Most people who like to workout have athlete brain to some extent. Athlete brain can help us power through tough workouts and muscle soreness, but it can also put us at risk of injury.
If if you’ve scrolled far enough back in this blog, you’ll find my story of chronic back pain and injury. Part of why my injury became chronic pain was that my symptoms weren’t bad enough to stop me from continuing to train. I didn’t feel any “sharp pains”, more just of an “ache”. So I pushed and continued to train and even compete for 6 months without a change in my symptoms.
I’ve learned my lesson. So when my left SI joint got flared up a couple weeks ago, I was much more cautious. I found that focusing on my core/breathing strategy and engaging my posterior chain kept my “ache” pretty minimal. I worked out 3 days in a row and planned to take 4 days off, because I had a course coming up that weekend. I was presented with an opportunity to workout a 4th day in a row when my schedule changed. I had that mental conversation and argument with my athlete brain over the course of a couple hours.
It was hard to turn down the opportunity to workout. I love CrossFit, but also know that working out helps me meet physical goals- which can make it tempting to do more than my body is ready for. I also continued to have some “achiness” in that area the first day of my course and it was more sore at the end of the first day- which made me concerned. So day 2 I focused on staying hydrated and changed my sitting posture/position. I felt better. Earlier in the week after working out, I made sure to get in some extra isometric core and glute/posterior chain work
But I took my 4 days off. And when I came back to the gym on Monday, I felt good. Hit some heavy back squats with no symptoms. Did some of the heaviest barbell work in WODS and strength work this past week that I’ve done since very early in my pregnancy.
Saying no to my athlete brain and being patient helped. It’s so hard to not start freaking out when you have symptoms. Instead focus on fueling and hydrating properly, getting enough rest, moving well and doing the extra boring exercises that help you! If you don’t know what exercises to do, comment below or message me!