I want you to train hard, do fun things, play that tennis match, go on that long hike! I want you to do it all! No pain. No restrictions. Just you pressing on and living your best life.
The next steps will take that away – for a short time – to return stronger than ever.
The first step is to stop. Stopping running. Stop saying yes to the ice-cold invite for a pickup game. Stop working out through pain. Stop bandaging the knee, popping the pills and gutting through it. Just stop, cold turkey.
What to do instead?
Stretch with purpose. There is a downside to stretching. You can work length too much, so using some sort of guide is useful.
ROMWOD is a great tool.
YouTube has endless free content.
A yoga instructor can help.
If you’re local, we are well equipped to help with mobility (as we typically like to frame it).
The first thing you’ll notice is:
“Damn, how did I get so tight!”
Well, tension on tension on tension, wrapped up in braces, working around and through pain will tend to stiffen you up. You have to unwind this tension. You can’t ONLY inhale. Sometimes you have to let some air out from time to time.
“But I’ll get fat! I can’t just stop moving!”
Sure you can. And, by the way, getting fat has almost nothing to do with your exercise per se. it has everything to do with another cycle (a more in depth conversation for another time) that goes something like this:
- Hard work feels good
- Fuleing hard work feels better!
- I won’t eat pizza if I’m working hard (don’t want sugar in the gas tank!)
- BUT, if I DO eat pizza, I can just “burn it off” with an extra mile
- If I’m not working out…what’s the point of eating well?
This is where you workout is no longer your workout. Your nutrition, stretching and WALKING are your workout.
Fun fact – running is a terrible weight loss protocol. Actually, it’s basically the worst.
Walking is a GREAT weight loss protocol. So if you’ve been wondering why you run run run and don’t drop the pounds…
Now you are stretching, walking and eating right. Sounds like we are returning to baseline!
You are exactly right.
The purpose of this is to eat well for the sake of eating well.
The purpose is to restore some natural motion that gets lost in the process of building tension (i.e. endurance and strength) and focus on habits that are good for their own sake rather than “trying to outwork a bad diet.” If you think your diet is good, then you should be able to stop working out and it still holds. If you need to run like a maniac to keep the weight off, your diet is poor. It’s pretty simple.
Now let me be clear, I don’t expect you to do this. I expect you resist it. Maybe even laugh at it.
That’s fine! On my side I have the data, the experience with the bodies and the decade of experimentation on said bodies to get said data.
On the other side is wishful thinking that pain will go away.
We’ll be here waiting for you to consider a better way. You just have to do that in your own time.
Next we’ll be talking about how to build yourself back up so that you can return to the activities that you love, pursue them pain free and live your best life!