Saturday, March 24, 2018

Coping with Sickness and Injury

Since returning to the martial arts in January 2016, I haven't suffered any serious breaks in training -- until this month. I wanted to share what has happened and how I've been coping with it.

During the month of March (thus far, with only one week to go) I've only attended one regular Jiu-Jitsu class and one regular Krav Maga class. I usually attend 3-4 classes of each art per week.

What happened?

The first half of the month, I was managing a back injury. I suffered some strained muscles performing an awkward throw in Jiu-Jitsu with a partner who weighed at least 40 lbs more than me. I felt it the next day and I realized it would be a problem.

The back injury caused me to evaluate how I would spend my time preparing for my Krav Maga Global P5 test. I attended one Krav Maga class 5 days prior to the test, but did no other exercise. The day before the test I had planned to participate in another 3-4 hour Jiu-Jitsu blue belt preparation class. However, I only watched and took notes that day. I also skipped yoga the morning of the KMG test.

My strategy paid off. I was sufficiently healthy to pass the 5 hour P5 event.

I felt pretty good Sunday evening. The next day I felt a little worse, and I decided to not train that night in any art. By Tuesday I was feeling aches and pains in various places, and took Tuesday off. I felt drained all of the week following the test, and I began to wonder if I was fighting off the bug that had affected the rest of my family.

I didn't train the week after the test, except for a final 3 1/2 hours of Jiu-Jitsu blue belt test preparation. I attended because I thought I had turned the corner and was ready to train after five days of rest.

I started this week ready to resume by normal training. Sunday morning I participated in yoga, but felt sore doing standard positions. By Monday I felt like I had been hit by a truck. On Wednesday I experience multiple weird fever-induced dreams, and by Thursday the fever had broken. Yesterday, Friday, I started recovering, and today, Saturday, I know I'm getting better and will not be a risk to others from here on out.

I hope to return to normal training next week, starting again with yoga on Sunday morning.

Looking back, I'm thankful my health cooperated to permit me to successfully test for P5 on March 11th. When you can only test twice a year, it's critical to make those opportunities count.

I recognized that the time I would spend preparing physically was very small compared to the six months I had already practices. Therefore, it was key to be as healthy as possible, so I minimized training and only participated in the critical events -- the P5 test and two blue belt preparation classes.

I'm also glad I minimized exposure to training partners. With close contact activities like Jiu-Jitsu, I do not want to be responsible for getting other people sick.

I'm thankful my family and I are feeling better. I wrestle with a compromised immune system due to my rheumatoid arthritis. I don't take it for granted that I'm getting better. I would ask those of you who train while sick to remember that some of us have problems you can't see, and knowingly exposing us to your sickness is not cool.

I'd also like to thank my family for helping me this month. My wife and I were lucky to not be equally as sick at the same time. We were able to hand off taking care of the kids and taking them to school or the doctor as necessary. Thanks Mrs B!

If you made it this far, you may be wondering about the knee taping picture. I can thank the Stretching Consultant for helping me with that. It's a chronic issue but the taping helps when I need it most!

Update: Oddly enough, within a few weeks of this post I dropped a table on my left foot and ruined two of my toes! That and work travel has kept me off the mats for over a week now. I plan to return by the second week in May however.

How do you cope with injury and illness? Let me know here or on Twitter!

Stay informed of new blog posts by following me on Twitter @rejoiningthetao.

No comments:

Post a Comment