Why Being Injured was the Best Thing to Happen to Me

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Why Being Injured was the Best Thing to Happen to Me

While that may not be entirely true, because being injured sucked, it has shaped me into the person that I am today. This blog post is meant to emphasize the importance of having a personal trainer during an injury and how it can help you not only recover faster, but stay committed in the gym.

I learned how appreciate my body for being able to do all the things it was capable of- big and small.

I forgot how much I took for granted being able to walk up and down stairs, get in and out of bed, drive my car, go to the grocery store by myself, and lift heavy weights. At times, I wondered what I did to make to this happen (mostly being stubborn and not listening to my body).*

*In reference, this post is about being injured when I ruptured my plantar fascia in October of 2017. It does however, relate to other injuries I have had including partial pec tears, lower back pain, and displaced hips.

If I weren’t already a mildly seasoned coach and personal trainer at my local CrossFit box (Muncie CrossFit at The Arsenal), I would have had no idea what to do. I would have needed help from another coach, perhaps a private trainer. Someone to help me work through my injuries week by week and help me stay positive, focused, mentally healthy, and come up with modifications or completely different workouts. But, I was lucky enough to be a coach.

I was forced to work a lot on my mobility, upper body strength, and do more core work than I care to admit I hardly did. I would sit on a bench and do seated wall balls, behind the neck presses and strict high pulls instead of snatches, seated “push presses,” hollow holds and ring support holds, as well as a lot of single arm dumbbell/kettlebell work…and time spent on the Assault bike (the real reason I have RBF).

Honestly it was a blessing in disguise. I was limited to doing mostly strict movements with my upper body, which had a lot of catching up to do with my lower body. My nutrition had to be focused on now more than ever since I was not able to produce the caloric output I had previously been doing. (Let’s not joke though, my nutrition went out the window after  1 and a 1/2 months because I got depressed- not funny, but it happens and it would have helped if I had a personal trainer or someone to keep me more accountable). Personal development was drastically improved as well. During the first half of my injury I was put in a position to be more positive and find hopeful outlooks; you can’t have a coach mope and cry about being injured in front of members, it just does not end well or set a good example. I think it made a lot of members realize how lucky they were to be able to do the movements, or maybe not, what do I know.

Being injured allowed me to become more relatable to my fellow athletes, current and new clients. I have gone from partial pec tears (not being able to use my upper body), low back pain (disc degeneration and displaced hips- not being able to use my lower body or move “heavy” weights) to rupturing my plantar fascia (again, no lower body, still to this day I cannot run like I used to or do as many double-unders as I once loved to do). This has caused me to become more creative with workouts and understand the mental and physical pain members go through from being injured and not being able to do certain things in the gym. It has really shaped me in being able to help train some of my current clients as a personal trainer here at Notch 8 Athletics. Point blank, it stinks, but it really makes you think about the bigger picture. Having these injuries is not the only thing that makes me relatable, but more on that in a later blog.

In the end, there are perks to being injured if you have a personal trainer, a coach, just someone around to help you out in the gym. I had a great support system at Muncie CrossFit at The Arsenal and with being a coach I had a decent idea of how to make my workouts count. Had I been a member or regular gym goer with no idea what to do, I would have needed a lot more help. Benefits from having a trainer during one of my “many” injuries would have included goal setting, staying on track and keeping me motivated, helping to keep me mentally healthy, providing me with a variety of workout movements and how to perform them safely, keeping me accountable, showing me how to speed up my recovery time with mobility drills and strengthening pieces, as well as having an unofficial therapist. Long story  short, just because you are injured does not mean you stop going to the gym. It is a time to work on weaknesses, spend time doing things you typically do not make time for, and hopefully you find a way to make time for a personal trainer in your schedule, because I definitely wish that I had.

 

– Coach Samantha Jones

It all counts, so do it all

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I got to thinking about life and exercise this morning while I was out on a run with my dog.

In another life, about 10+ years ago, I fancied myself a runner.  I ran trail races, 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, and even 2 full marathons.  In November of 2008 I discovered CrossFit training and realized I didn’t like running as much as I thought!

Fast forward to today and I now have a 4 legged friend who is TERRIBLE at lifting weights.  Probably has to do with having no arms.  But HE is a great runner and needs exercise so I’ve found myself running much more in the last 6 months than I was for about the last 8 years before.

And you know what?  It counts.  The exercise is enjoyable to me because I get to spend time outside, with my dog, enjoying nature, and while it is different than what I’ve become accustomed to while doing CrossFit so regularly for the past 10 years, I’m enjoying it.  AND THAT COUNTS A LOT.

I think sometimes we feel like if we can’t make it to the gym for a workout, we might as well not do anything.  The fact is, if you walk up and down your stairs at home for 30 minutes, you are going to be winded and it counts as exercise!  If you walk your dog or go run around the playground with your kids, it counts as exercise.  Maybe you can’t get to the gym because you have a golf outing (tough one I know), but instead of riding a cart and boozing for 4 hours, you walk the course and carry your own bag.  That definitely counts as exercise!

My point is this.  Steady, consistent, thoughtfully programmed training is for sure, hands down the most effective way to progress over the long term.  But don’t get too hung up on whether your workout is trackable all the time to where you miss the opportunities all around you to sneak in a workout here and there throughout your day.  Any activity is infinitely better than no activity and making the most of your space and time will pay off HUGE in the long run.  It all counts…so don’t discriminate.  Do it all!