The Come Back Part 2. Optimistic and Consistent.
It’s going on four months now since the initial injury. Time is passing very slowly and each day that I don’t get to step foot into the squat rack my desire to do so grows more and more. I miss lifting heavy.
The first three months had been a roller coaster ride of bad days and then some good days… mostly bad days. Regardless I think the day I will be able to squat and pick things up off the ground again with little pain is closing in. I’ve been tediously watching seminar after seminar after seminar of mobility classes online, and the exercises I have recently thrown into my daily regime have helped the back pain decrease a lot. At this point it’s a game against myself and the only way to win is to completely accept the fact that my back will now have influence on everything I do moving forward. If I wake up and it’s a bad day well guess what I won’t be squatting, benching, or doing any other heavy lifts that day. If I wake up and it’s a good day, well even though it feels good I’ll still have to be careful now. Due to memories of the day I injured myself coming back into play I have to be careful of compensating and not trusting my back. It’s something I like to think of as PIP or “post injury paranoia”. Once you injure a certain muscle or area of your body it’s hard to ignore and forget about that when it comes to using that same muscle again in the future. Luckily I’ve been through so many injuries and battled through so much miscellaneous bullshit when it comes to my muscles, I don’t think that will be as much of a problem as it was in the past. I’m obviously not going to be able to jump right back into the weight I was lifting before the injury, that is apparent. It’s going to be a long, slow, gritty process of gradually strengthening my core and back, adapting new mobility techniques and exercises, and resting my body (something I never used to do). Above all I’m extremely grateful for the ride this back injury has taken me on, because it’s made me look at my job as a personal trainer/coach from a far. It’s created a chip on my shoulder and it’s pushing me to take not only my clients training to a whole new level, but my own as well. I want to include all I can when it comes to mobility and ways to strengthen the core and posterior chain in their training. I’ve recently gotten new clients who are suffering from back injuries as well and now with the knowledge I’ve gained and pain I went through I can not only relate to them, but help them. I’ve learned all new ways to counteract back pain, along with mobility exercises that will help anyone of any age feel better whether it’s a back injury or other. I adapted a much longer warm up and stretching routine of my own and it’s going to help me out a ton moving forward. Especially when I get back to the heavy lifting I was doing prior to injury. All around I’m looking at this injury as both a lesson and a blessing. It’s taught me more about the posterior chain than I thought possible. Including how it reacts to compression, different movements, and training through long periods of time. It’s blessed me with the ability to practically be my own chiropractor and help others in need of advice when it comes to lower back pain and the alignment of the spine. I’m equally as excited to lift heavy again as I am to continue to learn more about the injury I had suffered from so I can help others prevent it from happening to them. As I turn the corner and head back to strength training lane I’m optimistic and ready to put in consistent work. No matter how long it takes me to get back to 100% I will value each step of the process and reflect on how far I’ve come since that night I fell to the ground, confused, concerned, and clutching at my back. I’m no longer a victim, I’m a warrior and I’m going to fight this injury until I win!