Injury can take individuals in so many different directions. It can make you angry, upset, it can cause you pain, discomfort, make you quit, make you question your purpose, question your choices, question your future plans, it can cause you to treat others differently, cause you to seek change............etc.
As I sit here on my 7th day post surgery, I've had A LOT of time to reflect on life, my decisions, my goals, my desires, my failures, my successes, my past, and my future.
When you're a "Type A" personality who is running at FULL THROTTLE all the time, it's REALLY hard to sit still and rest. But, when you're forced to do so because a higher power has called you to, so your body can recover and heal, it must be done.
I've been on my Fitness Journey since the age of 13 (that's 25yrs of time, money, energy, blood, sweat, and tears invested in my fitness). You better believe there have been speed bumps along the way. Some small, some large. Some requiring long recovery and rehab processes, some only requiring a day or two of rest.
Regardless of what sport you compete in, what training program you follow, or what recreational sport you play, when you push your body to it's limits, and always try to exceed them, there will be speed bumps along the way.
Big or small, I've been fortunate enough to learn from them all. In case no one told you this tip, it's a choice to learn from your mistakes and/or experiences.
This most recent injury that I incurred has been my most significant, most frustrating, longest lasting, and something I've learned the most from.
I've been dealing with lumbar spine issues since late 2012. After 2.5 years of trying every conventional method I could find, the time came to seek a more aggressive, surgical route. After several months of research and opinions from different professionals, the decision was made, and the procedure was successfully completed.
By 'successful' I mean I'm still alive and walking ;)
Only 7 days post-op, we won't know what the actual future holds until I'm back to the grind down the road! But I have every intention on returning at 130% of my previous self.
What the I've learned over the past 3 years of training around injury;
- Patience; Man, if I've ever known anyone to be impatient, it's my parents...........I mean myself ;) (I guess that's where I get it)! Dealing with this injury, and now rehab and recovery, has taught me so much about the value of patience. I'm learning to embrace this down time, enjoy the rest, trust that I will be back to the barbell feeling better and stronger than ever before if I allow my body to rest and recover properly. If you draw a line on a piece of paper, at one end is the beginning of your Fitness Journey, at the other end is the day you depart this earth, or end your Fitness Journey (I'm shooting for 100, as shown in my image below), and then put a small window of time in there for recovery, or rest, or vacation, or whatever you need. It really doesn't look that bad. During that small window, it feels like a lifetime! I've learned to trust that it's just a necessary season in the growth of something greater!
- Education; I've learned so much in regards to proper body mechanics as they relate to not only efficiency in everyday movements, but as it relates to your potential injury. Why do we harp on PROPER, STRONG positions so much at C5 with EVERY movement that you make?....because every bad position you are in, can lead to an injury down the road. I've dealt with enough injury to know that I don't wish it upon anyone and will do EVERYTHING in my power to ensure you ALWAYS move properly to help avoid injury. We want you to stay on the path to AWESOME. It's REALLY hard to stay on that path when you're injured. Try this scenario; "Hey Candice, drive your knees out when you squat so they stay in line with your ankle and hip joints."....."Okay coach, I'll try, but I feel fine just like this". ......Sure, you do today. But after 6 more weeks of that, you'll be wearing a knee brace to mask the pain. Then you'll start avoiding certain movements that really hurt. But are you REALLY fixing the issue?....or just trying to work around it because you aren't committed enough to your health and well being to focus on good positions first, then worry about volume and intensity. The choice is yours, move good now, or deal with injury later. The C5 Staff is here to help educate you on the how and why of moving properly.
- Appreciation; The reminder to not take your health for granted is a HUGE one!! When you can't just pop out of bed in the morning, go for a jog when you want, pick up a barbell when you want, or even lean over the sink to brush your teeth the way you want, it's tough! Especially when you live an active lifestyle. Be grateful for your health and well being everyday that you have it! Be grateful for your friends and family who are healthy enough to help you when you're down, to join you in your active lifestyle when you have it, and to keep a smile on your face even when times are tough.
- Nutrition; The power of proper nutrition is AMAZING! My friend and nutritional ninja, Nicole Miller, at Beyond Weight 4 Life, has helped take my nutritional knowledge to a whole new level. I've been working with her pre-op and now post-op and I have to say, there is no way I would feel as good as I do this fast without the proper nutrients going in my body. I've always consumed healthy, clean foods, but Nicole takes things to a whole new level! To put it in simple terms, injury is stress on your body, our bodies combat stress with our own hormones, food controls those hormones. If you want peak performance, you MUST understand what you're putting inside your body!
To everyone who may have dealt with, or is currently dealing with injury, stay positive and stay smart! We only get ONE body in this lifetime, take care of it, treat it with respect, and it will perform the way you want it to! If you have an injury, make your priority fixing the issue, not trying to get your workout in and ignoring the problem. Remember the image above, your future will be much brighter if you correct the deficiencies in front of you so you have a larger potential moving forward!
Here's to your Fitness Journey friends!