Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ego Over Matter: Week 3: Shuttered Due to Impatience


I hate having to write these, but every once in awhile, it happens. What really sucks is that it could have totally been avoided.

Yesterday, I got to work, had all my gym clothes and everything else I normally pack, but I realized I forgot something fairly important... my training shoes. I was wearing my black dress loafers, and the rules in the gym are you have to wear shoes. I felt bad that I had to miss two workouts last week, so in my impatience to get on with it, I decided to just buck up, look a little silly, wear my dress shoes with my workout clothes, and go about my workout. Big mistake.

See, I know this... workout shoes have support in places that dress shoes just plain don't. What's more, when you get used to a certain lifting mechanic, wearing different shoes can mess with your form. That's exactly what happened. As I was coming out of the hole in my second set of squats, I felt a twinge in my lower back. The instant it happened, I just muttered under my breath "awwww, crap!!!!", because I know what will progress from here. It's been almost two years since I've had a back wrench ordeal, but it's here again, and oh, let me tell you, it is not fun at all!!!

What happens first is a slight bit of tenderness and a little bit of stiffness in movement. Getting up and sitting down becomes a little challenging, and then walking becomes a slow and laborious effort. However, the true extent of the damage and how bad the ordeal will be is never full discovered until the following morning, after you have had a chance to sleep (that is, if you get the chance to sleep). When I got up this morning, I could barely stand without whimpering or gritting my teeth. I actually went and got my hiking staff so I could hobble around the house. Needless to say, I'm working from home today.

I know the drill, and I know the exact steps to follow.... 800mg of Ibuprofen four times a day for the next four days, Ice and compression on the muscles followed by a bit of heat, and then repeat the process. Lie down with the hips slightly lower than the rest of the body for a period of 10 minutes, and then slowly stretch the muscles to get them to relax as much as possible. Within five days, I'll be somewhat back to normal.

Wow, it sounds like I'm an expert at this particular ailment, doesn't it? Well, that's because I am an expert, at least I am when it comes to my own back. The sad thing is, I thought I had this beat two years ago, when I dropped fifty pounds. Well, over time and with my desire to get stronger, I let a fair amount of that weight come back. Now I will have to pay the price for that decision, as carrying more weight around the middle exacerbates this problem. It's frustrating because I'd dealt with this on and off for over a decade, and having had a reprieve from it for two years was wonderful. Having it back in my life again is both disheartening and frustrating. And it was my own impatience that caused it to happen. I felt guilty about blowing off a workout for a stupid reason, and then I did not adjust the workout because of the change. Both mistakes will cost me big time in the coming weeks and months. The worst issue? Squats and Deadlifts are officially off my list of training for at least 8 weeks (insert Fred Flintstone curse mutterings here).

Well, this is not going to be fun, but it's life and it's where I'm at. It's looking like I'll not be training the rest of this week, and many other activities will have to be curtailed until I can get somewhat back to normal. So a word to the wise, or at least those who don't suffer from impulsive impatience... if something causes a change to your routine, don't be afraid to change your routine, of call it of entirely until you get everything back to normal again. Otherwise, you may find yourselves, like me, hobbled due to impatience.

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