I had a completely different theme for this month’s PK Insight… Spring has started to give us a bit of its taste. The streets smell fresh and spots finally seem to be drier for a consistent amount of time. My body was feeling great, summer season motivation was coming, but then my lower back muscles decided to go on a strike.
As in most of injury stories I have heard, it all happened while doing something “silly”. I wasn’t training, I wasn’t even jumping. It was indoors, pretending to strike a pose, after a 2 hours car ride. The abrupt bad movement caused my lower back muscles to tense really bad and the tightness has got me stuck like a rusty twisted chain.
So here I would like to tell you what are my counter measures for that strike and how I deal with my forced times-off:
1 – Check with specialists:
Some of us, Parkour people, tend to disbelieve in western medicine. I understand this point of view, once I had some not-really-good experiences looking for help on Hospitals myself. Some clinic doctors are time limited by health-insurances and public health systems, they also see sprained ankles, broken wrists and other small injuries all the time. Generalizations aside, it is possible that some can overlook your case, maybe underestimate your healing power or overestimate their quick checks based on experiences with other patients.
About a year ago I suffered the only really serious injury I’ve had in my PK life. After crashing with my whole body over my shoulder(also doing something silly), I visited 4 different doctors covered by my health insurance, very short visits, superficial and very unsatisfying. Their recommendation was always painkillers, ice and rest. Several months after the hospital visits, the pain and uncomfort was still there, so I decided to be checked by a private physiotherapist. It turned out that my collar bone was slightly twisted and after a few sessions I got a delightful relief in my shoulder.
Western medicine is in fact very advanced and helpful. Though, specialists will be able to help you in a more effective way. From my own experience, I recommend a good physiotherapist, chiropractor or sports orthopedist.
And guys!!! Google is awesome! For real. But not when it comes to your body and health. You can start searching about a simple sore throat and 5 minutes later strongly believe you have bone cancer.
2 – Sometimes it’s all about having a time-off.
Parkour is heavy… Even if it feels like you’re in super good shape and the consistency is turning you into a superhuman capable of training everyday. Your body needs rest, so does your mind.
Take a break, at least one or two days. I know it is really hard during summer to spend a day at home or going outside, and resist to the seduction of them walls. But it is totally worth it.
And when injured, stay busy. You don’t need to hate parkour or grieve about being put aside for a while. Do other things that make you happy like hanging out with friends, swimming, yoga, bowling, pool. Make your mind busy and read books, learn a music instrument or study Japanese. Or just write about your Parkour thoughts and share it 🙂
3 – Keep on training…
Parkour is awesome! It is a very complete activity. I’m pretty sure there’s a few drills you can do while injured without harming yourself and making it even worse. You know what I mean, so I won’t bother leaving you examples here. You will find out different ways to move. Just make sure you stay safe.
Plus, observation and visualization is also training. You can still join your buddies in sessions, watch them training, give them ideas, get inspired and stay motivated. I know it is a torture to see people jumping and not being able to train, but stay strong! Take the time off and train in a different way.
You can also practice different skills like handstanding, video-editing/filming, kendama, slackline, juggling…
4 – Screentime
I try to not overdo it though. Exercising and social life are essential to keep you happy.
5 – Meet your “Parkourless” self.
Once I met a professional climber in Ollerup – the movement, school/gym(s), paradise in Denmark – during a Parkour Jam. We had incredible nice talks! One of them was his explanation on why he was not on some warm country climbing some rocks. It turns out that he had some personal issues and in order to overcome them he decided to let go off his ego and “fame” and meet himself without being the Climbing Dude.
I realized that that was important for me also. Even though Parkour is my biggest passion, I don’t want to be only a Parkour athlete or live my whole life only as a Parkour guy. On my times-off I try to see how would my life be without walls and street fun. I worked in very normal jobs and started a university degree that I left unfinished(oops, sorry mom).
My point is: you change, life changes, the world changes. Don’t rely your happiness in only one passion, be happy for being passionate; live the bliss of enjoying hobbies and being alive. Parkour is always there for you and it will always have a space in your heart, but maybe having it as the only reason while you live might be a bit too much pressure.
6 – Now that you’re almost good…
Respect your body! Don’t go full-out straight away. Take your time to feel the progression of getting back into the shape you had before your injury, and soon get stronger than ever. It feels a bit frustrating to get back into training and realize that you’re not as strong as before. But it is normal. So take it easy. On the other hand, sometimes you get back filled with energy and motivation and cross the line of what your body is actually ready to do. So, listen to your body and enjoy training.
Finally, as in anything in life, we go through ups and downs, and life is a rollercoaster. But as Rocky said “it’s not about how hard you can hit… It’s about how you can get hit and keep going” #cheesy
Your turn now. Tell us about your injury mindset and how you overcome it.
Train hard and take care!