Let me begin with a preemptive apology… I am sorry if when reading this rant that it is apparent that I have never written a blog post before. Truth be told I have never written anything for a blog! But no matter how muddled my thoughts might be textually I will strive to collectively and coherently tell you of a personal tale of excruciating pain, slight abuse of minor opiates, and some busted butt cheeks. This is the tale of the Tight Hip Flexors.
I mean, it sorta played out like one of those after school specials: There was once a boy named Gabriel, he was good kid with high hopes and big dreams of lifting big and being strong… But then he got involved with a 180lb. tractor tire and well let’s just say it did not end well for poor Gabe. In the hopes of trying out a new form for flipping tires as fast as possible, Gabriel forgot the simple fundamentals of lifting anything heavy from the ground. Unknowingly he was exerting his lower back and over working his hip complex in the quest to be the fastest tire flipper there ever was. And like the hubris of any Greek mythology hero, Gabe’s new tire flipping form brought nothing but ultimate tragedy down upon him. One day Gabe was easily clean and jerking 205 lbs. for several reps and the next he could not even get up from his toilet seat…. It was… the saddest bowel movement of his entire life.
Soon his life spiraled out of control. He began skipping workouts, that’s where it first started. He then sometimes went into complete denial about his injury and would attempt to deadlift or squat only to be back in even worse pain. He then turned to drugs… just your easy/gateway stuff first…Tylenol Extra Strength, Bayer Back and Pain. But when that didn’t do it anymore for Gabe he turned to the harder stuff. Soon he was popping tramadol and a muscle relaxer to get through the pain (ok remember this is only a funny, exaggerated version of my story ha, Tramadol is actually safely used in conjunction with mild exercise to help relieve a sports injury and I don’t have a pain killer addiction lol). Oh how could such a good guy go down such a dark path?!? Gabe was finally at rock bottom. But just when it seemed all was lost, Gabriel was visited by a member of his gym by the initials of B.B. Wise and completely devoid of self-pity, B.B. reminded him that you cannot simply give up when such a physiological road block occurs, you have to push past the pain no matter how severe, be patient because things won’t get better overnight, know that there will be up’s and down’s in your journey to recovery and to most importantly come to realize the cold-hard truth that you are in control of your body. Through persistence, extensive knowledge and yes, even a little faith, there is no ailment on this earth that can bring you down.
Next day hetook one painkiller instead of the usual three, grabbed his mother’s floor mat and drove his busted cheeks to THRC to attend their Tuesday Vinyasa Yoga class. Gabe began to stretch. Two Yoga classes a week, two one-hour sessions of stretching poses which ignited the fire within his hip flexors and lower back. Gabe did not want to do any of this. Yoga is not for the huge and strong, the big lifters, or the ultra-athletes. What is so hardcore (no pun intended) about full planks and tree poses. But deep down he knew this is where he needed to be. Little by little he felt the benefits of child’s pose, down dog pose, cobra and pigeon. With each successive class his flexibility increased and soon his core strength began to get to where it sort of was before. Soon the painkillers became a thing of the past, and instead of 10 mg of oxybenozite, he settled for 10 minutes on THRC’s Hydrobed. He combined some stretching poses he learned off YouTube (see there’s more on that site than just cat videos) to his Hydrobed regime which not only did this create added benefits to his sessions (combination self-myofacial release and static stretching) , but it just felt so damn good! The pain subsided after 3 weeks and Gabe began to lift light again. Gabe now still lives some residual pain but through persistence and knowledge just like B.B.’s advice stated, he is now on his path to full recovery. He is not near 100% yet but he nears his goal every day.
So what is the moral of the story kiddos? One, if you have a sports related injury do not be stubborn and ignore it,find steps to help it, fix it, or maintain it.Two, many sport injuries can be cured without the help of medication and constant doctor visits. Don’t get me wrong, be sure to consult your doctor whenever you are seriously injured. But if a rehab therapy regimes can be repeated at home or at a gym then save yourself some $$$ and figure out how to fix yourself(and don’t be lazy with the research either! Really look into your sources and their origins). Three, if you are a member of THRC or any other health club for that matter and you are serious about improving your overall fitness/health then use all the resources at your gym’s disposal (I mean you’re paying for it might as well)! Don’t be so adherent to your usual workout regime, change it up!Check out a yoga or Pilates class to strengthen your core (Flexy, Back and Abs, and Vinyasa/Hatha Yoga), try out some speed and agility training to improve coordination and body awareness (Powerfit), and up your cardio and endurance threshold because this will definitely help you to lift more and improves overall fitness (Cycle, Interval and Total Training classes). Fourthly, Amenities like the Hydrobed which are typically overlooked should be implemented as well. If you are a current member of THRC and have not been on that Hydrobed you are missing out so big! And don’t get it twisted! Yea I am an employee of THRC and am supposed to emphasize how great all our amenities are (which they honestly are) but I know that Hydrobed helped me out somuch y’all!Please try it out whenever you have the chance, you won’t regret it.
Well that’s my story. What I really hoped was that people would get some sort of help from reading this, especially those going through an injury of some sorts. I want to open the realization that all you injured people should not just throw in the towel when it comes to fitness as well. Keep moving and battle the pain in the quest to strengthen your current injury (but please first always consult your doc!) Attached are links to some pics that show some great yoga and stretching poses for hip and lower back pain as well as pics that show my stretching exercises that I did while on the Hydrobed and the setting on which to put the bed on.Hopethis comes in handy guys and you can always catch me at THRC if you have any questions about my injury, my road to recovery, and my stretching regimen.