Don’t blame the sport.
Blame the body you take to the sport.
Continuing on the theme of if you can’t tell me if a muscle is working, it isn’t; please don’t blame the sport you love on why your body hurts. It usually goes something like the following: “Weeeeellllllll, I used to run. But then my knees hurt, and kept hurting, and no matter how much ice and ibuprofen I used they wouldn’t stop hurting, so I stopped. I rested for a couple weeks, and tried again, but they hurt again, right away. I asked my neighbor, and his knees hurt because he used to run, too. My friend stopped running because her knees hurt before and afterwards. Although I love it, and he loved it, and she loved it, it’s really hard on your knees- all that pounding- and I am getting older, so I don’t run. Love to run, but my knees hurt; so I stopped.”
Stories like this break my heart.
The interesting thing is, it rarely stops there. This same person will often continue with the following: “Then I played racquetball. It was fun, and I really liked it, and I even got involved in a league, but apparently all that bending and twisting and spinning and whirling wrecked my back. So I stopped playing racquetball.”
“What could I do now? I decided to take up golf. Seemed like a nice, low impact sport. However, even when I play golf now, both my knees and my back hurt, and couple of hours after a round I find myself back to the ice and ibuprofen regime. I thought to myself, well, maybe I just need to try something really low key like knitting, but honestly, even that bothers my neck. I have gained weight and I can’t keep up with my grandchildren and even the thought of gardening strikes fear in my heart for fear of the body part that will hurt after!”
It is remarkable to me how frequently I hear variations on that theme: I want to do this, but my _______ (fill in the blank) hurts and I can’t. My goal for everyone is to do the things you love, not live in fear of the things you love to do. If you want to ski, do it! If you don’t want to ski because you don’t like being cold and the mountain holds no appeal, then don’t ski, but no matter what I want the option available to you. The other word that is key in that phrase is the word “can’t”, easily my most unfavorite word in the world.
I allow my clients to express the fact that they are “having difficulty”, but under no circumstances are they allowed that verbiage choice. Ever.
So that we are perfectly clear: Let’s get those muscles working so you can get back to the things you love.
Your doctor might say something like, “if it hurts, don’t do it!” We can take his\her advice for the short term, but let’s see what we can do for the long term. Additionally, lots of people like to blame the place they are in life as part or all of the problem. “I am getting older, you know”, is another reason I hear. However, if age were the issue, then you wouldn’t see 80 year old marathoners and skiiers out on the mountain. If age were the issue then all the people your age should have the exact same problem. They don’t. You don’t have to either.
Don’t buy into the “I am getting older, you know!”
What a bunch of hogwash!
What about the male/female difference? Well, if it were a gender issue, then all women or all the men you know should also have the same problem with the same sport. They don’t.
Aaah. That is the question. Why? Please ask that question of yourself, over and over. Now, if you have a legitimate orthopedic concern– no cartilage, bone healed wrong, missing chunks of tissue, etc., then I agree you have a condition to work around. (but even then I have seen cool things happen as those conditions often happen as a result of out of balance muscles!) As for the rest of you? I suspect that you have a bunch of muscles going heavily underused, and a few going heavily overused, and that is the body you are taking to your sport. Out of balance, making assumptions that all of your muscles are on board, and then after feeling horrible the next day, deciding that running/skiing/golf/etc etc is just not going to work anymore. Onward to croquet!
Please. Don’t give up! Be in the perpetual pursuit of muscle balance, so that you can be 82 and out doing the things you love like my inspiration Juanita below. She has been my videographer on a number of Just Muscles video adventures, including this trip to the tulip fields. I want to be just like her when I grow up! Look at that sparkly smile!
Let me know if I can help, and leave comments below on what you are going to do to stay in the game!