained many core exercises for my ab work for competing, as well as to keep an iron strength core, to keep my hernia well supported. It nowadays gives me no trouble, and I am even able to safely do 1RM on all of the big lifts.
Take a look at Susy’s progress:
After expanding her skill set with F1, Susy has now set some new goals for herself:
I very recently dieted down as it is competition season in body-building land. I am finally learning how to master a balance in my life with food, physique and training.
After dieting down to such an extreme physique, one is left in a vulnerable state where fat can very easily pile on if extra care is not taken to keep calories under control for the weeks after a competition. Last season this did not go so well for me. This time around, I am very happy to have stayed well in shape, and am now looking at further cutting some lines into my legs (they have to match my back!), while I am now focusing on mastering the strict rings muscle-up.
I know that this may take months, so I am giving myself until the end of 2014 to get it. I loved using Ryan’s false-grip sit-back move to master my false grip. Now I’m going to be making great use of the baby muscle-up tutorial to eventually work up to the full muscle-up.
Susy’s 3 Suggestions for Getting Results that Matter to You
One look at Susy, and you know she’s put in a ton of work to get where she’s at. But she’s not immune to setbacks either.
Here’s a few key lessons, in her own words:
1. Enjoy your Training, be Consistent, and the Results Will Follow
Amongst people who follow my competing, I am always asked about my back.
Because I don’t just sit around doing lat pull-downs, but rather spend all of my time playing around on the rings, my back has very detailed definition, not to mention some pretty serious lat spread. I often am approached by people in the gym because they are fascinated by how much fun I very obviously am having on my “back” training days.
I always answer with “it’s impossible to be bored when you are upside-down”.
2. Attend a GMB Seminar if You Can!
I think that even more than any specific program, the most fun I have ever had with GMB Fitness has been attending the workshop run recently when Ryan came out to Australia.
I loved working personally with GMB and recommend this to anyone. It was accessible to all fitness and skill levels, a lot of fun, and I learned so much from the day.
3. Know Why You’re Doing It
I admire the love of the training and lifestyle that is evident by everyone at GMB.
I think I learned the most from following the guys at GMB – they are real guys with a love for health and fitness, but also with normal lives and families. They share very realistic approaches to fitness goals that are accessible to everybody and they celebrate the difference that different people bring.
They don’t expect everyone to want to go all out hours in the gym, and they encourage a healthy mind and attitude towards all of health – not just how you look.
Here’s How You Can Make the Changes You Need to Get Past Your Own Setbacks
Hopefully you’ll never have to deal with a painful back injury, but whatever’s holding you back, the challenge is the same – how to get moving again and work your way back to strength and health.
For Susy, GMB provided a different approach that she was able to learn and grow with.
She used her strength of will and tenacity to keep at it even when her circumstances looked nearly impossible.
Whether it requires a drastic change in your routine, or just a few adjustments here and there, learning how to adapt and change is a skill worth developing. That along with good old-fashioned hard work and persistence pays off big in the end.