There is a price to pay for being fit and to maintaining a certain level of fitness throughout your lifetime. Fitness is both an anabolic (building) and catabolic (breaking down) process that occurs in tandem throughout our muscles and joints. When we enter the weight room or take our first stride of a long run, this natural response of physiology takes over and not even the professionals are immune to the risk of developing a potential injury from the very activities that were intended to build health in the first place. Yes, exercise can be potentially hazardous to your body.
It is not uncommon for me to see a professional athlete or elite trainer in my office with a muscle or joint issue. They spend countless hours training, building and breaking their bodies down to become exceptional at performing sport specific muscle patterns. Pain is inevitable when pushing your body through physical barriers of performance. It happens to everyone, you are not alone. Our best bet is to prepare ahead and develop preventative habits that will combat these negative outcomes so we spend less time taking steps backwards with our training.
For someone new to a sport or physical activity, experiencing pain can be a seed planted in the mind that sprouts into a tree of self-defeating thoughts and ideologies that are toxic to our growth. This type of pain isn’t something humans are used to or comfortable with. Muscle soreness only lasts a few days, but walking like a duck for a week after an intense leg day can leave an emotion wound on your brain. Often, someone new to exercise may associate exercise with pain, which will ultimately lead to lack of compliance towards a training regimen. Having the mental discipline to maintain clarity of purpose through setbacks and developing the correct habits for assisting your body to overcome these recovery hurdles is in fact one of the main barrier people often fall short of.
I offer a simple solution to a complex problem: be patient with your body. Individually, we all require a different amount of time and effort to recover from certain physical break downs. Have faith in the process and develop a team around you of fitness professionals and doctors who you trust. Most importantly, stay in the game.