Quick post: When ego trumps ability – aka don’t be like me


You know how here at Hogwarts we push physical training (PT) as a bulwark for personal resiliency when the grid goes down. In addition to getting strong and fit, it’s also a great way to minimize or mitigate injuries.

We’ve also read musings from guys who PT a lot (Mosby, Max) as well as masters of strength training (Rippetoe, Wendler, et al) to train hard but not let your ego get in the way of your ability lest you do something dumb and hurt yourself.

Well, yours truly took a little break from weightlifting for about five weeks and decided to hit the stack with the full force and ferocity of my last workout before the break and managed to bulge a disc and add an annular tear to the disc membrane in the process. Barbell rows were the culprit and it was a classic presentation of a “pop” as I was setting down a rep followed by collapsing on the floor in agony. Worse, I already had a gimpy lower back from a bad hand at the genetics poker table, and I knew I needed to be mindful of it all the time. I knew I needed to be mindful of it all the time.

So instead of lifting for the last couple of weeks, I have been rotating between narcotic hazes and lightning bolts of hateful pain shooting down my leg. I have now been cleared to go on windy walks at low speed with no ruck or anything cool attached. I did some planks and that felt good, but I miss my front squats. Bad.

I am grateful because it can always be worse. The grid is up. I can get good medical care. I can still walk. My wife still loves me. My dogs do, too.

The bitch of it is that I knew I should have lifted light a few workouts and built back to heavy.

How do I look?

I am now less resilient, and for a while, able to do less. I should probably dress up like Richard Simmons during my rehab PT as further punishment.

Self-inflicted stupidity smarts the hardest. Don’t be like me.


5 responses to “Quick post: When ego trumps ability – aka don’t be like me

  1. I’ve done similar things myself-more than once-I guess that makes me an extra dumb dumbass- because I knew better every time.
    Then there was the going back to work about 2 weeks too soon,on more than one occasion,when I knew damn well that my knee was not going to be able to take the standing/walking/weird pivoting on one leg that you have to do when cooking in a hotel or country club restaurant kitchen for 12 hours or more a day.
    My prior dumbassery led to these things called dynamic compression screws being installed in my knee joint to hold it together-the things look like lag bolts to me.
    Today’s one of the NE Ohio rain off and on all day kinda days-and I feel exactly where those screws are in my knee,and the plate and screws in my forearm are…
    Listen to Ivy Mike-listen to all of us who have done similar things to ourselves so that you don’t end up doing the same things to yourselves.
    Don’t say no one warned you-it’s kinda like those warning labels that you wonder why anyone would do that to themselves-don’t be the guy who’s the inspiration for a new warning label!


  2. I have been hitting the gym hard, but am at a place where the coaches will tell you to drop the bar or scale you back, as fast as a referee calls a knockout in MMA. I have made great strides, but mostly that has come from breaking my previous pattern of intensity /injury.
    You’ll get it back.


  3. First off thank you snap back simian, I have a physical job so weight lift is kinda redundant, but cardiovascular is my hardest thing to preserve. Running is not a storable skill, and cardiovascular has a short expiration date. I will be 50 next month and still turn an 8 minute mile.


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