Good Morning Ladies and Gents! Welcome back! Its been a while! Please excuse my brief absence. I just underwent two back surgeries this past month and have been on the mend. As some of you may know, I begrudgingly broke my back again last June! Due to misdiagnosis, I injured myself in June 2018 and re-injured myself this past year. Unfortunately, this time around matters were much worse. My doc found that I had two hairline fractures, a ruptured disc, a bulging disc, and severe nerve inflammation. At my worst moment, I spent a day completely paralyzed from the neck down. For over 8 months, I underwent physical therapy, non-stop doctor’s visits, and still worked out around my injury. So, today, I will teach you, 4 Ways to Overcome Injury.
I’ll be honest, most of these tips are kind of obvious, however, 4 Ways to Overcome Injury, was made because some days, we forget the obvious and instead listen to the loud voice in our head.
Just to give you some background, before my injury I was an avid athlete. Considered to be stronger than 90% of the human population, I always took my health for granted. First, I am not saying I’ve never experienced injury. On the contrary, I’ve had many close encounters with near fatal injuries, most on motorcycles, ATV’s, or during my Marine Corps enlistment. Not to mention, alongside my many years in martial arts and fighting, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of my bones had extra layers of calcification from my injuries. Unfortunately, none of these previous injuries hold a candle to a broken back haha. No, I will testify, here and now, that torn rotator cuff X2, TBI’s, concussions, ATV handlebar in my calf, skinned back from a motorcycle accident, and many shattered helmets, hold no weight to my back injury.
Trust me when I say, if you follow these simple steps, you will save yourself grief, negative thoughts, and most importantly time. So, let’s get started.
As I said, before my injury I was the strongest I have ever been at 205 lbs. Sitting at 5 foot 10 inches at 205 lbs, being the strongest guy in most gyms, I got caught up in my own ego. I paid for that. I was chasing big numbers like a dog chasing a treat. With that, I found myself deadlifting 500+ week after week after week. Finally, week 7 came, I lifted 525, everything felt great. I finished out the workout, went home, and finally on the drive back from the gym it hit, immense pain. Hours later I found myself in the ER, not being able to move from the neck down, and heavily medicated. Well, long story short, I had to reassess and use my brain. I did my research and came up with a training regimen that allowed me to maintain a majority of my strength and lean body mass. Whether you’re injured or completely healthy, make sure you have a plan and purpose for each training period.
Listen and Talk To Your Team
Again, kind of obvious, but you need to communicate with loved ones around you, workout partners, doctors, therapists…etc. They are there to objectively critique or translate for you. It is in your best interest to understand that no detail is too small, and that a dialogue must be had in order to open up a new view on what you must be feeling or seeing. If they say your pushing it then stop. If they say to do your rehabilitative exercises, then do them. Trust me, its frustrating, to rely to heavily on others, but guess what they have your best interests in mind. Even if you feel like you can push harder in the gym then proceed with caution and rely on someone else watching you for the final Ok. Trust your team.
If you are like me, a strength athlete, then you will have to rearrange your priorities. This is no longer a gain phase, but a maintain and evolve phase. Find something you can do and compete. For myself, I turned to bodybuilding and increasing my endurance capabilities. For the most part, in the beginning I stayed away from free weights and only used machines that stabilized my back. With that being said, throw your ego out the door and change your perspective.
Have A Life
From a sport psychology standpoint, this will not only help your body, but your mind as well. Dive into different hobbies and enjoy being something other than an athlete. As athletes, we tend to forget there’s a world out there beyond our training regimen. There are festivals, car shows, books, food, movies, craft beer, sports entertainment, and travel. For myself, I taught myself basic coding, graphic design, and dived into music history. It was high time I learned that most situations are simply temporary. With the right attitude and change of perspective, any loss or failure can be turned into a gain in some way.
By now, I’m sure you would agree these are very simple and somewhat obvious, but lets be honest in usually the simple, easy things that we forget.
In conclusion, 4 Ways to Overcome Injury, was written in mind for those are currently dealing with a small or major injury. However, most of these tips are there for everyone. As Back Sheep, we need to be more than one dimensional beings. Our lives are meant to impact from multiple viewpoints, we are meant to be well rounded. So, lets not forget, have a life, have goals, communicate with others they are your team, and dismiss any negativity clouding your thoughts and aspirations.