Journey to Recovery: Week Two

Here’s a picture I should’ve discovered before I wrote this post. Photo cred:

I hurt myself on Monday and skipped out on the gym the rest of the week.

Excitement buzzed inside my body on Monday afternoon, the first day of the week back in the gym. I geared up, enjoyed my drive over to the gym, and walked in confidently with some extra pep in my step.

Oh yeah, this is gonna be a good day!” Or so I thought.

I hopped on the elliptical and basked in my increased warm up pace. My 5 minute half-mile warm up progressed into 3/5 of a mile in 5 minute. So many gains already: “Boy oh boy what a fantastic gym session I’m about to have! I feel gr-r-r-r-reat!” (as I channeled into Tony the Tiger for those hulking biceps)

Frosted Flakes are more than good. They’re steroids. photo cred: ripped-saurian @ deviant art (

After cooling down for a minute to get my legs used to not moving in an elliptical motion, I walked over to the pull-up/dip/leg lift machine. I could hear my body screaming for the potential gains at the ready. First up: hammer grip chin-ups.

I started with five hammer chins to gauge how my upper body felt. My lats worked together with my biceps and forearms to lift the rest of my lower-self up and drop it back down. My breathing intensified and a breath of fatigue exhaled my lungs on the final rep. My enthusiasm took a small hit: “Oh okay, it’s gonna be a little difficult. Alright — I see you.”

I considered last week’s 4 sets of 6 reps, and aimed for at least 4 sets of 7. The first set was a slog. I managed the bite through the 7, but my arms felt like they were running out of juice. I pushed the weakness aside during my 45 second break and steadied my aim. The rubber handles felt strong as they filled the cracks between my palms, and I positioned my hands for optimal ascension. My feet kicked off and my body suspended in midair before tensing up for the upward motion.

I looked at the pull-up bar on my way up. My neck craned back and curled my vertebrae into a compromised position while I pushed my back muscles together. Crunch. Pieces of my body popped on the first rep of the second set and the right side of my neck immediately contracted up. A numb pain cut through my neck and right shoulder. After I flailed through the seventh rep, my feet dropped down back to safety and I tried to stretch out the kink-wad. The sore wound tighter into my neck and shoulder until any movement of my neck shot stabbing pain. Stretching exacerbated the stabbing.

I headed for the shower in a defeated walk of shame between the rows of treadmills and ellipticals. Only five minutes prior I walked through the aisle triumphantly. But I compromised form for power, and so I failed. My head hung as I flew some arm circles around to try to mitigate the aching. I took an extra long time taking off my clothes, showering, and putting my clothes back on. I moved as fast as I could.

For the rest of the week, my hypochondria intensified. “My spine is broken and I’m going to die.” On repeat. All day.

As of Sunday night, the pain’s almost gone. I wore a neck-brace and heating pads around the idiocy-afflicted area for three days. I whimpered and yelped when I turned my head the wrong way, or when I sat up and put pressure on my neck. I’m alive, but still upset at myself. It obviously wasn’t even that bad if I just needed to rest.

Word of the Week

Ugh: used as an exclamation expressing disgust, aversion, horror, or the like

Example: “Ugh.”

Evaluation of the Week

Cons: Felt like an idiot. Set back at least a couple week in my goals. Not sure when I’ll go back to lifting. May have to change up my programming and focus more on cardio for the time being.

Pros: Learned how to properly do a pull-up. Stayed home from work the next day and laid down for hours and hours. Spent an extra day with Emerson and laughed a lot with him. Naps all day.

Conclusion: Worth it.