A few weeks ago I began physical therapy. My ankle has been slowly improving; the same did not hold true for my attitude early last week. My therapist asked me to do this specific exercise where I had to focus on the position of my knees, ankles and hips all at the same time; additionally, I had to do two other movements. Because my ankle is weak and because I struggled to keep every instruction clear in my mind while ignoring the discomfort I was feeling, I couldn't do what he was asking. Believe me, I was trying. My frustration was growing, and I know my therapist was becoming annoyed with me. He kept barking instructions, and I kept thinking I better keep it together or I might just yell/cry right on the spot. I nearly had a rage blackout when he told me that since I wasn't doing it right, I should simply try a few more sets of 10.
Realizing how negative I was, I figured there must be something to learn from this horrid moment. And here's what I've come up with: Don't push an angry woman...or she'll snap!
I didn't fully lose it, but in a very deliberate tone I told my therapist, "I know you can see that I am trying. I cannot do this, and a few more sets isn't going to change that fact, at least not this evening." Then, I asked for our next exercise.
Imagine my excitement when, the next week with the other therapist (who clearly explained the task at let me use a railing for balance), I successfully completed the exercise.