Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bruises, Blunders, and Epic Fails

I was giddy to report to my Mom that I'd signed up to become a Certified Olympic Weightlifting Coach AND that my article for the Tabata Times was resounding with so many people, she was among the first to congratulate me. However, ever the pragmatist, she reminded me to stay humble.  She knows this has been a big year for me personally, with My First Crossfit Throwdown now behind me and some other massive pieces of progress (like 150lb front squats and getting smoother and stronger on Turkish Get Ups and Jerks than I've ever been).

 In fact, one of the great things about lifting and cross training is that it's really 'me vs me'. One of my favorite motivational sayings is, "Train like you're stronger, faster, evil twin is trying to kill you."  (In my defense, I've seen a lot of bad horror movies which helps fuel the imagination on this one.)

I talked with Trainer Guy to see if we could come up with some of my better Flat-On-My-Arse moments. None were caught on video, unfortunately, but today alone (as part of the Olympic Lifting Coaching course), I managed to hit myself in the nose, chin, boobs and belly with the bar. (Okay, so it's a little nerve wracking. Awesome, but nerve wracking.)  While I don't consider myself remarkably clumsy, I have practically dropped bars on my chest before. In fact, I think I remember poor lefty pretty good and joking with Trainer Guy that they are just made of fat anyway - they bounce back. 

So I started paging through some of my more epic bruises during the past year of training... Interestingly enough, they all from successes (and lessons successfully learned).

For example....

Jan 2014 - Just a little 'kiss' from throwing the bar into my rack solidly.
Feb. 2014 - Knocking out some Burpee Hanging Leg Raises.

October 2013 - Playing Goalie during Indoor soccer. (Needed a Tetanus shot to get this one to heal.) For the record - I stopped the goal. Totally worth it.

July 2012 - 1 Epic Fail (Knee - see below). Forearm = Successful Atlas Lift Training
Same day as above - Successful 110lb Farmer's Carries w/ Dumbbells.
Upper left arm - same day as above - successful Atlas Lift Training
July 2013 - Right arm - successful Atlas Lift Training.
August 2013 - Right Arm - Post Strongman (Click Here to See the run down of that event)
August 2013 - Left Arm - Post Strongman (Yes, I was wearing sleeves!)
Jan. 2014 - Maybe went a little hard on the knee-to-touch weighted lunges...

LOTS of lifting! No aspirations of being a hand model here!

Humility is rarely an issue for me. While that could be a testament to the way I was raised, it's also a product of the various arenas I've always competed in, whether it's musical, theatrical, written, or weight/fitness oriented.  Rejection and failure is part of the journey. Which is the whole point to this blog. It ain't all sunshine, sweat, and roses.... er.. deoderant.

   Every time I walk into a gym - whether it's a YMCA, 24-Hour Fitness, or a Crossfit Box, there is someone, stronger, faster, more talented, or with better technique than me. Staying humble? Not really a problem.

Ice Pack to the skull? Yeah - that counts as 'epic'.
As excited as I am to share my success, that doesn't mean I haven't had a few epic failures.  Now, I'm not talking about the rare bail out from a lift that wasn't in sync. Those have happened - and not on camera, though they are thankfully rare. Trainer Guy keeps a watchful eye on things and has a great feel for when to build and when to call it a day. Me? If left to my own devices, I tend to push until failure. (I'm getting much better about this, but last year that was definitely some trial and error.)

One night, after passing some time (and a beer or two) with some friends, I went home to relax. And that's when I had this amazing idea...

You see, I'd been working on getting a kick up handstand for a few weeks, and felt like I should have it. I was sitting on the couch getting bored (it happens -rarely, but it happens... and it's dangerous).

That's when I had this genius idea to try a handstand. I figured if I'd have the perfect space - if only the dog would move...

So I moved Odin's bed aside, leaving me with plenty of carpeted space. Sounds like a good idea, right?

After several failed attempts to kick up. I decided to do a wall walk and get close to the wall... and then slowly take my feet off the wall one at a time...

The first experimental foot came off the door. It seemed like a success. I was sure I could do this. I was vertical and holding steady. If only I could get my other foot off the door and stay vertical.

No, this isn't where someone opens the door.

I pushed off with the remaining toes just for a split second.

I didn't fall. That bolstered my confidence. So tried to bounce my foot off the door a little to further test the theory. I was convinced if I could just get my feet even... so I pushed a little harder off the door in a final attempt to match them up.

The shoved proved too much. My elbows buckled and sent me tumbling into the living room.

See that dark square thing at the bottom of the photo? That's the Mango Wood Coffee table. It's sturdy...very.

First, my head hit the leg on the corner with the full (then 220lbs) of me behind it. Then, while I was dizzily inspecting the carpet, my knee came down on top of the table, taking that last of the inertia with it....
Seriously - it was the stuff that viral Youtube videos are made of...

By noon the next day, I realized I was having trouble thinking clearly. The world felt very slow. So I called my doctor - who sent me to urgent care. When I got there and began attempted filling out the forms, their radiology department closed. They sent me to the ER. I made it there (with the help of some guardian angels, as My Sailor was deployed during this time, and I had to drive myself).  When I got there, I was immediately bawling (very out of character for me) and was pretty quickly diagnosed with a concussion. I was sent home... eventually....after I explained to about 6 different people that I wasn't being abused since I was bruised up from other training I was doing. In their defense, it could have been reasonable that foul play may have been afoot.

(Luckily, the knee didn't hurt too much. While it's likely a permanent injury, it doesn't hurt or inhibit mobility at all.)

Each bruise taught me a valuable lesson though! I no longer take any sort of blood thinning product while training! If I'm sore, I drink some coconut water, have a hot bath, and tough it out. (During training for the Strongman, I was taking ibuprofen nearly every day.) Everything heals faster when I'm not avoiding the pain. Oh - and for the soccer road rash? Problem fixed. I bought pants for when I play goalie.

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