Spoon Bending, Physical Capital and Being Injured!

“I got hurt doing: insert activity that I associate with the pain I’m currently having”

Actually…it’s not that simple.

That’s probably not the case. At least not entirely….

You’re just not that fragile.

There’s a good chance that the activity that you associate with the pain you’re currently having wasn’t just from:

THAT Swing

THAT Lunge

THAT Pushup

Picking up THAT couch…

It’s more insidious than that.

I’ve Got a Snowball, I Need to Throw it……

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From: capt_tain Tom

When someone’s back hurts they don’t want to blame their lifestyle, fitness level, or daily patterns.  Instead, they want to blame their back pain on starting the lawn mower last week, which, in reality, is probably just the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Human beings live under the philosophy of, “I have a snowball and I have to throw it at someone.”  No one wants to take responsibility.- Gray Cook

See, we like to blame our circumstances on “things”.

  • I’m too old
  • I’m too young
  • I don’t have enough experience
  • I have too much experience
  • It’s the economy
  • It’s the President
  • It’s the Congress
  • It’s too early
  • It’s too late
  • I got two yellow Starburst in the fun size pack.

Blaming gives us a way to:

1: Explain the situation in our heads.
2: Relieve us of any or at least most responsibility.

“It’s not MY fault my back hurts, It was THAT deadlift.”

Fun Fact: I can honestly say that, as someone with an L4-L5 junction that is constantly just waiting to pop out, I have NEVER had a deadlift hurt my back.

Now, I’VE lost technique and f-ed myself up something fierce.

But that was MY fault, not the exercise.

Here’s the reality (as I see it) behind injuries:

95% of the time, they’re entirely YOU’RE fault and could have been prevented….

Had you not overloaded the tissues through the constant and continuous “micro loading”, things like, posture, stressed breathing and poor general movement…

Cumulative Stress: AKA Spoon Bending

Yuri Geller

Didn’t expect Yuri Geller to show up did ya?

Injuries are the result of too much cumulative stress, and this rarely is in the form of a single event.

I’m of the opinion that very, very, few injures are because the tissues are overcome with/ by a single exposure aka,

picking up the couch= a hurt back.

Did your back hurt when you picked up that couch?

Sure, but that just revealed the issue that was building.

It may have gotten you there faster than bending over to tie your shoes.

But it was going to happen eventually, it just took bending over and lifting the couch to expose it.

Ohh angle distortion, how you make my hands all giant..

As your tissues are repeatedly stressed they’re like the spoon, they tolerate the stress as best they can, but stress them enough and, at some point, somethings gotta give.

And you get hurt.

And blame it on THAT thing…..

YOU Throw Your Snowball..

Even if it makes no logical sense whatsoever. <—-if you understand tissue tolerance and remodeling.

Would it really make sense that we’d be so fragile that one misload would break us?

Wouldn’t last very long out there in the before houses and cars and internet, ohh my, time. Would we? #notsopaleo

Maybe you reached that point through a crappy set of deadlifts, or maybe you reached that point by sitting in front of a computer, stressed out for 10 hours getting super tight and then trying to pick up a pencil in a poor position.

Sure the maximal load PR attempt could hurt you.

But your jackassed posture and daily craptasitc movement is probably more to blame.

Was it really 4 minutes (total working time) of lunges 2x’s a week and not 16 hours of sh@t movement and posture?

Death By A Thousand Paper Cuts

It’s not that I don’t think bad technique creates injuries.

Quite the contrary.

But more so than cause injuries, I think poor technique accelerates injuries.

Essentially you’ve got a physical bank account.

Physical Capital

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http://401kcalculator.org

This bank account is how much loading you can take (stress) until you break.

Everyone is different.

Everyone has a different balance….

That’s why Bill can squat like total crap and he’s never had an issue but if Jim lets his hip move at all he’s laid up for 2 weeks.

Joe can play 4 rounds of golf every week, but Andy’s back flares up after 2.

If we were all the same, and had the same “bank account” how come everyone in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB doesn’t play 10 years?

Our account is affected by things like:

  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Physical fitness level
  • Biological age
  • Environment
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep patterns
  • Posture <–tissue loading at “rest” through the day
  • Overall stress levels

And everything we do and how we live affects the balance and withdrawal rate  daily. .

Large withdrawals:

  • High loads
  • High fatigue
  • High velocities
  • Poor technique
  • High volume

among other things…

Small withdrawals:

  • Poor posture
  • Poor movement
  • Excessive use of tissues (overuse injury) even in correct technique
  • Poor recovery
  • High stress life

there are more, but I think you get the idea….

If you have good movement strategies, physical fitness and recovery?

You complete the task, go home, eat, have sex, drop a deuce, sleep and repeat.

You drew on the account, but also put money back in for next time.

If you do this enough you can draw on the account pretty hard, pretty often, without being overdrawn (injured).

But what if you live in an over-stressed (in any way) environment?

You’re always tired, eating poorly, sleeping poorly, anxious, depressed, over worked, poor posture and/ or low physical fitness.

You’re always making withdrawals on your account.

Dollar by dollar, day by day.

Even if you have high levels of “fitness” you’re always starting at a low balance because not only are you constantly taking money out, you’re never putting money back in, ie. recovering fully.

When you’re 20, it probably doesn’t matter cause you’re Mother F@c*ing Bill Gates physically.

It’s really hard to draw on the account enough to go bankrupt.

You might overdraft, but pay your $20, sleep it off, take 2 aspirin and you’re good to go.

But when you’re 50?.

You just don’t have those recovery factors you did when you were younger and your body was in a perpetual STATE of BUILDING and not maintenance or decline.

To stick with the analogy until I can drive it into the ground….

We’re physical trust fund babies at 20.

Not only did we have a HUGE account that wasn’t getting drawn on very often, if it was drawn on hard,  mommy put a fresh check in it every night.

But no more.

Age, injuries, and real life stresses have and continue to take their toll on that balance.

We have to actively maintain it’s size through physical fitness.

Replenish it regularly through nutrition, sleep and stress management and

 Stop it with the stupid, unnecessary, recurring fees.

Crappy posture and poor movement constantly draw it down.

Little by little, day by day without a second thought.

That is, until you go to pick up the pencil and, unbeknownst to you, you’ve exceeded your tissue tolerance, your spork breaks, you’ve overdrawn your account and you’re injured.

Blaming it on picking up a pencil and not that fact that you sit at your computer for 10 hours a day with a bigger bend in your back than a before he sucked, Barry Zito, 12 to 6 curveball.

Be cognizant of what you do and how you do it through the day EVERYDAY. 

THAT, is your best defense.

Sure we all fall into crappy posture, but try to realize it and minimize it.

Obviously, exercise and leading a righteous lifestyle is paramount, but,

Simple actions can go a long way. 

Stretch at your desk.

Do some twerking glute activation drills, core work and upper back work everyday.

Breath deep, into the belly, through the diaphragm.

Freaking relax..Try to keep things in perspective.

Fact is, most of the crap we stress about is just that….

Crap,

it doesn’t really matter. Don’t add artificial stress.

To many people get used to being stressed out and become comfortable living there.

STOP IT!

Practice mobility every morning, or night or at lunch. <—–yeah, your coworkers will snicker at you, but you’ll be able to tie your shoes and pickup your grandkids. You wont be the one in a hoverround scooter to go buy some groceries at 70.

Who’s laughing now?

Pay attention to posture though the day.

If you find yourself deflating into your keyboard,

GET UP and MOVE…

It’s not perfect, but it’ll help.

But mostly, next time you get hurt, instead of focusing on who or what to throw your snowball and blame on…

Focus on what the root cause of the injury was,

what you could have done to prevent it. 

Do a quick inventory.

Was I:

  • In poor posture leading up to the injury ie sitting all day at desk, in-car. 
  • Moving poorly/ carelessly
  • Injured somewhere else
  • Tired/ Fatigued
  • Hangry
  • Mentally checked out
  • Stressed
  • Out of breath
  • Anxious

You’ll be surprised and you’ll probably find a pattern(s) emerge.

It’s far easier to prevent injuries than to recover from them.

Remember, your spoon only has so many bends, you’re account only has so much balance.

Don’t allow the insidious forces you never pay much attention be the thing that breaks you. 

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  1. […] in the snow ball culture of injuries <—-this means, “I’ve got a snowball and I’ve got to throw it at someone […]

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