All of us hurt ourselves at some time or other. The degree to which we hurt ourselves determines whether or not we’re injured. Injuries always hurt. But hurt doesn’t always mean injured.
When we exercise, we often feel a sensation of perceived discomfort, due to micro-trauma to working muscles (which results in growing healthier muscles). Too often, we back off or stop when we feel hurt. Sometimes, we rob ourselves of much of the benefit of our exercise program in this way; by cutting it short or decreasing our efforts.
Remember, it takes leaving that comfort zone to change you. Think about it. Leaving a sedentary lifestyle is like leaving an unhealthy relationship; it’s going to hurt some to change. That’s all there is to it. We’ve all heard of growing pains. If you’re not hurting a little bit, you’re NOT growing. Sorry to have to say it that way.
If you’re comfortable where you are, you’ve hit a plateau. You’re not moving forward and becoming stronger. If your mind and spirit aren’t challenged, you’re not growing as an intellectual, emotional or spiritual person. If your body isn’t challenged, you’re not growing as a physical being.
Learn the difference between a little healthy growing pains and what it is to become injured; to injure yourself. You need a little hurt, but you do not need, and should be careful to not injure yourself. Know the difference. Know when to push forward and when to back off. People who don’t know when they’ve crossed the line that separates healthy, consistent effort from foolish, reckless, dangerous activity are people who endanger their own health, and sometimes, the health of others. Listen to your body. Know that a little soreness and being out of breath are normal. Know that growing in a healthy way is a struggle. Know the struggle makes you stronger. Know, too, that pushing to the limit puts you at the edge of the cliff, and once you’re over the edge, you have no control. Don’t push too far. Explore your limits, but don’t break through them; that’s how people become injured. Never try to max yourself.
Unless you’re a professional athlete, trained by people who have a vested interest in your long term health, listen to YOU before you listen to anyone who tries to get you to quickly break through your already established limits of performance. Don’t let anyone push you to injure yourself. Don’t push yourself in a dangerous or unhealthy manner. Know where your healthy boundaries lie. Discover them safely. Don’t cross the line.
Embrace a little hurt, yes. Injure yourself? No!
Sally Windham is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor in Blanco, TX. Please send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org