Many people may wonder, “Is getting injured a normal part of training for my sport?”
I would say that, statistically speaking, injury is a very commonly experienced part of training. But it should not be normal. At least, it does not have to be for you.
A part of the body becomes injured when it breaks down (loses its full, healthy function) because of being forced to work in a way it was not meant to work, or under conditions it is not properly prepared for.
Where do injuries come from?
Here are some causes of injury that readily come to mind. You may think of more…
Injuries come from accidents, falling down, smashing into things.
They come from having inferior form and movement patterns.
New injuries come from the body compensating for old injuries, limitations, and imbalances.
Even with good form in place, injuries can come from doing too much too soon – too much repetition or too much loading.
Even when making changes toward better form, injuries can come from changing too many details at once, or trying to change things too quickly.
They come from improper use of gear, or choosing the wrong gear – particular when that gear forces your form to change away from what is better for you, or forces your form to chance faster than the body can safely adapt to it.
Injuries come from ignorance about how to move, and how to train.
Injuries come from impatience with the necessarily careful adaptation process when getting ready to move faster or farther or with more intensity than you have before.
Image used by licensed permission from 123rf.com
What do all of these things have in common?
They are all causes that you have some degree of control over.
You may not know what the solution is, but you are certainly the one who should know first that your body is having a problem. And you can often notice the threat of problems before an injury actually occurs.
You can stop or slow things down. You can seek out help for finding a solution, or at least for getting an explanation for why there is a problem.
Responding to the signals is your foremost responsibility as the pilot of your body-vessel. To be able to respond to those signals you have to notice them first. You need to be paying attention to the sensations coming from all parts of the body and take them seriously, as you would receive input from the trusted members of your team. You need to seek education on how to read and interpret those signals so you can be a better listener. Then you can seek out solutions so you can be a better responder, intervening earlier when there are subtle warnings, preventing more injuries from occurring.
Underneath this is the belief that the body really does want to perform – we believe the body loves to exercise its physical capabilities, but it also needs the pilot to heed the wisdom of the body in how to go about developing that potential. The body is a trustworthy source of information (not the only) about the process we need to follow to increase those physical capabilities. It should be listened to, not ignored.
Seek out education. Pay attention. Trust your body. Respond early. Be patient. Keep the long-sighted view in mind.
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