Author Topic: Am I a wimp?  (Read 2024 times)

mathman

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Am I a wimp?
« on: September 12, 2017, 07:01:15 AM »
A big component of Mustachianism is to eat healthy food and exercise. Eating correctly is something Iíve done for about 15 years, which decreased my weight from 230 lbs to 180 lbs at age 20, where it remains to this today.  Exercise is more complicated. I have been trying to play sport, exercise more, lose the last 15 lbs, and become stronger.  Unfortunately a consistent pattern has developed wherein I begin to make progress, become injured, and excess weight returns.  The list of injuries includes: 10+ dislocated shoulder incidents, broken ankles, stress fractures, disabling back pain, plantar fascitis, patella tendonitis, muscle spams in the legs and arms, etc.  I sympathize with the antagonist character in the film Unbreakable. Switching to low-impact sports has helped some, but problems still arise. For example, I have dislocated my shoulders doing pull-ups and, in a scary incident, swimming.

Iím age 35, 6 feet tall, and weigh about 180 lbs. When not injured, I my 5K time has been below 18 minutes and I have done 25 complete pull-ups.  But I feel shame reading MMM and other sites because these injuries prevent me from staying consistent and reaching my goals.  Am I just a wimp?  Do I need more grit?  Do you push through these kinds of injuries?  Over time I have become less convinced in the `no pain, no gain' mentality.  I would really, really like to move my body without pain and the constant worry of re-injury.  Any proven ideas for how to reduce injuries? Thanks for reading and your helpful reply.

partgypsy

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 07:12:21 AM »
Are you a weekend warrior type? Sedentary most of the week and then over-doing it when you do exercise? That sounds like an awful amount of injuries for someone your age. I'm not a doctor, so I don't know if there is an underlying medical reason you are prone to these injuries. If there is not or if you rule that out, it may be worth getting a trainer or someone in sports medicine to oversee what you are doing and give you guidelines and maybe better modifications of doing things to avoid injury.
You don't need to be completely ripped to be in good cardiovascular, aerobic shape, or have increased muscle endurance. 

acroy

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 07:18:46 AM »
good grief that is a lot of injuries.

I am not a fan of high-impact workouts. it has high impacts on your joints! forget that.

Swimming etc should be really good low impact, so you have somethiung else going on if you are dislocating shoulders while swimming.

FWIW: I am 40, 6'3", 220lb, bike minimum 15miles r/t to work every day, stretch 15min every day (ZERO back pain!!) can do 8 pullups, 75 pushups, and am probably 25lbs over optimum weight.

muscle spasms: water + salt, specifically, potassium. Morten's 'light salt' has 50/50 sodium + potassium. Dose up some water and say goodbye to spasms, 'restless leg' etc.

good luck!
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Jrr85

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 07:28:05 AM »
A big component of Mustachianism is to eat healthy food and exercise. Eating correctly is something Iíve done for about 15 years, which decreased my weight from 230 lbs to 180 lbs at age 20, where it remains to this today.  Exercise is more complicated. I have been trying to play sport, exercise more, lose the last 15 lbs, and become stronger.  Unfortunately a consistent pattern has developed wherein I begin to make progress, become injured, and excess weight returns.  The list of injuries includes: 10+ dislocated shoulder incidents, broken ankles, stress fractures, disabling back pain, plantar fascitis, patella tendonitis, muscle spams in the legs and arms, etc.  I sympathize with the antagonist character in the film Unbreakable. Switching to low-impact sports has helped some, but problems still arise. For example, I have dislocated my shoulders doing pull-ups and, in a scary incident, swimming.

Iím age 35, 6 feet tall, and weigh about 180 lbs. When not injured, I my 5K time has been below 18 minutes and I have done 25 complete pull-ups.  But I feel shame reading MMM and other sites because these injuries prevent me from staying consistent and reaching my goals.  Am I just a wimp?  Do I need more grit?  Do you push through these kinds of injuries?  Over time I have become less convinced in the `no pain, no gain' mentality.  I would really, really like to move my body without pain and the constant worry of re-injury.  Any proven ideas for how to reduce injuries? Thanks for reading and your helpful reply.


Most of it sounds like rough sports (10+ dislocated shoulder incidents, broken ankles, disabling back pain) and/or over use (stress fractures, plantar fascitis, patella tendonitis, muscle spams in the legs and arms).  Dislocating your shoulder while swimming makes it sound like you have an underlying medical issue or extremely jacked up mechanics, but if you're dislocated the same shoulder ten times, maybe you've just jacked up that shoulder to the point that you can dislocate it easily? 

What has the doctor said about your shoulder?  When playing sports when I was younger, I had a teammate that dislocated his shoulder who played out the season.  It would pop out fairly easily during the season, and then after off season surgery and rehab, it was back to normal.  Did the doctor discuss surgery after any of the dislocations?

 

Cromacster

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 07:39:21 AM »
Any proven ideas for how to reduce injuries? Thanks for reading and your helpful reply.

Develop quality strength, mobility, and proper movement patterns.

Your injuries sound like they are due to overuse and/or improper movement patterns.  If you run a lot it could be that your mobility and form sucks...see plantar fascistic, patella tendinitis.  Shoulders are tricky because once you dislocate it once it becomes easier to do it again.  This can be helped with strength/muscle development around the effected area, but it will never completely go away.  Just have to be smart about the exercises you are doing.

Overall I'd recommend a few things.  See a qualified sports PT to go over the issues you have been experiencing and discuss any options to prevent future occurrences.  They should be able to help you with what exercises you should be doing and how to properly do them.  Alongside PT you could seek out a qualified strength coach.  If you enjoy running and want to continue I'd recommend finding a coach or someone to evaluate your stride and help you correct it if needed.
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wenchsenior

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 08:06:46 AM »
Hmmmm...I have some similarities to you in that I tend to easily injure my soft tissues (foot ligaments, thumb tendons, hip and pelvic girdle, IT band, you name it) when I do more intense exercise (or in some cases mild)...in my case I strongly suspect some sort of underlying condition that affects soft tissues (possibly autoimmune) since I have many other unexplained symptoms as well, including chronic myofascial or fibro like pain that causes rebound soreness much more debilitating than typical DOMS. 

My question pertains to swimming in particular: How is your crawl technique?

I recently took up regular swimming after a layoff of 20+ years of doing it only occasionally.  At first it was great, but after a couple months I started having shoulder problems similar to but worse than when I swam competitively in my teens and hardcore for exercise in my 20s.  Popping, grinding, pain, and occasional sensations of 'separation' or the beginning of dislocation.

Turns out the crawl stroke technique I learned in the 80s (keeping torso fairly flat in the water, reaching far forward toward the midline, entering water with thumb angled slightly down, and using an s-shaped pull) and swam with ever since, is considered terrible for the shoulders and is not taught anymore.  Supposedly the new stroke technique (there are actually three styles now...shoulder driven, hip driven, and hybrid, but all use the same basic stroke technique), which emphasizes reaching straight forward from the shoulder, avoiding thumb first entry, rolling entire torso about 40 degrees as if you are skewered on a spit, and catching and pulling with a higher elbow and a straighter stroke, would take immense strain off the shoulder (not to mention being faster and more efficient). 

This was disconcerting to me because it meant I had to relearn something that was automatic for more than 30 years.  And I was skeptical that it would make much difference in my shoulder pain.  But I googled for videos and started practicing the new stroke...

...and what do you know? It took a tiresome month of retraining, and it still isn't completely automatic, but my shoulders stopped hurting immediately. And it was a faster, more efficient stroke.

So for swimming, at least, you might double check your technique.

nereo

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 08:14:53 AM »
No, it doesn't sound like you are a wimp.

It sounds like you push yourself too hard, too fast, which (I suspect) has been the reason you've had so many injuries. This is a common problem in sports medicine and can be a vicious cycle.  Indeed, it often strikes former athletes and those coming off an injury... in a rush to reach a predetermined level of fitness we (and I include myself here) push ourselves too hard too early, which leads to injury, which triggers a 'forced shutdown' of athletic activities, which leads to weight gain and a loss of muscle mass.  Then when we've 'healed' we aggressively attack our workouts and the vicious cycle repeats.  It took me about 3 years of this cycle before I finally recognized it and have slowly broken free from it.

Your best course is to find a trainer who has specializes in recovery from and prevention of workout related injuries.  Good ones can be expensive though.
Even if you can't afford to meet with them every week he/she should be able to evaluate you and provide you with a detailed workout plan.

Second best option would be to follow a slow and deliberate workout plan and focus on low-impact activities like cycling, swimming, paddling.  Augment this with daily core strengthening exercises.  Having a strong core is key - here's some suggestions by the Mayo clinic.
A good rule of thumb is to start slow and increase your total workout level by no more than 10% per week. Pay attention to your body - its good to be a little stiff the following morning but if you can't move properly you are pushing yourself too hard, too fast.  3 days of workouts/week (excluding core, which can/should be done every day) is a good minimum starting point.  Always have at least 1 day off/week for recovery.

note:  I wrote up a completely hypothetical scenario of how this would work, but it was getting too wordy and I decided in the end that it was too generic to be of much use.
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Gondolin

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 08:22:21 AM »
Quote
Swimming etc should be really good low impact, so you have somethiung else going on if you are dislocating shoulders while swimming.

+1.

Beyond that, the number of injuries you describe almost certainly means you are lifting too much weight and pushing yourself too hard with poor form. Good form and patience when increasing weight or intensity prevents more injury than anything else.
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Rubic

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 08:26:21 AM »
OP, any interest in Yoga?

http://running.competitor.com/2013/11/recovery/using-yoga-for-injury-prevention-and-recovery_47712

Just don't push yourself too hard into those poses ;-)

GuitarStv

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 08:30:03 AM »
Injuries are something that happen when you're active in sports.

That said, if there are particular injuries that seem to be dogging you an awful lot then it's probably a good idea to figure out if you're doing something wrong with how you move the injured body part, to try and strengthen the area being injured, and to check if your flexibility is good.  If you have good movement patterns/flexibility/strength you will injure yourself less often.

It's also important to ramp up difficulty over a period of time so that your body can adjust.  I will regularly cycle 120 km on most Saturdays.  Last year I got very sick in the winter and had to stop riding for a month and a half . . . and when returning to cycling my knee started to give me trouble because I jumped right into doing a 100km ride rather than slowly working up to it.  Slowed down, took a week off, then did a week with 40km, a week with 60 km, a week with 80 km and finally a week with 100 km rides and all was fine.

Raenia

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 08:33:54 AM »
Any proven ideas for how to reduce injuries?

Talk to a doctor, first of all.  It sounds like you are pushing too hard, injuring yourself, and then once you heal repeating the process.  However there could be some underlying condition which your doctor could identify.  After that, once you are cleared to exercise, I would get a personal trainer for just a few sessions, to show you proper form and start slow.  Most of your injuries are likely due to excessive weights and/or poor form.  Get someone to correct your form while you're doing low weight, and once you've learned how to do the exercises safely, then you can gradually increase weights.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2017, 08:44:07 AM »
A couple thoughts.

1) 180 at 6ft and still thinking you need to lose 15lbs but you also want to get stronger? Are you under-nourishing yourself? That to me screams "likely calorie restriction" aka NUTRIENT restriction aka a recipe for injuries. When it comes to preventing and healing injuries WHAT you are eating matters immensely, and making sure you eat ENOUGH.

Maybe read about "orthorexia" and see fit that shoe fits.

2) Definitely go see a doctor, and if you've got the all clear on no underlying pathologies, go see a physical therapist! They go to school for a very very long time to help provide those proven tactics you asked for.

DO NOT just push through injuries. If something hurts, there's a reason. Did you know there's an actual medical condition that means you don't feel pain? And did you know most of those people DIE very young. The capacity to feel pain exists for a reason. Please listen to it.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #12 on: September 12, 2017, 08:53:29 AM »
The advice to talk to a doctor is well intentioned.  My experience though is that most GPs don't know their ass from their elbows when it comes to sports related problems and injuries.  If you can find a doctor who specializes in sports stuff, that would be a great resource though.


DO NOT just push through injuries. If something hurts, there's a reason. Did you know there's an actual medical condition that means you don't feel pain? And did you know most of those people DIE very young. The capacity to feel pain exists for a reason. Please listen to it.

This is kinda tricky advice to adhere to.

If you're active and competitive in sports you need to learn to regularly ignore pain/discomfort.  Things will ache and hurt, and that's totally normal.  The trick is figuring out when you should listen to your body and when you should ignore it.

Sharp pain with an immediate onset should be listened to.  Dull pain that seems to linger for days in any of the joints should be listened to.  Dull pain in a muscle can safely be ignored.  General exhaustion can be safely ignored unless you've noticed a change in your resting heart rate of 10-15 bpm higher or lower - then it's a good indicator for a need for rest.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2017, 09:00:30 AM »
The advice to talk to a doctor is well intentioned.  My experience though is that most GPs don't know their ass from their elbows when it comes to sports related problems and injuries.  If you can find a doctor who specializes in sports stuff, that would be a great resource though.


DO NOT just push through injuries. If something hurts, there's a reason. Did you know there's an actual medical condition that means you don't feel pain? And did you know most of those people DIE very young. The capacity to feel pain exists for a reason. Please listen to it.

This is kinda tricky advice to adhere to.

If you're active and competitive in sports you need to learn to regularly ignore pain/discomfort.  Things will ache and hurt, and that's totally normal.  The trick is figuring out when you should listen to your body and when you should ignore it.

Sharp pain with an immediate onset should be listened to.  Dull pain that seems to linger for days in any of the joints should be listened to.  Dull pain in a muscle can safely be ignored.  General exhaustion can be safely ignored unless you've noticed a change in your resting heart rate of 10-15 bpm higher or lower - then it's a good indicator for a need for rest.

Trust me, I know. I've been a competitive athlete, and I still lift/hike/run/etc. But I think there's a big difference between PAIN and discomfort. Like you say, something sharp with a sudden onset and you need to STOP. And ongoing low level discomfort should be seen as an indication that you may be having form breakdown or are overtraining. This is why it's so important to work with a coach if you plan on pushing yourself. An experienced personal trainer even will likely push someone harder with their cardio intensity than they would and tell them to reel it in on everything else- people tend to be very very bad at gauging their own performance in training. 

Personally, I think most anyone coming back from an injury (especially repeat injuries) should mindfully follow an established training plan, or should work with a professional.

(Although I agree with GPs not knowing ass from elbow with sports medicine. I more meant make sure there's no signs/symptoms of a connective tissue disorder and the like. Things like reynauds and lupus can manifest early on with repeat soft tissue injuries. Etc.)
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Laura33

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2017, 09:08:21 AM »
So, first, see a sports doctor, chiropractor, some other kind of specialist to check you out.  FWIW, I had a similar series of injuries, and I finally discovered that I have a curve in my spine that meant that running messed up my feet, knees, hips, back, shoulders, you name it.

Second:  core strength and flexibility.  Seriously.  Big, big difference.

Third:  I agree with others that, far from being a wimp, you are pushing too hard.  As we get older, our bodies start telling us that we can't do what we used to, but our minds think we still can, and the result is injury (note that this is especially true for "real" athletes, because those are exactly the people who are used to pushing through pain).  I have seen this happen with several men in their early 30s, and it happened again with me in the late 40s.  I am unfortunately a binary type of person -- I go 100%, or nothing.  When I had to stop running because of those repeated injuries, I did nothing and gained weight/lost all fitness.  Then I started Crossfit, loved it, and threw myself into it -- and, boom, here come the repeated little nagging injuries (I mean, I even tore the cartilage in my rib cage -- who does that?  And two weeks after I came back, I did it again on the other side).  UGH!  I started to think, damn, maybe I'm just meant to be out of shape and fat.  But then I finally just told myself that I am old and out of shape and need to suck it up and not go so hard so fast.  So I took a really slow approach back, even though it drove me batshit.  And now I am up to 5-6 days/wk with no injuries (knock on wood).

But the other key:  paying attention to my body's signals BEFORE I get injured.  Just last week, I was doing power cleans, and my back just kept getting tighter and achier -- nothing immediate or sharp, just a dull tightness that kept getting worse.  And I quit -- I realized if I kept going, it was going to spasm, and I'd be laid up for days, if not weeks.  Never done that before, just quit in the middle of a workout, and boy did it feel horrible to be sitting on my ass while everyone else was suffering.  But I spent the rest of class stretching, took the next day off, and then the day after that made sure to avoid back/pulling work.  And when I came back the following day, I could do snatches with no pain.  So I basically missed one day instead of a week or two (not to mention the raging pain and inability to move.  So, you know, yay.).

Tl:dr:  You basically need to suck it up and not be a badass every day.  Spend twice as much time stretching as you think you need to, do lots of core work, and back off when you feel pain.  Injury is not the kind of "pain" you need to push through.
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nereo

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2017, 09:21:30 AM »
Quote
I mean, I even tore the cartilage in my rib cage -- who does that?  And two weeks after I came back, I did it again on the other side
Me!!!  I've broken/pulled/sprained/bruised more parts of my body than I can remember, but damn did that one hurt.  I was screwing around in the pool trying to do the old (and now banned) backstroke crossover turn at speed.  It felt like someone had jammed a knife through my rib-cage anytime I moved any part of my body, or took a deep breath, or laughed, or swallowed.  It majorly sucked.

Quote
Just last week, I was doing power cleans, and my back just kept getting tighter and achier -- nothing immediate or sharp, just a dull tightness that kept getting worse.  And I quit -- I realized if I kept going, it was going to spasm, and I'd be laid up for days, if not weeks.  Never done that before, just quit in the middle of a workout, and boy did it feel horrible to be sitting on my ass while everyone else was suffering.  But I spent the rest of class stretching, took the next day off, and then the day after that made sure to avoid back/pulling work.  And when I came back the following day, I could do snatches with no pain.

I also agree that snatches should not cause pain.
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Comar

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2017, 09:31:02 AM »
35 years old is as close to 60 as 10. Consider a 10 year old. A 10 year old is made of jelly and can go from 0 to 100 hundred in a flash. Then consider a 60 year old. He has become brittle and needs to be smart about the way he moves. He shouldn't stop exercising but he shouldn't abuse his body in ways it can't handle because that will not lead to great results. Consider yourself half way between that jellyboy and old brittle fart.

Being a physical therapist myself I have seen so many people abuse themselves and burn out. I've also seen smart disabled people who just do not ever quit, they stay calm and they adjust. Maybe keep a mental or physical diarty. Note how you feel after a workout. "I feel good so maybe I just add a LITTLE next time" or "I feel pain, I should step back a bit or find a new way to train this muscle."

You are not a wimp I think you can make great progress if you just stay smart and learn. Ask a physical therapist about your exercise routine and see if he/she can suggest some modifications. You have an unstable shoulder? Guess what full bodyweight pullups are hard on an unstable shoulder. There are plenty of ways to train the latissimus dorsi, the pullup isn't the best one.

wenchsenior

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2017, 09:38:26 AM »
Quote
I mean, I even tore the cartilage in my rib cage -- who does that?  And two weeks after I came back, I did it again on the other side
Me!!!  I've broken/pulled/sprained/bruised more parts of my body than I can remember, but damn did that one hurt.  I was screwing around in the pool trying to do the old (and now banned) backstroke crossover turn at speed.  It felt like someone had jammed a knife through my rib-cage anytime I moved any part of my body, or took a deep breath, or laughed, or swallowed.  It majorly sucked.

Quote
Just last week, I was doing power cleans, and my back just kept getting tighter and achier -- nothing immediate or sharp, just a dull tightness that kept getting worse.  And I quit -- I realized if I kept going, it was going to spasm, and I'd be laid up for days, if not weeks.  Never done that before, just quit in the middle of a workout, and boy did it feel horrible to be sitting on my ass while everyone else was suffering.  But I spent the rest of class stretching, took the next day off, and then the day after that made sure to avoid back/pulling work.  And when I came back the following day, I could do snatches with no pain.

I also agree that snatches should not cause pain.

Me too... I've strained or torn rib cartilage lots of times over the years.  Sometimes just by laying on my chest wrong. In fact, my lower left floating rib is permanently displaced because of it.   I also tried the old backstroke turn recently, but slowly (luckily).  Yeah...no.  I'll just practice the new one until I can not choke coming out of it LOL.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2017, 09:44:51 AM »
I wouldn't call anyone who can run a 18 minute 5K a wimp.

Meesh

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2017, 10:31:54 AM »
Many injuries can be because of poor body alignment from a life of over sitting, not walking enough, heeled shoes etc. I'm not sure how many of yours could be connected to this but it might be worth looking into.

Biomechanist Katy Bowman has written a ton of knowledge on this. The mini video here gives a pretty good over view: https://nutritiousmovement.com/about/ and she has a huge blog too

Laura33

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2017, 11:19:46 AM »
Quote
I mean, I even tore the cartilage in my rib cage -- who does that?  And two weeks after I came back, I did it again on the other side
Me!!!  I've broken/pulled/sprained/bruised more parts of my body than I can remember, but damn did that one hurt.  I was screwing around in the pool trying to do the old (and now banned) backstroke crossover turn at speed.  It felt like someone had jammed a knife through my rib-cage anytime I moved any part of my body, or took a deep breath, or laughed, or swallowed.  It majorly sucked.

Oh yeah -- first time in many years I landed in the ER.  Hurt so bad to breathe I was worried I had broken a rib and was risking puncturing a lung. 
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mathman

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2017, 12:47:30 PM »
Wow - thank you for this feedback!  I appreciate all the perspectives, many of which I had not previously considered. It seems like there are several hypotheses, and I can address them through additional data.

Hypothesis (A): sedentary lifestyle + weekend warrior = injuries.
There are definitely some days I push hard, and perhaps it has been too hard.  On the other hand, data inconsistent with that hypothesis include: (1) I've never owned a personal automobile; I walk or bike everywhere. (2) As a professor, I'm constantly walking throughout the day, I use a standing desk, and I work at the laboratory bench with my students. (If anything I don't sit enough. Is that possible?)  (3) When not injured, I try to exercise every day, not just on weekends.

Hypothesis (B): bad form = injuries.
This seems likely in selected instances.  For example, several years ago I changed from running in thick-soled running shoes to Vibram FFs and other zero-drop minimalist shoes.  Immediately after that I developed a stress fracture in one foot, even though I was trying to transition slowly.  Not slowly enough, apparently!  I recovered from that using some physical therapy, and it hasn't been an issue again. I've never had a running coach, so I have no idea on my running form. If this hypothesis is correct, that would swiftly explain why I've had so many foot/leg/back issues.  On the other hand, data inconsistent with this hypothesis are (1) I'm a lifelong swimmer and have had many coaches over the years compliment my form. (2) I've received instruction on lifting weights through several weight-training classes. Some of these instructors conflicted on proper form, so I've also done a lot of independent research.  The only injury I can attribute to lifting weights is one time doing bench press, someone walked into the room and startled me.  I was just setting the weight back into the rack and I missed, going way over backward. That one hurt.

Hypothesis (C): I'm prone to injuries for some reason, perhaps an underlying medical condition.
I've always just considered each incident in isolation. Now that it was suggested, this hypothesis also seems likely in some instances. The injuries started in grade 3 when I shattered my ankle into multiple pieces simply by playing kickball.  And, definitely, dislocated shoulders easily dislocate again.


I've tried to ask a couple GPs about this, but sadly they haven't listened too carefully.  When the patela tendonitis occurred, I was fortunate that the GP did refer me to physical therapy, which successfully resolved that injury.   After one shoulder dislocation, I saw a sports medicine doc. He said that either I could live with it and that it can dislocate again (which both shoulders have, multiple times), or he could do what he called "invasive surgery" to fix the issue. He did not mention the possibility of physical therapy. Since I'm not a professional athlete, it seemed more sensible to give up playing certain sports.  But now I've given up playing volleyball, baseball, softball, tennis, and other sports. This leaves me sad because I enjoyed these activities. Doing pull-ups makes me feel as strong as superman, so I really really really don't want to give those up too!   Basically, I was always the fat kid growing up. Now that I've changed my body I want to be more active, not less, which leaves me feeling incredibly frustrated.

The analysis above reveals some themes:
(i) Both prior instances of physical therapy helped.  Therefore I should force the issue with my GP so he provides a referral to a physical therapist to strengthen my shoulders especially. This is straightforward to do.  I am unable to explain why this had not occurred to me before today!
(ii) Injuries do happen to people who play sports.  Very slow recovery is required.  Don't push too hard.
(iii) Find a running coach who can provide feedback on my running form.  I've never had a running coach because it seems challenging for me to distinguish a helpful coach from an unhelpful coach. Perhaps I will start with the distance running coach at my university.

This has been very helpful. Thanks again for your thoughts and letting me think through the keyboard. I'd consider even more feedback.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2017, 01:05:15 PM »
Re: shoulder repair. Some people have bum shoulders, regardless of mechanics, as well. My husband has had surgery on both sides. The second one, he dislocated well over 100 times before it was repaired. (Meaning he also had to have a more involved surgery, because he chipped the bone out, something called a 'hill-sachs indentation'). You will be happy to know that, after 6 weeks of no use, then 6 months of rehab, his shoulders are incredible now. He's back to fighting (jui jitsu), pull ups, kayak paddling, chopping wood, heavy olympic lifting, all of it. He's 11 years out from one surgery and 6 years out from the other and has had NO recurrence. Anyway, I just wanted to clarify that invasive surgery doesn't automatically equal BAD. For him, it was absolutely worth it, no question asked. Be sure to find the top surgeon in your area though- in my extremely biased opinion (I'm a nurse, I have opinions, lol), the quality/experience of your orthopedic surgeon is really vital.

That ALL being said, his brother also has frequent shoulder dislocations. He's been working with DH and a trainer and doing a lot of mobility work and strength training (Kelly Starret based program), and his rate of dislocations has dropped immensely. There's a chance, had DH done similar work before the dislocations happened so often and so easily, he could have avoided the surgeries. Impossible to say though.

(Not sure if any of that helps- feel free to ignore if not).

Also, re: my point on diet earlier. A couple good articles.
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/fix-a-broken-diet
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/metabolic-damage
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nereo

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #23 on: September 12, 2017, 01:08:27 PM »
Glad we could provide some insight. 
I'll add one more to your list;
iv) ensure your equipment - particularly your shoes - are appropriate for your body and your activity.  Seek out an orthopedist or pediatrist who can evaluate your motion and body.  This is likely a one-time visit but it can save you from a lifetime of pain & possibly stress injuries.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2017, 01:36:55 PM »
Doing pull-ups makes me feel as strong as superman, so I really really really don't want to give those up too!   Basically, I was always the fat kid growing up. Now that I've changed my body I want to be more active, not less, which leaves me feeling incredibly frustrated.

Two unrelated thoughts here:

1. When you do pullups, don't release all tension in your shoulders and just hang at the bottom.  This is really hard on the joint, especially when you start pulling up from this position.  You want to lower yourself through full range of motion, but maintain tension in your back and shoulders at all time.  The only time I've hurt my shoulders doing pull-ups was when I forgot to follow this rule.

If you're having trouble maintaining tension this way, don't go completely to the bottom with your pullups.  This will prevent the risk of relaxing and putting your shoulders into that bad position.


2.  As a former fat kid who has really got on the athletic bandwagon in adulthood . . . I get your drive to not fall into old bad habits.  My suggestion would be to pick up another hobby, one that can entertain you and that you're passionate about.  Then when you get injured or sick, do this hobby.  Playing music really helps to keep my sanity and prevent returning to sports too soon after an injury, or while I'm still sick.  You will get sick, and you will get hurt in the future.  Having a bit of a plan for what to do during these times makes it less shitty.

mathman

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2017, 07:20:40 PM »
Even more suggestions - great!  I have now a nice long list of ideas. Even if only some of them work, my body will be in a much better state.

@GuitarStv:   Yes, the way I have always done pull-ups is to lower myself the entire way and relax all the muscles.  Then when I lift myself up again, I go slowly for the first bit until the shoulder rotation has occurred.  I can incorporate your suggestion easily, and I understand how it's different than what I've always thought of as 'cheating'. My military buddy does something similar to that.    And I really like your suggestion to have a plan for when I am sick or injured in the future.  That is obvious but had not occurred to me.  I have plenty of interests.

@Bracken_Joy:  Thanks for the inspiring story!  That was encouraging to read.   Regarding nutrition, I was not familiar with the word orthorexia so I looked online for information. I understand why you suggested it. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to fit for me. While I certainly avoid artificial colours, pesticides, etc., I do so from the standpoint of a scientist and the published research. As a former fat kid, I have a cautious but not irrational attitude toward food, especially when I'm injured because I know I cannot simply burn the excess energy.

koshtra

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2017, 08:22:18 PM »
I think the wimp hypothesis really will not hold up :-)

My guess is that you're pushing too hard and not resting enough.

I used to set myself up with progressive programs, increasing laps or reps or whatever with no end point in view. I eventually realized that the real end point of all such infinite exercise progressions is injury: I was basically designing programs to injure myself.

I'm 59 now, mellower, and my main focus is not to lose functionality. I don't want to get stronger or quicker or more flexible or more anything, I just want to keep what I've got. Besides walking, and some warm-up-ish things every morning, I work out for half an hour or so three times a week, and call it good.

Meesh

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2017, 10:34:57 PM »
GuitarStv is on point not to let your shoulders hang relaxed.

This might help with strengthening your shoulders (though physical therapy is always a good call too):

https://nutritiousmovement.com/hypermobility-and-12-steps-to-stronger-more-stable-shoulders/

dreams_and_discoveries

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2017, 11:35:35 PM »
Rest days? I don't see any mention of these,  and if you are training hard you really need to let your body recover.

I'd also suggest you incorporate lower intensity activities like yoga or pilates, these will help strengthen your core ans shoulders.


11ducks

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #29 on: September 13, 2017, 05:37:43 AM »
Hows your eyesight? Balance/coordination? Have you done any reading about connective tissue disorders (probably not Marfans if you were overweight, but something related?)
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Laura33

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #30 on: September 13, 2017, 09:07:48 AM »
You forgot D:  You are pushing too hard, not giving your body sufficient recovery time, and not backing off soon enough or long enough when things start to hurt.

My money's on this one, btw.
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martyconlonontherun

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #31 on: September 13, 2017, 10:31:13 AM »
I would think it's anti-mustachian to over due it. Most of the things he promotes are biking, manual labor, etc. You know, an active lifestyle that is healthy. I thinking pushing it to more than what makes you happy and healthy is similar to making too much money. This is coming from a guy who did 10 marathons last year. I recognize the extra fitness isn't making me healthier (the opposite) and isn't making me happier so I'm cutting back to more low intensity activities.

begood

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2017, 11:35:52 AM »
I'll just second the suggestion of adding in yoga to whatever else you're doing. I do truly wimpy "chair yoga" with a bunch of septaugenarian blue-hairs so I can baby a knee that has very painful bone spurs and arthritis. But you know what? The core training we do, the "move your spine six ways" thing, and the stretching/relaxation/mental focus stuff has been so beneficial in so many ways. I really am stronger, more flexible, and have more mental focus and feel less stressed. I think it could be a "value add" to whatever else you're doing.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Am I a wimp?
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2017, 08:00:30 AM »
I have recently joined a mens workout group. I am by far the youngest regular and the can be the fastest. What they often say when someone is complaining about an ache is 'we are getting old', it is that approaching 4-0, and beyond.

I realize I often push myself much harder than a lot of them, but I also had several weeks where I was really sore. Now I don't quite push myself that hard and yesterday I went for a mid week run (workout is sat mornings).

Also drink lots of water throughout the week (don't worry about water weight gain) and eat some bananas.

At 35, you may just need to slow down a little, just because you can doesn't mean you should. Im 34 and am figuring this out. When I was 21 I ran 6 miles nearly every day, then tried 10 once and had a sore hip for a month.