What To Do After You Injure Yourself
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Health and Wellness

What To Do After You Injure Yourself

What I learned from hurting my back at 24 years old.

What To Do After You Injure Yourself

Anyone who follows me on my social media knows 2 main things.

First: I work out way too much.

Second: I sprained my back in February by working out way too much.

A bit of context is helpful here. I've been working out consistently since high school. My friends and I would lift heavy things at the local YMCA most days after school. We were the typical gym bros, focusing mainly on aesthetic lifts like bench press and bicep curls, never really worrying about form, technique, or proper programming.

Time passed, I got older, and my lifting became more complex. I still maintained my flawed mindset from high school because 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. It was broken. I just didn't realize it. I started working on squats and deadlifts because they were new to me and I had heard they were good for making sick gains, but I didn't learn proper technique and form.

I also started following fitness YouTube and Instagram creators, aspiring to be on their level of fitness. Some of my new friends were into working out as well, but they had taken more care and discipline in their approach to their fitness life. I was frustrated with myself for not realizing my mistakes sooner and vowed to start improving.

However, my ego and my pride decided it was prime time to make their grand appearance and interfere with any hopes of progress. Instead of listening to other's tips and advice, I brushed them aside believing that I knew all that I needed to.

February 2017 rolls around and I'm not making any progress in terms of my lifts. So I decide to put on more weight than I usually do and try to deadlift it. I immediately feel a twinge in my lower back and then shooting pain. I realized something was wrong, but like the fool I was, I kept going and powered through what should have been my signal to stop.

The next morning I couldn't get out of bed.

After a quick visit to a chiropractor, I found out I had sprained my L4-L5 vertebrae in my lower back at the ripe old age of 24. Standing up, sitting down, walking, breathing, simply existing would cause me pain for weeks after.

But messing up my back was exactly the slap in the face I needed to finally break out of my old, terrible habits.

I was starting back from 0. All of my workouts had basically been reset, but so had my mind and determination. I was essentially starting over with everything, but I wouldn't let that stop me. I wasn't going to be the same person I was before. I was going to be better.

To this day, I still struggle with the occasional pang of discomfort and pain shooting through my lower body and I don't think that's ever going to go away. It serves as a reminder of what a stupid ego and foolish pride can bring about.

But six months later and I'm stronger now than I ever was before. I've learned that while it's okay to have pride in my accomplishments, I can't let that blind me to my faults. Asking for help and accepting help isn't just okay, but imperative in order to grow. Sometimes it's necessary to wipe the slate clean and start fresh.

Stay positive. Stay healthy. Stay motivated.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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