Ask The Trainer #3 – Meet Chad Shaw Part 3

Meet Chad Shaw – Part 3…

Beginning to exercise again was EXTREMELY humbling…

I barely had the strength to get out of a chair. Let alone workout. With as much pain as I was in and as weak as I felt, I had to force myself to begin doing some light exercise. Now when I say light, I mean light. As in 5-pound dumbbells light!

As I began to gain some strength back, I was able to do just a little bit more every week. Even so, my progress was very slow. The thought of trying to make big strides was out of the question. Fact is, anytime I tried exert myself to any significant degree, a searing pain would shoot through my abdomen and core, stopping me dead in my tracks.

Seriously now, should I really be that surprised? I mean come on, my abdominal muscles had basically been sliced through all the way to reach my intestines.

“Uhhh… Hellooo!! Earth to Chad… Come In Please!!!”

Trying to restore my strength was very slowwww and tedious. In fact, one-month post surgery I still couldn’t even deadlift an empty 45-pound Olympic bar. After roughly 3 months, my body was finally able to handle food a little better, although I had no appetite and had to all but force down anything I ate.

To make matters worse, I was also forced to return to my full-time work schedule. This was brutally difficult because I had to get ready for work at 5 am, after not sleeping all night… then work all day.

Chad Shaw
Oh What A Difference A Year Makes…
(These Pictures Were Taken Almost Exactly One Year Apart To The Day)

BUT… no matter how lousy I felt at the end of the day, I still forced myself to exercise because THAT’S WHAT WINNERS DO!

Once I was able to digest food more efficiently, my strength began to increase more rapidly. Finally, the pounds on the scale began to climb again, and I began to notice some muscle mass coming back.

Even though I was making fair progress, I was still unable to fully exert myself… which was incredibly frustrating! This is definitely one of those situations where patience is a virtue. Understand, whenever I train I only have only 2 modes: On and Off.

It wasn’t until nearly 8 months passed that I was actually able to train without limitations. It was at this point my muscle mass and strength finally began to jump by leaps and bounds.

Then, just one-year post surgery, I had not only regained all of my former strength, but I was coming very close to surpassing many of the PRs I’d set before this all happened.

As Promised, Here Are My (Humbling) Before & After Shots
As Promised, Here Are My (Humbling) Before & After Shots

Many people asked what motivated me so much to make a comeback, despite all the challenges I was faced with after surgery. My answer is quite simple: I came back because in my mind there was NO other choice.

The real question is: How can you NOT come back after suffering an obstacle like this? What’s the alternative? Sitting around drowning in self-pity — saying, “poor me” or “please feel sorry for me”?

Heeeeeeeck No! That ISN’T what we were put here for. I believe we were designed with the ability to overcome…and prove all the doubters WRONG!

The problem is some people doubt THEMSELVES more than anyone else. They simply aren’t mentally strong enough to endure the tedious and agonizing process.

The bottom line is this: There’s a direct link between your ability to tolerate pain and your ability to overcome a major setback, like an injury or even major surgery.

Wanna know the REAL secret to overcoming anything in your life… and how to do it in a major way? Ok, here goes: You MUST be willing to tell yourself it’s going to hurt… that it’s going to hurt badly, accept that fact… and get moving!

But… all that pain WILL be so worth it in the end. You just have to DECIDE to hang in there. To keep on fighting.

So embrace the pain and keep your eyes on the prize. That prize, of course, is once again being able to do what you love. And maybe… just maybe… you’ll do it even BETTER than before!

Prove ‘Em Wrong,
Chad Shaw

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