Part III – Training with pain

I hear you.  Trust me, I hear you.


“I’ve been hurting for 10 years!  I can’t even exercise if I MUST do it TOTALLY PAIN FREE!  This is an impossible standard.  I want my money back.”


I hear you.  Trust me.


This goes back to the very beginning – what if your workout wasn’t your workout?


We’ve established some elements of this cycle that I think are foundational elements of anyone pursuing an activity.


  • You’re going to hurt at some point
  • You’re going to want to ignore it and push through it
  • You’re going to either make the decision to stop or it’s going to get made for you


The above objection to the standard of “pain free” isn’t doing you any favors.  You are arguing against your own best interest.  There IS a better way.  Imagine this:


  • You take the time to find the root of the pain
  • You investigate how to resolve the pain
  • You stick to a plan to mitigate and resolve the pain
  • You train in a way that maximally mitigates future pain


That is when your workout is no longer your workout.


For those of us that look forward to the run, the gym, the race, the training – we salivate at the idea of getting out there and getting the blood pumping.  THE WORKOUT is therapy.   It’s what sets our center for the day.  It’s what can often make or break the way the rest of life’s obstacles are handled.


And so we naturally leap to the reward and skip all the tedious details that allow us to relish in that reward.  Here is the conversation I nearly every day:


“I played a couple games of basketball this weekend, body is pretty wrecked!”


“I did a tough peloton workout this weekend, my knees are really sore”


“I went on a 10 mile hike this weekend, my back is really tight.”


“I hopped into my kids soccer practice, my plantar fasciitis is acting up”


Naturally, I ask:


“Did you warmup?  Stretch?  Do some dynamic prep? Cool down? Stop when it started to hurt?”


No. No. No. No. [laughs] No.


Occasionally, they throw out a casual “yea, I think it was the burpees I did on Thursday that did it…”


You mean, the 4 hours of basketball after not playing for 2 years and forgoing a warmup, cooldown and playing through pain couldn’t have had anything to do with it?


I get it.  Trust me, I get it.


Who has time for a warmup anyway!


I’d rather wear out than rust out!


What are you saying that I have to throw in the towel right when things are heating up because my knee twinged a little bit?!? Cmon Coach!!


No, I am saying there is a better way.


In the next post, we’ll talk about Step 1 – identifying the root of the pain.

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