Well....dag nabbit, I'm hurt.
It's not very often I say that and even less often I want to admit that; but it is the truth. I am currently hurt, injured and pretty much displeased with the situation.
Unfortunately it's not one of those "push through it" or "modify" or "do something different" hurts. It's an "I can do absolutely nothing" but rest type of hurt.
So what happened?
Oh, you're going to love this one. I've had some pretty good injuries over the years but this one takes the cake for the absolute stupidest thing I have EVEN done to get myself hurt!
A couple of weeks ago I tilted my head to crack my neck before a workout and I hurt myself. Wait...what? That's possible? Apparently.
I worked out anyway and I was sore for a few days. No harm, no foul.
I was good for a few days then apparently I slept wrong and now I have a painful but not really serious spine ouchy. Man this thing hurts. Now I rest and wait it out. Yuck. Not my favorite thing to do.
So the question begs for an answer: what do you do when you get hurt?
My short answer is... It depends.
Not many injuries are going require complete rest like the one I have now. Some injuries you can push through or work around. Sometimes you can take a day or two and be back to new in no time. It all depends on the injury.
So how do you know? That answer is NEVER simple. It really depends on the individual, the fitness level and, of course, the injury.
In 1996 I broke my arm. I didn't miss one day or running and managed to stay in top shape despite the injury. Granted, I had a STINKY cast...
In 1998 I compound fractured my collarbone in a bike accident. Because I was young and well taken care of I only missed about 3 weeks of training.
Just a few years ago in 2008 I broke my leg. Did I pack it in and say, "too bad, so sad.."? No. I broke my leg in March and I ran a half marathon (in 1:22!) in November. I also ran a 16:45 5k in November of that month; may fastest post 30th birthday 5k.
How the hell did I do that? Certainly I wasn't young any more.
I was in PHENOMENAL shape when I broke my leg and I did as much of whatever I would do while I was hurt. I couldn't run but guess what? I walked 3 hours per day starting the day that I could walk again! Extreme? Sure. But hopefully you get the point. You do what you can!
So let's say you get hurt. What then?
I know a lady that got a stress fracture yet ran anyway; not smart. I know another friend that broke an ankle in the first mile of a 5k and kept going; not smart.
I know another guy who has shoulder issues and gained 40 lbs. No more shoulder issues yet the weight keeps coming on. Again, not smart.
OK, you get hurt. When you get hurt you need to do two things:
1. Trust your gut. Sometimes your gut is right but not always. Be smart!
2. Seek professional guidance. Talk to a chiropractor, an athletic trainer, a coach or a trainer. Someone that can give you some advice. See a doctor IF YOU MUST but remember that doctors often are just going to tell you to rest and not give you additional advice. Again... be smart!
So today I admitted to you that I am hurt. The reality is that I am a ridiculously active dude who has been hurt many times over the years. I'll own that. But guess what? Because of my actively level most of my down time has been limited and I have always come back just as strong if not stronger. Plus as a percentage of all that I have done I think I have been very fortunate to have so little down time over the years.
This time is no different. Another week and I am going to be back at it!
If you get hurt be smart! Figure out what is wrong and make a plan to get better. If it is complete rest then so bit it. Rest up! My doctor told me to sit on the couch and gain 10 lbs! Some doctor he is.... like I'll do that.
Work through it if you can. Modify if you can. Do something different if you can. If you must rest then rest. You won't die. It may be good for you!
One last story before I sign off today.
My best time in the 800 meters was 2:02.9. I was sophomore in college. Late in the indoor track season I hurt my foot. It was pretty bad and I needed to take 10 days completely off from running. I did this but I subbed running in the pool. For 10 days I "ran" in the pool for 90 minutes per day. Then I ran 2 shorts runs and then a track meet. Guess what? I ran 1:57.6 for 800 meter at that meet. Sometimes it pays to change it up!
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