If you live in Oregon, you can’t help but notice that change is literally under foot and in the air! Daffodils, Daphne, Cherry Blossoms, Forsythia…. It’s all there. We are springing forward, dodging rain showers, planning for graduations and anticipating all that summer has to hold. All this change!
In my last blog I talked about stress being about the demands that are placed on our minds and bodies – the demands that we need to respond to either by successfully adapting or by ‘breaking’. We are in a constant state of change both physically and emotionally. It is easy for us to see that in our young children and grandchildren – their changes are so much easier to track. But as adults we are in a constant state of remodeling as well.
In PT we talk about the concept of adaptive potential as being the body’s ability to successfully meet the challenge of the things we throw at it every day. The physical demands of our jobs, sports, injuries, stress. We bend and twist ourselves, often literally, to meet the challenge. And we are really pretty good at it, right up until we aren’t. Our body is so amazingly able to respond to what we ask it to do. But there comes a moment where a seemingly small task or demand puts us over the edge, and we fail. That exhaustion or lack of adaptive potential can feel like pain, loss of mobility, or inability to ‘push through’ that which we always have been able to.
When we meet that failure point, it’s time for a change. Modify the workout, change your posture, learn a relaxation technique or two, ask for help. We are never too old to learn to change – it will be cast upon us anyway, so better to meet it head on with support from your friends than to deny that it will happen. If you are feeling like you are close to the ‘end of your adaptive potential’, consider meeting with one of us at Connect and exploring how you can make some positive changes and restore some of that adaptive ability.