Saturday, August 26, 2006

Healing....and feeling better!!!

Well, I'm finally off the narcotics and have swtiched to 2400mg of Ibuprofin (that stuff works - big time.) The cortisone shot the Doc gave me kicked in and I am feeling so much better. Now it's time to let the healting begin and to take a more "conservative" approach to training. As much I love lifting heavy loads on the deadlifts, playing around with the bulldog and Beast, it's time for me to put things in persepctive! I cannot affort to takes weeks off for healing. The reaility of the situation is that I am not a professional athlete and I have nothing to prove. Trying to stroke my ego by being a big shot is a potentially lethal mistake. Here are some of the things I have learned about myself and life during the past two weeks:

1) Find the Sweet spot in training. In other words find the optimal loading Zone of tissues. Tissue breakdown occurs as a result of either insufficient or excessive load. In my case it is from excessive load. Seeing 8 to 10 clients a day, doing bodywork on alot of them, stretching them, running sprints with them at the track. I was doing way TOO MUCH. That is my probelm, I do too much and my body eventually gives up. As much fun as pusing your body is, there is always a pay off. You must and will always "pay the piper" for everything you do. Do too litlle in training, and you waste your time. Do too much and you risk injury and total burnout.

2) Listen to your body. The older you get and more training experience you have, the stress of repetitive movements accumulates and they do take their toll. Become a master at listening to subtle signals your body gives you. If something feels off and your body is telling you not to push it, don't push it. This is where Ihave failed. My bonehead attitude of pushing through pain has only left me injured, frustrated and on my back with an ice pack. I think I finally learned that this type of attitude has done nothing for my long term orthopedic health and mental state.

3) Think Long Term. How do you want your joints and spine to be in 10 years? 20 years? 40 years? Ken Black has turned me on to the concept of finding ways to make lighter weights feels heavy through unconventional means such as grip changes, angle modification and most importantly, creativity. After seeing my MRI I now know have a much deeper appreciation for taking care of my spine. My disc at the L-4 level is pancaked and highly degenerative. In fact I am a great spinal fusion surgery canditate in the future. I do not want to get spinal surgery, therefore I must think long term.

4) Be Humble and appreciate good health! It is amazing how much I appreciate normal body function and health once it is taken away. When you can barely walk and have unbearable pain, your outlook on life changes quickly. All that matters is your health at the moment. Enjoy life and thank your CREATOR every day for the grace and blessings He showers upon you. Life is gift, and having the free will to choose and make good decisions that lead you to a better life is amazing. My injury was my fault and I must take accountability and responsibility for my injury and spine.

Slowly I will start introduce some Phase One exercises (little to no loads at all) and get my training back on track. That's it for now. It is so nice to have less pain and to be able to walk again.


markrif said...

Brother do I know exactly how you feel and I have come to EXACTLY the same conclusions. Do not underestimate the physical toll training, stretching and doing bodywork on clients takes on you. It is huge.

It is truly the simplest, little things that really matter. You are right, you have nothing to prove as a strength athlete but you DO have to go to work everyday and support your family and THAT is where the true challenge lay now.

Life is truly a strength ENDURANCE event and we are into the endurance sement of the race.

As I'm sure you were reminded, just being able to get on and off the floor and turn around in bed without pain is a miracle and worthy of respect.Little motions and loads are really not so little after all.
This will take you to a new place as a trainer and as a human being. You are on the right path young Jedi.

After being on vioxx for four years and then four more of of precription meds I am down to two alleve a day and see the day when I need NO meds coming soon.

heal fast.this is good news.


markrif said...

oh yeah, time to remember all the chek back stuff (length/tension relationshsips)you learned before. it really works.

Geoff Neupert said...


Sorry to hear about your back. I know how you feel, I busted mine on a set of DLs back in '02.

You're right about taking pain-free living for granted. I know I did.

What are you using for your Phase 1 training? Could you post it on your blog for us all to see?

Also, do yourself a favor: check and see if there are any Z-Health certified trainers in your area. Z has been a God-send for getting me out of pain. In April, I had excrutiating bi-lateral knee pain. Now, barely any discomfort, ever. Interesting stuff. I had a client, a master's level fencer, who herniated L4 and was at 100% 6 weeks later using Z + some of my stuff.

Anyway, give me a call or shoot me an e-mail if I can help in any way.

Pete Diaz, RKC said...

I am happy to hear that you are healing and back on the road to recovery. Very introspective post and I got alot out of it. I certainly would love to share the main points with my students, with your permission of course.

Is your phase 1 training from Z-health? I am looking into that myself for introduction into academy training.

Hang in there brother! Rif is a great example for us all how training can continue despite past injuries. You both continue to amaze and inspire me.

Joefitness said...

Franz, a tough lesson to learn but one that will make you truly stronger and help so many other people in the process. I know that through your experience and your willingness to reflect, be honest and share with others that people will benefit, specifically all those who you touch on a daily basis.

I know I will share your story and at the same time reevalute my own training. We all can learn and thank you for taking time to educate. I hate to see anyone especially a good man like yourself have to go through this.

I know you will continue to challenge and push your body and mind in other training ways and I look forward to reading what your future workouts consist of.

Take care, be well and be strong

Franz Snideman said...

Rif, you more than anyone can relate to what I have been going through. thank you for your advice and wisdom. It's the daily chronic loading I have been doing for YEARS that eventually caught up with me. Great learning experience and time for me to re-evaluate my goals, the way I work and the mentality that lead to this point. Thank God for my Paul Chek training, it really is coming in handy.

Geoff, thanks for your encouragement. I am not doing too much mobility work right now as my lumbar spine is weak and unstable. There is a baseline level of stiffness I need to stay functional and pain free. Of course as I heal I will need to mobilize the HYPO-mobile joint above and below L-4.

Thanks Pete! The Phase One exercises aref rom the CHEK program and relate to exercises in a non weight bearing position. Although the Z-health stuff is solid, I will incorporate more of the Paul Chek Spinal Stability work at this time.

Joe, thanks for your insight. Hopefully this will make re-evaluate my training priorities, and more importantly, my life priorities. It's times like these when the "essential" aspects of life become crystal clear.

Ken Black said...

I know we have talked Franz but I am so glad you are feeling better. Nice insights and look forward to catching up with you soon.

Tom Shook, RKC said...

Franz, Glad you're on the road to recovery. Take it slow and steady guys are right, this stuff is for the long haul! One thing though, don't think of this setback as a "failure" think of it as a learning have already made some really good insights into your own training.
I have had numerous injuries over the years and each of them is attributable to stupidity, hard living and not listening to my body. I am smarter and stronger today because of them. You will persevere and reach new heights!!

markrif said...

updates hoss, please. detailing the rehab process is quite informative. it's still real training, just for a different goal. would love to see your program design ,methods and approach to this.


Geoff Neupert said...

September 4, 2006

Franz, what's the latest on your back?

Oh, by the way, regarding Z, I didn't mean mobilize the lumbar region--many other areas to mob to positively affect the low back.

Keep on going man.

Pete Diaz, RKC said...

Hoping all is well Franz! I miss your posts and hearing your updates. Heal fast, brother.