Friday, December 4, 2015


So this topic is one that I’ve had to deal with on numerous occasions over the last few years. There are times when I’ve nailed it and others where it’s been pretty rough! It’s definitely given me some insight as to how you can be easier on yourself in times where you’re unable to train at full pelt! Let me start by saying that I’m not always the most coordinated kid on the block, luck is not always on my side and sometimes my downfall is thinking that I still have a twenty-five year old body and my body just flat out disagrees.

I’ve trained my whole life and had been blessed with having very little go wrong injury wise… Well, I thought nothing was wrong.

I had a niggle in my shoulder from continued repetitive movement and in the group fitness world – a niggle was a niggle, it wasn’t excruciating so I just pushed on (….for a good seven years!). In hindsight this ignorance led to several issues by the time I actually took action.

Surgery wasn’t guaranteed to make any improvement so I opted for the rehab route without surgery. Luckily, I was still able to train lower body so all was not lost. Squats were certainly not a strength or a love of mine but hey, you’re supposed to work on your weaknesses to make you stronger … so bring on “the Smolov squat program”. Squatting this way left little room for anything else anyway! My squat numbers went up, I felt successful as I was improving something I hated (did I say that?!) so coped with the injury without too much stress.

Over time my shoulder improved and I was able to reintroduce movements I was much happier and more comfortable doing! Enter the hamstring tear …

This was a much easier injury to cope with mentally – I was still able to do my gymnastic movements (giddy up!) but was unable to squat (so sad L!!). This time I was still able train with my buddies subbing movements as required.

My first lower body session back and I managed to smash my shin to the tune of 13 stitches. Once again, certainly not the end of the world, by this stage I was used to changing exercises and scaling appropriately so was still able to maintain a level of fitness. This time I didn’t feel great mentally, as I was certainly a long way from where I had been fitness and strength wise but still kept pushing through sessions. I was starting to become unmotivated for the first time in my life, which was a really foreign concept to me, and one I was really struggling with.

This struggle continued for a lot longer than the injury – I found it incredibly hard to get my mojo back…. Then most recently I broke my ribs (& yes this is the one where I thought I was 25 and was in no way training related!!). This, whilst being a relatively small and simple injury, was definitely the most debilitating. Your core is central to all movement. No upper body. No lower body. NOTHING. When I injure myself I tend to take something pretty straightforward and make it more far more complicated, so the recovery time was longer than expected. I did nothing for 7 weeks. I thought I was ok with this as motivation had been hard to come by, so not doing anything seemed pretty easy. My first session back was three weeks ago – it was probably less than an old warm-up but it felt amazing! I’ve gradually been adding more movements and more weight to my repertoire and have loved every second. It’s made me realise that the time where I was able to do SOME movements was actually still training. The modifications I was making to workouts still allowed me to stay fit and strong enough to be healthy.  Something is ALWAYS better than nothing.

In a perfect world we have perfect mobility and movement. In reality this just isn’t the case. Be happy to be able to work within your own limitations. The WOD on the board is not set in stone – if you need to change the movements on that day, that is what we as coaches are here for. If you need to modify movements for life, we can help you with that too. It doesn’t mean you should avoid certain workouts and it absolutely does not mean you can’t train. People regularly tell me they have avoided WOD’s because they didn’t “want to be a pain”.  We have all had our fair share of dealing with body issues and we are more than happy to help you work though yours.


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