Monday, July 11, 2011

Hey parents, get your kids assessed

Over the course of my wonderful (sarcasm intended) marathon training, I encountered quite a bit of knee pain.  To this day I am not sure exactly what that pain stemmed from.  I was guessing it was from over striding and that the damage was too much when I changed my stride 4 weeks out from the race.  I the weeks after the race it was still a little bothersome so I decided to give it more time.  With that in mind, I decided to sign up for the Warrior Dash, Rock & Roll Half Marathon in Va Beach, and Tough Mudder.  Yea, not exactly rest.  The Warrior Dash has come and gone and that was only 3.5 miles.  Not too bad of a run.  I ran it with a buddy of mine who is in fantastic shape but he isn't what you would classify as a "runner".  So I got to run a little slower than my usual pace which made the race more fun for me than competitive.  Up next is the Rock & Roll Half in Va Beach during Labor Day weekend.  I am very much looking forward to that since that is said to be simply a great experience with bands at every mile.  This run will be used as a training run for the ultimate prize, Tough Mudder in November.  I can't begin to tell you how stoked I am to run this. 
Through all of this, I am battling a few nicks and pains.  The knee is well documented but I have also incurred some stupid hip/groin issue.  I think it has something to do with my adductor longus, iliopsosas, or pectineus.  I used to think it was my inguinal ligament but upon further investigation I have deduced that it's not.  Has a Dr. checked this out yet?  Nope.  My wife, the nurse, keeps trying to get me to get a professional opinion but I'm going to try and see if I can take care of it.  Then last week my back decided to give me fits.  My chiro says it's a bulging disc.  Needless to say I have been laid up for the last few days with this.  I'm not even going to go into the issue I have with my right shoulder and bicep. 
I talk about all of this because the purpose of this blog is to showcase how I refuse to be sedentary and stop being an athlete.  But it's kind of hard to do that when I keep incurring little issues like this.  I guess that's what happens as we get older.  Those little dings and pains that went away once we rubbed some dirt on it are a thing of the past once we get past the fine age of 30 (or 35 in my case).  Those little dings turn in traffic stopping crashes that take control of your training and basically stop it altogether.  That is why it is so important to be able to perform basic maintenance on yourself through the use of mobility and stability training, stretching, foam rollers, balls, rolling sticks, bands, and whatever medieval instrument I can get my hands on to push my body through all of the ranges of motion it should be doing. 
You see, I'm not exactly a big guy.  I'm what you would consider perfectly average; 5'10, 175 lbs.  Most of my life was spent with me thinking that I was much bigger.  When I played high school football (and briefly D-1 college), I was always the smallest guy out there.  I was a 155 lb running back on a team that ran the ball roughly 99% of the time.  I switched to receiver in college and even the kickers were bigger than me.  I wrestled and have trained a bit in MMA and always went after the bigger guys.  When I played basketball, I always posted up even though EVERYONE down low was bigger.  All of this has led me to get the holy hell kicked out of me on a regular basis.  I never had anyone telling me I couldn't do it (thanks Dad), so I did it.  And while that is a great trait to have, the strength & conditioning world isn't nearly what it is today.  So all of those little bumps, bruises, strains, sprains, and overall owies grew into much bigger problems as I got older.  Now that I am a strength & conditioning professional, I see how vitally important it is for our athletic youth to begin mobility and stability exercises as soon as they start playing sports. 
Mobility and stability does not equal getting on the bench press or squat rack.  It involves teaching the athlete simply how to move properly.  It teaches them how to land properly.  It teaches them how to engage all of the muscles necessary in order to fully support the movement that is required by the sport.  If you are a parent reading this, please ensure that if you have children participating in sports, you speak to a strength coach who knows about mobility and stability training.  Listed below are a couple of websites that you can check out from some people a heck of a lot smarter than me that have dedicated their lives to this.  Please check them out.  Also, if you have any questions on how you can better assess some of the problems you have going on, please feel free to drop me a line or simply come to my Guerrilla Bootcamp starting on July 23. 

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