18 Nov Overkill
With my vision blurring as I hobbled my way back to my car, cursing along the way, I knew I’d really done it this time. Impatient, over it, negligent, and it’s happened.
The snapping sound so vivid still in my memory confirmed to my denying brain that I knew I’d done something bad too. Surely it couldn’t be that bad though, right? It’s probably just a strain. You know, just a little sprain, it’ll be fine.
But, as I made my way from the physiotherapist the following day, the confirmed knowledge that I had indeed torn my hamstring, it hit me. Being a grade two tear too means that I literally can’t lift anything heavier than what feels like a paperclip, I literally can’t conquer stairs with finesse-like ease, and I literally – well, figuratively – can’t walk faster than a turtle on crutches. I can’t even put my damn shorts on without a hesitating-wincing face. Oh yeah, you know the one.
Not only that, but this is currently my stiff-legged deadlift range of motion one week after it happened.
And when comparing with my range I previously owned, it surely shows the damage.
So yeah, that’s any lower body movements out da game for me. Meaning, no sexy deadlifts, no jujitsu, and no bending down to even pick up my goddamn water bottle without great difficulty.
It sucks. And it’s all because I decided to push too damn hard when I had already pushed hard in a workout that morning. I decided to push too damn hard when only really in the rebuilding phase of my training. And, I decided to push too damn hard when in a harsh caloric deficit.
Not a smart thing to do, and surprisingly, something that I never allow any of my clients to do.
I’m always a huge advocate and promoter of being smart and safe when beginning, restarting, recovering, or when training in a deficit to everyone around me. But for some reason, which you may agree with, logic never applies to one’s self.
How did I do it, you ask? Sprinting. And it was on my last 50 metre effort also. Yep, my LAST!
“C’mon, man, just one more”. Andddd, *SNAP*! Hopping to a halt was the first step, retrieving my water and key’s was the second, and making my way to my car swearing under my breath, was the third.
The deficit trainee.
It goes without saying that when cutting calories to meet the demand of a deficit, our bodies start to get a whole lot less efficient at healing and taking care of itself. It’s common sense when you think about it, really. For when we restrict it from proper nutrients, vitamins and minerals, our body has a much harder time at repairing any damage inflicted on it.
We’re not invincible beings (yet), and keeping the same stressors upon our bodies, or in fact increasing them, can definitely lead us to negative outcomes.
Hell, when you think about it, it’s no wonder there’s an increase of injuries from people who participate in social group training environments. The amount of training programs out there that entail a harsh caloric deficit to meet the deadline of a 12-week “get fit for summer” program, plus the mentality of “pushing to the limit”, surely is at a high number.
A little patience and proper progressing is something I personally should’ve taken into account after only being less than four weeks back into training. But of course, that’s something that is a lot easier said than done.
The skill of patience.
This past week has definitely taught me even more patience for the process of training and legitimate, long-lasting results. To now add to my list of injuries including torn rib cartilages, right-on-the-edge of torn rotator cuffs, and everybody’s favourite one: a torn meniscus, it’s always a nice and frustrating phase to have to withstand.
It’s always hard to not let our minds go so far to the point of sadness and feeling like we’ll never come back from it when injured or in pain. I’ve seen it all before with clients being injured and even ones fresh from hamstring reattachment surgery too. It’s a hard game to play holding ourselves back from being at a level we once were at.
The traits of denial and impatience are all too common and embedded in our personalities. We’re always the last to not think that we’re invincible. We think we’re unstoppable. Indestructible. And we certainly think that injuries and bad things only can happen to other people.
It’s only when they happen to us that we have a huge reality check and reassess our lives.
I mean, not too many of us can say we’re not guilty of risking things like speeding in a car, crossing roads on double line sections, staying out late when we have early starts the following morning, thinking that that next amazing piece of equipment we saw on that late-night Danoz Direct TV advertisement is the magical thing that can finally change everything for us.
Unfortunately, quick fixes for anything important aren’t that readily available on this planet. And sooner or later, if we push things to 100% all the time, we can break. Rest, recuperation and patience are at the forefront of our survival.
Our ancestors wouldn’t have made it so far to give birth to our more recent ancestors (and so forth) if they weren’t smart about living and listening to their bodies to some extent. You can guarantee that we wouldn’t be here today if they had pushed their limits so far to the point of being broken and eventually, extinct.
If our ancestors had never pushed the right boundaries, where would we be today? Who would be brave enough to attempt to walk on land after spending millions of years in the water? Where would we be if we didn’t have folk like Isaac Newtown, who was willing to stare at the sun’s reflection in a mirror and blind himself for three whole days, that pushed the limit and obtained insights into how far our bodies are sometimes capable of going? Hell, where would we be if we didn’t have people that pushed the limits and got this whole internet thing going? It is human nature to be risky. It’s in our DNA to push the limits. It’s normal to push the boundaries.
But, the big golden key (and but) here is to know how far the boundaries may be pushed – to know how much our bodies can withstand. We must listen to them. And the skill of patience and honing in on ourselves are two skills that are indeed necessary to live a long and fulfilling life.
Losing weight, getting fit, landing our dream job, living our dream lifestyle, buying a house, completing our pilot’s license, it all comes with a price.
Things that are worth experiencing and living through and with, aren’t supposed to be quick fixes. The important things aren’t supposed to be easy. Going against the grain seems to always, and unfairly, be frowned upon too.
But by taking the first step, building, progressing, making changes along the way, listening and learning to ourselves, what needs to be done to take control and lead ourselves to that ever promising and happy place can be reached.
If we just stop looking for quick fixes, like when trying to lose weight, and actually put in the work to get somewhere, we will be better off in the long run. We will learn what it is that is required to embed and solidify the real changes we want into our lives.
For me, if I just had more patience in getting my fat off and regaining my fitness, I wouldn’t have torn my hamstring. If only I gave myself the time and listened to my body, I wouldn’t now be four to six weeks behind in getting to where I want.
Giving ourselves the time to obtain what it is we want and giving ourselves the time to get to where we want to be, is the key to outlasting all the bullshit out there. We can always seem to make time for the “important” things in our life like catching the latest episode of GoT, playing Xbox for hours, refreshing our newsfeeds, when we could be putting our time towards things that will actually better ourselves and get us to where we want.
Time is our most important commodity, (yes, even more than money), and it is also one of our best friends (yes, even more than our phones). By having the patience to create a plan, stick to it, being honest to ourselves, and not look for shortcuts, we can ensure that it can lead us to the real lifetime results we seek.