On Fri June 28 I did nearly three rounds of Bowe WOD, but I didn’t finish all four rounds because I blew up my brachialis (or at least I’m making an educated guess that it’s the brachialis). Ever since I’ve been nursing my left arm, doing everything possible to speed up the recovery process: voodoo flossing, icing, heating, compressing, elevating. I haven’t worked out at all since that day, which initially was incredibly frustrating. Some people don’t really seem to understand, probably thinking that I have something more akin to soreness and should just work through it. Nope, I’m broken.

muscles

You may recall that I’ve had problems with my left shoulder and push-ups before. When I came back from the laps of round three I told my coach that my left arm was bugging me. He kept an eye on me and encouraged me to halve the push-ups (52 per round is Rx); of course I was being a dumbass and did 32 because I’m one giant ball of ego. When I couldn’t do anymore I tried elevated push-ups on the box, then gave up and moved on to box jumps. One armed box jumps. That was the point where even I had to admit that I was done. I laid on the floor facing the wall and suddenly found myself struggling to hold back tears. WTH?! Why was I so upset by this?! But I was. I felt utterly defeated. I was crushed. I went home furious at my injury and completely pessimistic about my recovery.

voodoo flossing arm

Since then I’ve done a lot of thinking. This isn’t my first injury but it’s my first really bad injury. It’s the first one that is causing me to take a two week hiatus from all forms of working out (although I am doing mobility work). And in the time that has passed I’ve come to some conclusions…

  1. It’s not the end of the world. I’m taking care of myself and actually enjoying the break. It’s kind of relaxing to come home from work and just hang out with Wally instead of racing off to the gym.
  2. While I’m obviously doing everything possible to recover, I’m also refocusing on prevention. That means a lot of mobility work and also a readjustment of my priorities. I’ll be spending a lot less time at the gym than I had planned this summer. The last thing I want is a chronic problem.
  3. I’m recognizing my own cognitive weaknesses as an athlete and addressing them in ways that force me to change my thinking. Clearly I don’t recognize my body’s signals to stop and I can’t trust myself to say “when”. This is something I’m going to learn over the next few months.

It’s strange to say, but this injury was probably the best thing that could have happened to me right now. I’ve been forced to slow down, reevaluate, and reconfigure. I’m feeling much more in control and relaxed about my fitness future, not to mention confident that I’ll come back not only a healthier athlete but a better one.

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