holding the plank before surgeryToday will be an interesting day.

You see, after two months of not working out – specifically, not continuing with the My Bootcamp program that I started three months ago because of the emergency surgery I had to undergo in September – I’m picking up the workout cudgels.

(That’s me holding a plank on September 1, two days before I had to go in for surgery.)

For the last two months, I’ve been restricted as to the activities I could undertake. Which makes sense, considering my core was literally cut into, and then sealed up again. And the last thing anyone wants – not my doctors, not me – is for any of that good work to come undone.

But I’ve had enough of sitting around on my butt (even though I was hardly eating bonbons while painting my nails).

While I haven’t put on a ton of weight, I know I have lost much of the strength I’d started building up – though, ironically, I believe it was working consistently out that helped me heal relatively quickly (and my doctors agreed) – and I want to get it back.

So today will be an interesting day.

As you read this, I will be working out with Grant Hill to see just how much my post-operative body can take. If it does well, I’ll keep working out. If it doesn’t, I’ll have to hit the pause button again, and pick it up in a month (two months? three months?) or whenever my body tells me it is ready to do so.

“Let your body tell you when it’s ready,” is something I’ve heard constantly over the last couple of months.

I’ve heard it from my doctors. I’ve heard it from my husband. I’ve heard it from my friends.

Of course it makes sense, but it’s tough to reconcile “listening to your body” when your mind wants to do something completely different.

It strikes me that this is one of the conundrums we face when we deal with the ideal v. the reality of communication programs.

The mind

is our strategy. It’s what we put together, based on research (ideally), based on other programs we’ve watched succeed, and it’s what, in an empirical world, we just know should be the case. And work.

The body

on the other hand, has a mind of its own. It doesn’t care about what your research says. It doesn’t care about what the other programs have achieved. It responds to the internal and external stimuli it receives, what it’s feeling, not necessarily what it’s being told to think.

The body is the reality of communication programs. It’s the day-to-day crap stuff that we have to deal with, the day-to-day crap stuff that, regardless of how well, how minutely, how obsessively we plan, that can throw everything off in the blink of an eyelid.

Mind and body

Almost all the good public relations practitioners I’ve met have found a way for mind and body to meet. If not in the middle, they balance on opposite ends of a seesaw.

They plan for every last eventuality, but recognize that there are some eventualities even the mind cannot plan for. And that’s when the body takes over.

What makes them successful?

Acknowledging this eventuality. Acknowledging that sometimes, no matter what you do, it just isn’t going to work… or, if it is, it’s not going to work right now.

And so they go back to the drawing board, letting body take over mind for a while. They regroup, revisit their plans, try to figure out what has or hasn’t been working and then, when they’re ready, they come back to give body a piece of their mind.

Taking a leaf out of their book, my mind is going to face off with my body today.

Mind might not win … today. But I won’t know until I let it loose.

It will be interesting to see how it goes. And if you have a moment, I sure would appreciate you giving mind a shout out.

Thank you. And I promise to let you know how it goes.

Shonali Burke
Founder and publisher of Waxing UnLyrical, Shonali Burke helps smart businesses make bank by taking their communications from corporate codswallop to community cool™. She is also the founder of The Social PR Virtuoso®, which provides online, on-demand training that helps you unleash your inner Social PR superhero. Shonali is mad about ABBA, bacon, cooking, dogs, and Elvis, though not necessarily in that order. Wouldn't you like to be in her kitchen?
Shonali Burke