Making the Things You Need to Do Feel Engaging

Doing physical therapy exercises is, generally, let’s face it: a chore. It takes time, and it’s just plain boring.

A while back, I caught a snippet of an episode of Dog Whisperer, and there was a bit where they were working on something to do with getting the dog to go for walks. I remember that the solution employed was to give the dog a weight pack to carry on its back. The logic was that although what the dog was doing was essentially no different than before, having to carry the weight made it feel, to the dog, like it was getting a job done. Really doing something.

I feel like this logic applies to physical therapy exercises as well. I think it’s a lot of the reason why gamification works. I also think there are a lot of ways to go about it, both from the perspective of making the everyday things you do involve physical therapy and by making physical therapy exercises feel more like “real” things to do.

I would like to find more ways to do this, though at the moment I’m drawing somewhat of a blank. I think this thought was sitting in my brain this morning because I really didn’t feel like doing PT today, and I’m sure there must be ways to make it interesting enough that it’s something I want to do, but I don’t know what those ways are. Not yet, anyway.

It’s a frustrating feeling to know what you need to do each day to be out of pain and to know that you’re essentially physically capable of doing them, but to have your brain constantly getting in the way.

This also touches on what I think is a very important part of my philosophy of getting myself to do things: the point is not always to just push yourself to do all the shit you need to do. Sometimes, it’s much more effective to figure out how you can make the shit you need to do easier for you to do. This is why I have a stationary recumbent bike and some weight equipment instead of a gym membership. It removes the barrier of having to get the fuck to a gym. It’s also why I’m cleaner than I used to be. My instincts are the same–toss the things in your hand out of your hand when you get home. But now I have places I can toss things that happen to also be the places they are supposed to go. Sometimes changing your habits is an awesome goal. Other times, accommodating and working with them works better, though.