TRAINING & COMPETING WITH INJURIES
As many have experienced, injuries are quite common in not only the sport of Powerlifting, but in the strength and athletic world as a whole. Depending on many factors including the severity of the injury, the individuals pain tolerance or quite honestly the willpower of the athlete, people can and will perform injuries aside. The question is, when is it ok to work through them, when should we hold off, and when should we stop being a baby and suck it up? I think that all these factors depend on the individual and their goals for the future.
I know I am not alone in the realm of multiple injuries. In fact, before I started weight training, I had no idea there was brilliance behind training “smart.” I had already had multiple injuries and to this date, I have had 6 surgeries. Knees, hips, shoulders, arthritis, you name it, I’ve been there. But, something I have learned along the way is when to know what the right choice is to ensure me longevity without missing my prime in the sport of Powerlifting.
Suck It Up
OK, let’s be honest. We all have aches and pains, creaky knees and elbows, sore shoulders, nerve entrapment, ribs out of place, etc. If this sounds like your everyday, you are probably training more days a week than not and you are used to feeling like this. Most of us throw some Motrin down the hatch, load up on joint support pills, apply layers of horse liniment and wrap everything you legally can and get under the bar. These things eventually will be more than you want to handle, but it all has to do with how long you can stand it and what your unfinished business is on the platform. For this, go to the chiropractor, get some ART, massage therapy, or whatever it is you have to do, work through it and STOP BEING A BABY!
Sometimes injuries can be much more serious and it is necessary to get the proper care and sometimes it means it is time to back off the training a bit and realize that if you want to be in the game for a long time, you may need to slow down for a time in order to progress more later. For the serious athletes this can be one that takes more time to learn. It was for me for the longest time. Sometimes this simple decision can show your real determination for the sport and can tell a lot about your true dedication. Have you ever seen someone pull themselves out of a game or competition because the outcome of the injury could be more detrimental to their future in the sport? It is at this time you need to make a decision, this may include surgery, rehab, or just some significant healing time but what must be considered is the importance of the current event and what you need to do to accomplish what you are there for.
So what is it? Are you being a smart athlete? Or are you just being a big baby and need to shut up and perform? It may be a tough call, but in the end, injuries are one of the biggest game changers insports and can make it or break it for any athlete. When it comes down to it, step back and take a good hard look at the pain you are feeling and evaluate what your goals are short and long term in order to take appropriate measures. Are you willing to sacrifice your future of the sport for instant gratification, do you need to get professional help or do you need to suck it up?
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