We all do many things, it can be a difficult thing to manage sometimes. It’s important to know that in some of the things we do, we are setting gears into motion which we do not fully understand.
We do something looking for a certain result and oftentimes it may come at the cost of something unexpected.
This is how I see it after having injured myself. In search of strength and validation, I was left in pain and confusion. I invite you to consider some of the details I overlooked..
A story like this is not uncommon, for many in the fitness culture, this becomes a part of their life. I’ll tell you the story and we can all learn from it together.
Everyone needs an identity, and growing up we might seek this out in many different ways. For me, it was training my body. The goal was to build a physique and abilities which would help boost my confidence and value to the team.
When we get good results from something we tend to stick with it, and so I did, diving deeper into an ocean of different ideas regarding training; breathing, movement, nutrition etc.
What I did not realize is that my training could have done so much more for me than just building muscle, that while I was more confident and stronger in a certain sense, I was also more fragile and misguided in other ways.
Someone who trains for validation from others is fragile, reinforcing a pattern of poor thinking.
Even with all the so-called diversity in my training protocols I was missing very important movement ingredients, relative to the recipe for the most complex movement patterns humans have evolved for, Gait.
The result of this was an altered balance within the tissues of my body, I became dominant in movement patterns which would create compression and rigidness down the line.
Traditional barbell lifts were my Gold Standard; Deadlifts, Squats, Cleans, Overhead Presses and Bench Presses.
My body fortified these patterns and although I also ran and did Calisthenic Exercises, the dominant movement patterns became those I practiced in the weight room. This is not surprising since the intensity of moving heavy weights demands changes in structure.
Entering into Martial Arts with Muay Thai and Brazilian Jui Jitsu I was surprised to find how unprepared I was for a deeper level of movement competence.
I felt sluggish and uncoordinated. Honestly, the size and strength from the weight room didn’t help me much in this context.
This means the feelings I was looking to escape through my training would come back and I would have to train even harder to outrun them..
So hard that I injured the SI Joint on my left side and was bed bound for a few weeks.
It wasn’t over once the pain subsided either.. I could feel that the balance in my body was off. I could still move and even do things which might be impressive for some, but I could feel something was off.
I got better with Physical Therapy and when that had reached its limit I began practicing Tai Chi. Both these things helped me to feel the balance returning but still, I could feel something was off..
It took years before I found Functional Patterns, Anatomy Trains and the ideas of the interconnectedness of the body as a Tensegrity structure.
These things painted a clear picture for me of exactly how the injury I experienced started. The way I was training actually sowed the seeds.
For the first time, instead of being some sort of accident, I could actually see clearly how the road to injury was paved by my own hands.
Once I could see this, I was relieved to know that there was a way I could Regenerate my body.
The idea of training muscles in Isolation and out of context had never occurred to me before this point.
There are a huge variety of movements that humans are capable of but there is only one thing that is non-negotiable and that is the gait cycle.
The moment a human being can no longer walk, they become dependent. When we consider our evolution, walking was always the number one movement to gather food, resources, and defend ourselves.
The pattern of contralateral reciprocation and rotation found in gait is the very core of our human movement patterns. To walk upright in this way is defines us as humans. Our structure itself can be seen to be organized around this movement pattern.
When we stress ourselves through training, we will experience much more desirable adaptations when our training fits the context of gait.
If we train in a way that does not involve these core contexts, then we are building connections in the body which will not support our most basic function.
The relationship between structure and function goes deep. Structure affects more than just the way we move, it is also the environment for every cell and process in the body.
Healthy structure, healthy cells.