Sunday, September 16, 2012

Risk ?

I'm going to start this post with a disclaimer:  What follows is not advice, it's merely me tinkering with my health and fitness and writing about it.

Okay, now that the formalities are done, here's what happened ... I sprinted on Saturday morning.  Just like I said I was NOT going to do.  And to spoil it, everything went fine.

So, why would I do such a thing when my hamstring was sore and there was absolutely no need for me to even try?  Because I know something you don't know ... I'm not left handed*   Here's the deal, I've learned from prior experience that if I tweak or injure something I can often still perform exercises, even at full throttle, IF THE TWEAK DIDN'T OCCUR WHILE ACTUALLY DOING THAT EXERCISE.

KT Tape on my hamstring.  Love this stuff.
Case in point here is my sprinting yesterday.  I tweaked my hammy walking uphill on Thursday, but was able to go full blast sprinting on Saturday morning even though it was still sore rolling around on the Grid roller.  Most importantly though, is that it DID NOT hurt while sprinting.  That's the key.  Let me repeat that.  It DID NOT hurt while sprinting.  In my two warm up sprints I was feeling it out and ready to shut down in an instant and call off the sprints if it felt at all weird, BUT, I knew from past experience that there was a good chance that it would be fine.  Of course, there was also a chance that it wouldn't, but I would never know if I didn't try.  Five years ago I wouldn't have even considered sprinting with my hammy feeling tender like that,  I would've just thought it was a given that it would hurt.  However, time and again, I've found that more often than not, I can still perform my workouts pain free.

Right, I hear you ... but why even risk it?  Why not just do something else or take the extra rest.  Am I some kind of masochist?  Actually no, I'm a routinist.  I really, really enjoy my routines, that is to say, the way I have my days set up.  How I exercise, what and when I eat, etc, etc.  I'm hip to change once in awhile, but a chaotic life I could not lead.  One day years ago when I had a sore pectoral muscle from something or another I decided to try push ups anyway, and as you can guess, it went fine.  Better than fine, it didn't hurt at all.  So from then on, I check my 'oh for sure I can't do that' mentality at the door and usually try the sucker out.  If it does end up hurting then forget it, it's a no go, but surprisingly, it usually doesn't.

Why is it fine most of the time?  I don't know for sure.  I'll bet each tweak has it's limitations depending on how it came about and all, but that's not my point here.  Actually, I don't really have a good point, I'm just telling you what I've found out from some body hacking.  It works for me, but your mileage may vary.  Probably many people would look at a tweak as a chance to try something new or take some extra rest.  More power to them.  

Was what I did risky?  In my mind it wasn't.  Like I've said, if it hurt, game over.  Risk is relative though, as it certainly would've been less risky to sit on the couch and stare at the T.V. I just had disconnected.

Again, I'm not telling anyone to blast through their workouts when they have an injury.  Listen to your body. 

Speaking of hurting bodies, Aspen Ruggerfest was this weekend.  The Gentlemen of Aspen are in the red and black.

* a line from the movie The Princess Bride.  A truly classic flic.

PS  In reading this over, one could get the impression I get a lot of tweaks.  Truth is, I did get a few a couple of years ago when lifting heavy weights.  Now it's low and slow, and by golly, the tweaks are rare.

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