I learnt a very important lesson this past week and that was to listen to your body!
When you have an injury, when you are experiencing pain, respect your body and by all means DO NOT PUSH THROUGH THE PAIN!!! Trust me, it’s not worth it.
Of course, I’m telling you this because I obviously learnt this lesson the difficult (and extremely painful) way.
Since around September last year I have been suffering ongoing problems with my back. At times the issues have only been minor, on occasion the pain has left me bed-ridden and at other times I have felt completely fit, healthy and ready to conquer the heavy weights.
However, when a flare-up does hit, it doesn’t just have me stumbling a little, it king hits me full force and knocks me to the ground. And yep you guessed it, I got king hit hard last week.
I made the foolish mistake of pushing myself through the obvious pain developing in my lower back during a strength and conditioning session. I didn’t want to be defeated by the pain. I didn’t want to fail myself just because of a little back ache. Pfft! Wuss! My inner-competitive side kicked in. “You just did 5 x 60kg deadlifts, you can do 5 x 65kg”! Big mistake. The next day I woke up far more defeated than I would’ve been if I had of just dropped the bar.
I barely slept that night as the pain worsened and could barely remove myself from bed the next morning. I couldn’t move without spasms of pain shooting through my spine. At times, I was almost in tears. Walking 3m to my bathroom was a challenge. I was in agony. The pain was unbearable. I ended up at the doctors who recommended dosing up on anti inflammatories and pain killers just to get by. That, plus rest, which was all I could do anyway since any form of movement was too excruciating.
The good news is the doctors orders really did work. After two days of minimal movement, rest and anti inflammatories, I felt much better. The pain is still there, but it’s nothing in comparison with how it was. I’ve even managed a couple of power walk/jogs. But my god, those two days were absolute hell, not only physically but mentally too.
Not being able to train is honestly one of the most frustrating things for me. Working out is part of who I am. It’s not a good day until I workout. So to be virtually immobile, bed and couch ridden whilst struggling to even take a couple of steps to the kitchen without hobbling like a 95-year-old grandma for two whole days, well, I went a little bit insane.
It’s safe to say I learnt my lesson and all I can tell you is respect your body. We have to look after ourselves. It 100% is not worth pushing through what you may think is just a little twinge of pain (except if its muscle fatigue – don’t wuss out of that :p), for the sake of pride. If the voice in your head is saying “Ooo that doesn’t feel too good”, then drop the weights, stretch it out and just stop. Continuing through an injury could not only have you out of action for a couple of days but you could end up doing permanent damage.
It is a challenge for me to take my own advice on this issue. I’ve been struggling to since September last year! But last week my body really gave me a stern talking to. I do not want to be in that kind of pain ever again! I am going to have to take it slow and ease my way back into training until my back can handle it. Yes it is going to be hard for me, but it’s what I need to do.
Please do not make the same mistake I did! Listen to your body, respect it and look after it. Your health and wellbeing is top priority.