Pain is temporary if we know how to manage it.
I pulled my hamstring sprinting in a Crossfit WOD: Partner Grace followed by a partner mile run over the summer. It really hurt at the time but didn’t lay me out. So, of course, I didn’t skip a beat in my CF workouts or in my weekly runs. I love CF, I love running, I just love working out and I HATE when anything gets in the way of it! I have always been a decent runner with terrible form that led to multiple acute and chronic injuries over the years. I am stubborn and refused to change my flailing arms and legs despite numerous offers from respectable coaches.
My hamstring injury faded a little for a month or two until I would re-pull it and then I would deal with the pain until 3 weeks ago. I heard a distinctive “pop” while doing double unders. That caught my attention. I still didn’t let it throw me off my routine. I pushed through workout after workout ignoring the stabbing in my right hamstring. Only until I reached the point that I could not sit longer than 30 minutes without pain radiating from my glut to the back of my knee, did I make the decision to stop and give the pain its due recognition.
Why is it we ignore what life is trying to tell us sometimes? We are not meant to push hard without rest. We do not reach our maximal potential that way. We do not perform to our highest level mentally and physically without a rest/recovery day, but we are afraid to stop. That fear will always slow us down when trying to attain from our goals. Whether it’s a six pack or making the regional team at your Crossfit affiliate; both require a consistent recovery period to execute the goal most efficiently.
I am not saying to shut it down every time you tweak your back a little, BUT acknowledging and treating the pain will lead to quicker recovery and strengthening as opposed to “sweeping it under the rug” and hoping it gets better. Life has a way of forcing us to face the pain. In the midst of a brutal workout, I find it easier to face the pain and breathe through it rather than to avoid it. Pain in fitness is unavoidable. Whether it’s adhering to a diet when it is not fun anymore, pushing the one last round on an AMRAP, or the occasional hamstring pull; it will happen.
When we face it; we have a gauge on how to manage it. We at least educate ourselves on how to best manage it and our intuition with our body sharpens.
So, my lesson, go through PT and determine the actual cause of the injury besides stupid running form. Strengthen what is weak, stretch what is tight, and finally teach myself how to run right.