Uf-da versus Uh-oh

Part of the support we can provide for each other as we proceed on our fitness journey is to talk about some of the bumps along the way.

Today was the first time in four weeks that my shoulder was able to tolerate a modified push-up!  I want to do cart-wheels, but I’ll hold off on those until my shoulder is stronger.

Last summer I had been doing a VERY intense DVD workout, took some time off, and when I re-started it, I injured my left shoulder.  I’ve had a history of dodgy shoulders since I swam competitively in grade school and junior high.  Shoulder injuries are well-covered territory.  I took months off to let it heal after last summer’s injury, and finally re-started exercising mid-February.  I figured I’d play it safe and do a less intense DVD workout program.  I was doing fine for a couple of weeks, and managed to tweak my left shoulder again.  How did I know I tweaked it?  I failed the, “Ouch Test”.  When I moved my left arm around through its range of motion, a few positions produced sharp pains in my shoulder.  That’s when I knew I had injured it.  I modified my workouts to keep going, while at the same time only running my shoulder through its range of motion, building up the strength of the muscles around it, and then gradually started challenging it again.

What I have learned through this injury and modification process is that there is a difference between the soreness you get from asking your body to do more than it’s accustomed to, versus over-doing it and injuring yourself.  I was describing this to my accupuncturist that my shoulder felt like, “Ooof!  That’s a little heavier than normal, but I can handle it,” instead of, “Ouch!  That did it!”

Have you learned to listen to your body?  What signals do you get when you’ve gone too far?  How are you staying true to your goals, while working with your body’s ability to adapt?

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