I met my coach, Tasha, at the gym, and, after our warm up, we began doing dead lifts with a rouge trap bar. We added 55 pounds on each side, so the load was heavy. As we began lifting, Tasha noticed that her coach was doing some consulting with the other trainers at the gym (all coaches should have their own coach, so they can grow in their field). She waved him down, and he oversaw our workout for that morning.
I began my dead lift, and Jeff discussed with me how to better my form. Also, he noticed that I kept rolling on the side of my left foot and that my body tilted a little as I lifted. He asked me point blank, “Where is your injury?”
“I don’t have an injury in the lower half of my body,” I explained. “I had a previous injury in my traps and back, but I adjusted my form and the problem has been corrected.”
“No, you have an injury, and if you don’t address it now, it will become a serious problem in the future,” he answered matter-of-factly.
I didn’t know what to say. I honestly didn’t think I had any injury. I stared at him blankly, and he asked me to hold on. He left to could go grab something. When he came back, he was holding a thick work out band with hand grips on either side.
He told me to lie on the floor with my back on the ground. Then he told me to pick up my left leg. He wrapped the center of the band around my left foot and handed me the hand grips–one in each hand. I held the hand grips tightly so there was no slack in the band that circled around my foot. Then he told me to push against the resistance of the band and press my lifted left leg toward the floor.
Instantly, I felt a shooting pain in my left gluteus (glute or buttocks). And a memory popped into my mind. About a week ago, I had been working out with Tasha, and I did some random movement that sent a pain into my left glute. The pain went away almost instantly, so I didn’t mention it to her. However, I noticed that as I continued to work out that day, my range of motion was limited in that left leg. And some movements would cause that shooting pain in my glute to return. Without knowing it, my body began to compensate for a seemingly small injury.
Every work out after, I was compensating because that injured area was tight. I had even mentioned to Tasha that my right leg seemed to be more sore than my left after my work outs. Little did I know that my right leg was taking on more strain in order to protect my minor injury and to compensate for the tightness.
When I realized what had been happening to my body, Jeff said something so relevant. I will paraphrase his words: “You can ignore the small injury now, but it will only get worse as you continue. Not only will this cause a bigger injury down the road that may take you out of your competition altogether, your body will began to develop unevenly. If you take time correct the problem now, your body will effectively and rapidly build more muscle.”
His words apply not only to the health of our bodies, but they apply to the health of our marriages, families, careers and our emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. When we see a problem in any area of our lives, we must take a moment to understand what is happening, so we can correct the problem. We can examine the injured area and make the adjustments necessary to prevent a bigger problem from occurring–even if it means taking time to stop everything and rest the affected area.
If we ignore the symptoms because of apathy, busyness or compensation (focusing solely on the strong areas and ignoring the weak), our lives will be out of balance and an injury may occur that will completely crash-land our directory. God will alway gives us red flags of warning, but if we disregard His promptings, we will end up seriously injured and out of the game. Obviously, God can build us back up again, but we will need some major help to overcome the devastation that a seemingly small injury created.
So instead of ignoring the problem, focusing on something else or diluting the pain, we can examine the problem and ask God for understanding. Once we realize what is going on, we will be better able to face the problem and take time to correct the issue, which may mean seeking outside help. I’m so thankful that Tasha’s coach intervened when he did. I can’t imagine what would have happened if I would have continued to lift weights with an unresolved injury, creating imbalance in my body and leaving me vulnerable to a greater issue. It is better to deal with the small issue now, rather than face bigger consequences later.
“Making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2.2-5 ESV).