You Earn Your Body
It’s so true. Agree?
As CrossFitters we are devoted to the 5am alarm to attend the first class at 6am, we are willing to train weaknesses and take on a large training volume, we make sure the shorts are perfectly matched with the t-shirt and socks but we don’t spend enough time looking after our engine: our BODY.
In general, we seem to be willing to make lots of sacrifices when it comes to nutrition and training, however, we often forget to listen to our own body.
That niggle in the shoulder, the back tighter than usual, legs that just don’t seem to feel right even after rolling and smashing and rolling again.
We are all guilty of ignoring the signals and waiting for the catastrophe… the dreaded INJURY.
CrossFit is the sport of fitness. Its core principle is the use of functional movements to get people healthier, fitter and stronger. To achieve this, our nervous system must be performing flawlessly to get the right muscle response and our muscles need to have time to recover to rebuild themselves.
When you don’t listen to niggles two main things happen:
– You are working through stressed tissues, putting even more strain on them. This, repeated over time, worsens the symptoms until the body is no longer able to heal itself and you get big flare ups, injuries that keep you away from training for weeks or months.
– Your body comes up with a stupid solution. Yes you read it right. Our bodies have amazing self-healing abilities as well as self-protecting solutions. One of them is compensation patterns. Your body will try to shift positions and change muscle firing patterns in order to save the ‘stressed’ area. You won’t even notice these until they flare up in a secondary injury. (You had niggle in the right shoulder for a while.. your left glute/low back is flaring up, your right knee starts feeling weird.. they can’t be connected they are all in different areas!.. oh wait..)
Lately I’ve suffered from a back injury due to overtraining and I’ve gone through a very hard time, not being able to train or to work properly. It hasn’t been fun at all.
Who am I blaming for all of this? Well nobody but MYSELF.
I had been CrossFitting for just over a year and until last month I had no idea of what a chiropractor or a sport therapist was until s@#t happened. Well I know quite a few of them now!
I didn’t listen to my back when it felt more tired than usual. I didn’t want to miss out on a great looking WOD. I didn’t want to spend money on ‘just a niggle’, so I got injured.
I had to take a step back to the basics – time that I actually enjoyed as we all underestimate the toughness of ‘basic’ exercises – and had to spend a lot of time on rehab drills, stretching and mobility: yes, the boring stuff! But it’s that boring stuff that brought me back to training again.
My message is this guys: take care of your bodies!
Regardless of the level you are at, if you decide to train hard you need to start recovering hard!
Routine mobility will help but it’s not the fix-everything solution – the same for nutrition, hydration and sleep. They are the staples of a healthy lifestyle but if you want to stay on top of the game you need to take care of muscles, nerves, and joints at a deeper level.
Even for the injury-free athlete, routine maintenance with a therapist is key to longevity.
Chiropractors/Osteopaths ensure that your body is balanced and your spine is aligned.
Sports Therapists can take care of muscle imbalances, ensure your muscles are firing correctly and work on fascia and deep tissues.
Massage therapists can help with muscle tightness and soreness and work on deep tissues.
Physiotherapists are the best if you need a rehab protocol and many of them now have massage therapy experience too.
There are many professionals out there. Find someone you can trust, who understands the training you do and get regular check ups!
Complete the circle: train hard, eat clean, and get treatment on your body. Keep yourself in the game for as long as possible.