Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fitness: You Can't Give Up

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One thing on my mind... 

Exercising Around Injury

Last week I injured myself, so this is on my mind. And to be honest, I have let injuries derail my hard work in the past, but not this time.

Here's what happened: I was walking around in a weedy area and didn't see a cement block. I backed into it. My feet were scooped up into the air like I had been tossed by a Judo grand master. I grounded out on my back, the small of my back. 

I seriously did not know if I would be able to get up. The signals racing on the nerve freeway around my body said, "Don't get up." But I hit system override, and got up anyway. Slowly. It hurt to walk.

After a few steps I realized that I did not have a serious injury, just a good bit of pain. Each day it feels a little better since.

But what about my workouts?

I took a day off.

And when I got back to it, I did nothing directly involving my lower back. Each movement was proceeded with careful priming, one rep to see if I was going to be able to continue. 

I discovered that I could easily do pull ups and dips, but I had to be careful to not drop down from the bar on either exercise. 

I didn't do leg raises or squats.

And for a reminder: my main strength workout is built around squats, pull ups, push ups/dips, and leg lifts. I do others, but these are the must do. If you want to begin a body weight strength workout, look into making these the foundation of your workout program. They come up over and over again in the literature.

I then waited several days and was able to add the other exercises back in to the routine. 

Enough about me. I'm really trying to make this point. I don't feel like I have the luxury to let an injury sideline my improvement. 

Everyone gets injured eventually. 

When you get injured, see what you can do. Don't push. Just see what works, and go at it, easy. At the next opportunity, go a little harder. Listen to your body.

When you do what you can, it helps you stay motivated, and it feels great to keep progressing even though you are hurt.

The attitude has to be this: I'm not going to quit. 

You're not going to quit either.

Then this attitude spreads to all of your life. 

You're not going to quit on that difficult student.  You are going to help that grumpy colleague. You are going to go home and listen to your spouse even though you don't feel like it. You are going to keep exercising.

And you will feel less stress, because you will be proving to yourself that you can do it.

Now, I just want to be clear; if you are laid up in a hospital with broken bones, I'm not talking to you. The professionals who help you will let you know what to do. But I will say this: they will want to get you moving as soon as possible too, right? 

It's back to these rules: 1) never miss a Monday, 2) never miss three days in a row, 3) workout at least three days a week, and 4) never give up. Even if you broke one of those rules. Don't give up.

Keep at it.

Never give up.

You got this. 

You. Got. This.