M2M Day 112: My neck is sore, but my back is flexible

This post is part of Month to Master, a 12-month accelerated learning project. For February, my goal is to land a backflip.

For the past many days, I’ve written about this month’s challenge largely as a mental feat. However, today, I woke up with a stiff neck, and immediately remembered that there’s still a major physical component to backflipping.

My stiff neck wasn’t from flipping — I just slept in a bad position. But, still, the first thing I thought about when I woke up today was “This stiff neck better go away before tomorrow’s backflip lesson”.

In fact, this kind of thinking has seriously changed the way that I’ve been approaching my normal strength training: Namely, I’ve completely stopped.

Since January, I’ve been training hard in preparation for my pull-up challenge in July. However, during the first week of both backflipping and working out at 100%, my back didn’t feel quite right. This was probably a combination of strain from dozens of pull-ups and unfamiliar contortions from tumbling.

My body was taking too much strain, so I stopped strength training all together. I did this also to ensure that I’m physical fresh every time I go to AcroSports for my backflip lessons.

After tomorrow’s lesson, I may reintroduce seemingly non-backflip-related training for my chest and arms (while holding off on my legs, core, and back). But, I guess I’ll see how I’m feeling tomorrow.

On a different note, but in regards to my back and my physical state… Since I’ve started tumbling, I’ve noticed that I’m a lot more flexible, especially in my back, which has always been a weakness for me. As a result, even after this month is over, I want to continue tumbling as part of my normal training regiment.

It’s going to be interesting to figure out how I properly balance normal strength training with tumbling, without completely destroying my body. At the end of the day, I’m trying to improve my physical and mental fitness, not hurt myself, so I need to continue to be mindful and careful.

Anyway, my neck is no longer stiff, so I’m all set for tomorrow…

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Max Deutsch is an obsessive learner, product builder, guinea pig for Month to Master, and founder at Openmind.

If you want to follow along with Max’s year-long accelerated learning project, make sure to follow this Medium account.