You CAN train around an injury

If we run into each other in the next few weeks, well first of all, I’m sorry. I guess I didn’t see you standing there.

I kid, I kid.

If you do see me, there’s a good chance I’ll have my right arm in a sling. Because 15 years of baseball and softball.

My shoulder gave out on me during an exercise back in March, and it’s been bugging me ever since. I finally got it checked out and low and behold, I’ve got a tear in my labrum. Seriously, because softball.

I’ve been largely fortunate in my athletic career to avoid injuries, but as I approach 40, it’s only natural that my body is going to start showing some of the wear and tear I’ve put it through.

But does that mean I can’t train?

No. 

 
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Is it harder?

Well, yes and no. The thing is, despite my overall easy-going, roll-with-it nature, when it comes to training I’m a little obsessive. If my coach writes me a program, I do that program with no variation. Sometimes to my detriment. I don’t treat my program like an a la carte and with good reason; my coach gives me specific exercises to achieve my goals. 

When you suddenly can't do 50% of your workout, the temptation is to throw in the towel. 

But unless you're dealing with a serious back injury or some other full body ailment, there's a good chance you can train around the problem area. You'll probably want a coach or a fitness professional to help you figure what to do, but simply knowing that you CAN continue to train is half of the battle.

I’ve got a bum right shoulder. I can’t lift my arm over my head without searing pain. I’m limited with much of what I can do, but once I stopped Eyor-ing* all over the place I realized I still had plenty of options for training. (And that took awhile. I've been battling this injury for months now). 

I can run.

I can work my left arm.

I can deadlift.

And I can train the hell out of my lower body. 

Once I got in the right mindset I got back to training. But not without a little help. There are many reasons it's great to have a coach, but when training around an injury, whether it's just nagging knee pain, lower back discomfort or a broken hand, a good trainer or coach will write you a program that is safe and effective. I've taken advantage of coaches to help me circumvent my injury.

Over the weekend I received an email from a friend who wants some help in training after a hysterectomy. I think this line of the email sums it up best: "My aunt was told to rest for three weeks for her back; it's been 40 years and she's debilitated." 

40 years. 

Don't get me wrong; there is absolutely a time and place for rest, especially when you're dealing with serious injury. But sometimes just finding a way to stay consistent with some type of training can make all of the difference when it comes to staying on track. 

*Yes I made this word up. But it so works for me.