Find The Culprit

I got the following response from a client after my email about time travel (Coach Hannah, here):

“I realized while watching your video that the process of keeping an eye on all of those things is not about regret (usually) but about monitoring, remembering what caused me problems in the past in order to hopefully avoid them in the future.”

Have you felt like this? I sure have.

When we get hurt, we want to know: what did I do yesterday that made me feel pain today?

We want to find The Culprit.

Was it the kettle bell swings?

Was it the extra 3 books in my backpack?

Was it the weird way I got out of the car?

We don’t want to feel the pain we are feeling now EVER AGAIN (and believe me, y’all, this has been REAL for me with this most recent injury) so we think, “If I can just isolate what I did that made me hurt and NEVER DO THAT AGAIN, I’ll be safe.”

Right? Seems logical.

Some practitioners also buy into this philosophy. I’ve heard from many clients that their doctor/physical therapist/chiropractor/previous trainer, etc told them that the solution to their pain is to avoid certain positions, movements, or activities FOREVER.

Let me take a clear stand on this issue: Any practitioner that tells you the solution to your pain is to avoid certain positions, movements, or activities FOREVER is setting you up to fail.

First of all, it’s impossible to monitor yourself 24/7. If you’ve ever woken up with a stiff neck or a weird pain from sleeping in a funny position, you’ve proven my point.

There are always going to be blindspots in our ability to surveil our actions. We just can’t monitor ourselves that closely.

In my case, this injury came from a fall. I lost my balance in a weird partner movement game and went down, landing on my hip on a hardwood floor. I was so in it, and the adrenaline was so high, I didn’t even register that incident as an injury that day. Life is a dynamic sport! Shit is going to happen outside our control.

Secondly, our pre-frontal cortex (conscious mind) really is not designed to police the actions of our body. Our nervous system and physical body (muscles/tendons/joints) are wayyyyyy smarter at the task of physical self-preservation than our thinky-brain ever could be.

We just need to feed the ol’ nervous system the right inputs and make sure we are training our meat suits to be more resilient to external forces than it was pre-injury.

You see, in the simplest terms, an injury happens when the load (stress) applied to a tissue exceeds the load-bearing capacity of that tissue.

This is good news.

With appropriate training, we can slowly & incrementally load our tissues such that they become more resilient to the kinds of stress and insult that life delivers.

This is our ticket to never being hurt by that same position, action, or movement that caused our injury.

So you can go on a witch hunt for the movement or action you took YESTERDAY that caused your pain. But the reality is, the tissue that failed was most likely working above its capacity for some time-- days/months/years--it just finally gave out.

Capacity is gained and lost over time. Not in one action, not in one day.

Rather than trying to find “The Culprit,” you’ll be better served by systematically upgrading your weakest links so that you are resilient to whatever life throws at you.

It won’t happen in one training session, or from reading this email. But it is possible, and we are here to help.

Go find your gold,

Hannah