Thursday, February 25, 2016

Age + Injury = Caution

I enjoyed great workouts at Krav Maga Tuesday and Wednesday nights. When I work up this morning, I planned to get a third workout in Thursday evening.

As soon as got out of bed, however, I felt pain in my upper left leg, on the back side in the hamstring area. I thought I might be able to walk it off, but it didn't disappear.

I noticed it was particularly troublesome when walking up the stairs. Immediately I began thinking about how to handle class that night.

Bottom line up front: I stayed home. Why?

I've been injured when participating in sports before. In my teens and 20s, it seemed like I could self-repair in hours, or just "gut it out" with no real ill effects. I would have gone to class and survived.

In my 30s, when I tried that approach I found I made the injury worse, and in most cases my decision prolonged my recovery time. I would probably have gone to class, but hurt myself worse.

In my 40s, I'd like to think that I'm smarter now. I've only been practicing Krav Maga for 8 weeks. I've surprised myself with the amount of kicking and ground work that I've been able to tolerate. On occasion my lower back has acted up, due to rotation when kicking. However, today was the first day when I felt like I was physically impaired. I had to make a decision.

The worst scenario for me would be to not let my leg heal, and then find myself not being able to train for days, or weeks. At this point in my training I go to class at least two times a week, and try to add a weekend session. If the monthly Friday Fight Night is available, I definitely want to participate! Regular training time is important for personal development, both mental and physical.

In brief, I need to make decisions that maximize the chances that I will be able to train like I want to train, as often as possible on a regular schedule.

I decided that taking Thursday night off, after having good workouts Tuesday and Wednesday, was the best course of action. If Thursday night happened to be a progress test, I would have gone to the test, however. I could rest on the other side, knowing that I would not want to miss an opportunity for which I had training for weeks and months. Thankfully, that was not the case tonight.

How do you make decisions on whether to press forward when hurt, or take it easy?


  1. For me, it all comes down to "listening to my body." It takes practice, like everything else.

    As far as injuries from kicking: pay careful attention to the pivot on the base leg. Once I ingrained the habit, my back and knee pain completely stopped.

    1. Hi MWL, great advice. I think you described my issue with the back pain. I will watch out for that!

  2. This is such a tough thing as we age, especially if one does multiple sports. I ended up leaving Brazilian jiujitsu after many years of it and other styles because the low-level nagging injuries were interfering too much with my running, which I had come to enjoy more.

  3. I understand what you mean Jay. Thanks for your comment.