#1 How many injuries do you have left?
Dan John posted two freebie videos on his blog of an upcomming DVD. One of the concepts he touches on resonated with me — especially considering some of my latest blog posts. Dan says that he has one big injury left in his career. That may sound like a good thing, but he follows it by saying that he doesn’t have any more recoveries left.
How you attack life is predicated on how many injuries you think you have left. As you age, you’re less likely to take risks because you know as every day passes, your recovery window closes.
Before I broke my foot (last clip in the video below), I thought I was invincible. I had my share of injuries — a separated shoulder from football that left my arm immobile for six months, a back injury from squatting 405 that put me out six months, another back injury (again squatting 405 [genetic ceiling, anyone?]), a groin strain that put me out a year, and knee pain my entire life. But I recovered from these without much thought. I was young(er). Invincible. You don’t consider the span of your life back then, you only consider the present, making injuries much more manageable.
After my broken foot, I ask myself, “can I afford this injury?” I don’t know. I hope I make it to Dan John’s age (no offence Dan) with injuries to spare. I know the risks I take. But I’ll be damned if I want to admit that I have more recoveries in me because it forces me to take more risks. But they’re there. And I know I’ll need them down the line.
#2 Die Defending What You Believe
Never stop believing in yourself. Never back down defending an idea you feel strongly about. Never quit.
#3 There Are No Such Thing As Accessory Lifts
On Facebook, there was a wild back and forth between a few people, including Lyle McDonald and Bret Contreras, when someone claimed the hip thrust was an “accessory lift”.
“They [the hip thrust] are bulshit accessories. Fiber recruitment as we all SHOULD know is based off of effort and to another degree, neuroligical efficiency. Not angle training, visual protrusion, speed or in this case, novelty training.”
-Random Facebook Guy
I had a great reply to this, but I’m not the main guy’s friend so I couldn’t post. Bret responded with similar thoughts.
“First of all get it out of your head that this is an accessory movement. That terminology is based on powerlifters who have powerlifting goals in mind.”
The concept of accessory lifts is based upon having a contested lift as a focal point. The only contested lifts are the bench press, squat, deadlift, clean and jerk, and snatch. Non-barbell sport athletes don’t compete in these lifts. Yes, it may be tough to swallow for some of you but there is no need for an athlete to squat, deadlift, bench press, or Olympic Lift. Hell, there is no need for an athlete to squat. All weight training is “accessory” for an athlete.
For a sprinter, squats are as “accessory” as hip thrusts as are “accessory” as deadlifts as are “accessory” as leg presses, and the list can go on.
#4 My Life Was 90% Barbells
A friend of mine called me out on something I wrote in Why You Need To Rethink Your Training. I said activity history 90% barbells but that isn’t entirely true because it makes it sound like I did nothing else.
Truth is, I was an avid trickster from 2001-2005, which helped me develop a lot of kinesthetic awareness, mobility, flexiblity, and explosiveness. But 2005-2009 were my collegiate years and my friends and I never tricked much. We were always confined by the winter months (couldn’t trick at all), and in the summer we tricked once a week if we were lucky. In 2009, we found an open gym and started to consistently trick once a week.
But even then, I prioritized barbell work. I would always lift before tricking because I didn’t want to shortcut my strength gains. I would often be stiff and fatigued, and probably could have set myself up for serious injury (yes, that did happen but it was a fluke). Looking back, I could have been so much better if I didn’t obsess over barbells. I missed out on a lot of memories and skills I could otherwise have, which was one of my motivations for writing the post. Get out there and have some fun with your friends. Life’s too fragile to worry about missing a workout or two.
#5 I Miss Tricking
I haven’t tricked since I broke my foot. Partly out of disinterest and partly out of inability, with my foot being sketchy on abrupt lateral movements and push off angles.
I came across one of my favorite tricking videos, AlexD – The Beauty of Tricking, and was entranced once again. Inspiring and motivating. It brings tears to my eyes. Such a masterpiece.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get back into it. I don’t know if I can recover from another injury. But I’ll always respect what I’ve been through, and I don’t regret anything.