FOGA Syndrome, Fear of Getting Active, is characterized by a paralyzing sense of doom of further injury or pain with any type of movement or activity.
OK, this is just something I made up – a bit of exaggeration on a real topic inspired by this post I just read.
I see it all the time – people who hold themselves back because they are “prone to injury,” “imbalanced;” have “tight shoulders,” “glutes won’t fire.” They define themselves by the list of dysfunctions found by their doctors, physical therapists, and trainers are all saying the same thing.
The health professionals say you need to be treated, corrected, reprogrammed, repaired, reconditioned. What many professionals leave out during these consultations are all the things a person still can do, despite their condition.
So what people really hear is, “I need to drop everything and focus on fixing this one thing.” They shift to all or nothing / black and white thinking: “My PT told me I should take a break from running, so I’m not going to do anything.”
I’m NOT saying that there is no such thing as injury, pain, or imbalances in our bodies that can vastly limit our movement. But if you choose to focus only on the areas of limitation, your identity starts to get wrapped up in the “I am broken” mindset. And the “I am broken” mindset only begets more pain and injury via lack of physical activity.
What I wish I could tell everyone who has been told some variation of “you need to be fixed” is:
“Keep working on the source of your injury/pain/dysfunction, but don’t let that stop you from finding other ways to move your body.”
Otherwise, that dysfunction becomes a part of your identity, or your “invisible script” that will play over and over in your head every time you attempt to get out there and move your body.
Please do not be paralyzed by fear that you are damaged, fragile, or unable to continue with activity. If you’re unsure how to find something that works for you, start slowly and gently and find a professional who can balance the line between keeping your safe and encouraging you to progress in whatever ways are important to you.
And most of all, keep moving in a way that feels enjoyable to you!