Yes, injuries CAN happen to me (and you!)

by Kim on September 25, 2013

Oh my gosh, guys. This WEATHER.

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I keep forgetting why I want to get a job when one of the primary responsibilities of my current job is to spend half the day strolling around in perfect fall weather, taking pictures of geese.

Oh yeah…because that’ll change.

Very soon, Mason’s going to find that blithely pushing his toys up and down the driveway is suddenly not a regular part of his day. That he can no longer run out onto the deck in his socks and throw Tupperware down the slide whenever the mood strikes.

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In case you can’t tell, I’m really, really dreading this.

Last winter wasn’t so bad—he didn’t really care whether he was rolling around and drooling on grass or carpet—but now he knows too much.

He knows what the outdoor world can offer, and nowhere in his understanding of that world will you find “tediously applying 6 layers of clothing before exiting the house,” “having zero traction on the driveway,” “being unable to exit the house for days at a time due to blizzards,” or any of the other realities of winter.

I might have to actually start pinning some of those “50 rainy day activities for toddlers” lists I always see around the web. I thought those were just for women who are better moms than me, but it turns out they might actually be survival/sanity lists.

In other news, I’m on a big Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred kick again. The workouts feel kinda old school, especially next to the fancy piyo stuff I’ve been doing lately, but I like the intense strength training and feel like I desperately need it right now. Even after that one measly week I was beaten down by that cold and not really working out, I can tell that I’ve lost a lot of arm strength. ONE WEEK! What!

As much as I like JM’s workouts, they have disappointed me in the past. A few weeks ago, literally hours before we left for our family cabin trip, I tweaked my upper back during the level 2 Shred workout. Like REALLY yanked it.

I can’t say exactly what caused the problem, but the pain kicked in while I was doing side plank leg lifts.

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I’m not a huge fan of these anyway, because of how awkward they feel, but now I’m basically terrified to ever do them again. I don’t get a lot of workout-related injuries (read: zero), so this back thing freaked me out.

When it still hurt (not just ached, but hurt) the next morning, I was worried that I’d done something really serious to it. I remember being at the cabin, visualizing my chiropractor’s kind face and desperately willing her to appear next to me…

I was fine by day 3, but it was kind of a wake-up call for me. Yes, injuries can happen TO ME! (Can you believe it??)

Two other lessons learned:

1) Be careful with side plank leg lifts!

I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong, form-wise, but it’s very possible that I was not activating my core enough. It’s also very possible that I just dove out of the move when I was done, rather than slowing lowering my hips and letting my shoulder drop carefully.

2) The upper back is very hard to stretch well.

With most muscles, there’s an easy way to target and stretch that exact muscle, and to breathe into the spot to release tension. Not so easy with the upper back, I discovered.

I Googled “upper back stretches” like crazy and found lots of ideas (like these and these) but not the magical solutions I was hoping for. The only move that gave me anything close to relief was this (of all things):

upper back stretch

Instructions:

  • Sitting or standing, twist your upper body 15 degrees to each side.
  • From an upright position, hunch your upper back forward. Alternately, from the floor, in a crunch position, hunch your back forward.
  • From an upright position, do side bends and focus bending your spine from your shoulders to your hips. Do not overdo this movement.

Well, that’s it for me! I’m waiting for Mase to get up from his nap so we can do a Trader Joe’s run (we’re out of sweet apple chicken sausage, which is basically an emergency). Then, tonight is girl’s night! Looking forward to some gossip and a nice, big glass of red!

Have you ever injured your back during a workout? What did you do?

Have you ever taken a short break from working out and REALLY noticed the difference when you came back?

Fellow moms: favorite indoor toddler activity??

Wine preference: red or white? (Or beer/other?)

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Alex @ Alex Runs For Food September 26, 2013 at 10:06 am

I am currently on a workout break because of my recent blood clots. I definitely feel like I’m loosing lots of muscle. I also feel so sluggish from the lack of workout. I’m taking a spin class Saturday morning.
I like both types of wine but white is my favorite. I like my drinks cold!!
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Anne September 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm

I’m careful with my exercise and stretching though, sometimes, I feel like I’m overdoing it but never really had a serious injury. I guess the key here is listen to your body.
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Giselle@myhealthyhappyhome September 25, 2013 at 10:35 pm

Ugh, so not looking forward to indoor season! Cutting play dough is a favorite indoor activity lately. That or reading forts, freeze dancing, and water color painting. I’m going to need to start getting more creative again soon!

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Shannon September 25, 2013 at 8:15 pm

I wont leave TJ’s without Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage. Love that stuff! Jillian Michaels vidoes are awesome at squeezing in a quck workout, but I do agree it would be so easy to get hurt with them!

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Kim September 25, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Glad I’m not the only one obsessed with that chicken sausage!! I actually have to restrain myself to not eat entire packages at a time. When we get down to the last piece, it takes all my willpower to give it to my son. :) haha

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char eats greens September 25, 2013 at 7:14 pm

If you pin, I’m copying you. I totally already KNOW Nia gets bored of me hanging with her all, so enter winter and we’re really going to be having a ball!
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Kim September 25, 2013 at 9:45 pm

For real. Mason probably wakes up every morning like “oh, HER again.” I’ll let you know if I find any gems on pinterest to get us through this!! :)

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Jade September 25, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I think our kids are the same age. I really am dreading winter too. Sure he can still go outside for short bursts, but man our house just isn’t big enough to contain him for that many hours in a day and especially when it drops even colder on days you really shouldn’t go outside. boo living in the north.

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Kim September 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Exactly!! I’m suddenly really regretting the layout of our house. I wish we had an open concept, but we have more of the “lots of smaller rooms” situation going on. I’m scared!

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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy September 25, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I’ve hurt myself multiple times doing Jillian’s 30 Day Shred! Usually my neck or my back. I’m convinced that her sequences aren’t the safest. Or maybe I’m just a baby :).
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Kim September 25, 2013 at 9:50 pm

Nope, I think you’re totally right! She makes such a point to remind us to be careful throughout the video, but I swear it’s the exercises themselves that are the problem, even if you do them with perfect form! I really don’t think I was doing anything wrong when I tweaked my back.

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Katie September 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm

I love Jillian! I started with her 30 day shred video and it was a wonderful way to get into working out. But some of her moves could use more modifications. Always do what you can, and don’t risk injury! Its better to go slow and do 5 perfect reps than hurry through 8 reps with awful form.
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Kim September 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Totally agree! And for whatever reason, your comment just triggered my memory: I think it was actually the squat/clean-and-press move she does that caused the original injury, and then the plank lifts just sealed the deal. I remember thinking the trunk-twisting-while-squatting movement didn’t feel right (even though I think my form was technically correct).

I also think they go too fast on several moves–like, to the point where it’s impossible to maintain good form, no matter how fit/flexible you are. I know I should go at my pace, but it’s like, how can ANYone go that fast safely??

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Katie @ running4cupcakes September 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I am IN l-o-v-e with this weather we are having!! Perfection for being outside. :) And I wish I was heading to TJs this afternoon, sounds way better than being at work. ;) And I am assuming that Brent is your hubby and I love that he is helping you out with the comment reply notification!!

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Kim September 25, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Yes, haha, that was him! I think it’s working now–can you confirm??? :)

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Katie @ running4cupcakes September 26, 2013 at 7:56 am

Woo hoo!! It’s working. :)

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Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries September 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm

The weather has been amaaaazing here too. Except for today…gross dust/wind storm. The past several days have made up for it though so I’ll let it slide.
I’m eager to hear where you will be working! Do you have family around that will take care of Mason or will he go to a daycare? Sorry, I’m nosy. ;)
I’m so not a fan of side planks either. Like you said, they just feel awkward and are totally uncomfortable. I guess the discomfort is supposed to be there though, right? Eh, whatever.
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Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries September 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Oh, and I prefer a sweeter white wine, but let’s be real, I’ll drink any and all of it. ;)
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Kim September 25, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Haha I love it. I’m not a white wine girl, but you’re right, I certainly wouldn’t turn my nose up at it in a bind. :)

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Kim September 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm

I actually haven’t gotten a job yet, just looking and daydreaming! :) We unfortunately don’t have any family around, so Mason would go to daycare, but I’m really warming up to the idea because I think it’ll be good for him socially. It helps me to think of it like I’m sending him to school, just a little early. :)

I don’t mind feeling discomfort as in this-is-really-hard discomfort, but not so much the awkward this-doesn’t-feel-right discomfort. I feel like my body’s trying to tell me something…such as, hey, you’re about to get hurt, might want to pass on this weird move! :)

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