Another {small} Setback

If it is not one thing it is another, right?  Here is the story:

Two weeks ago I changed personal trainers because Ebony left Fitworks.  Denise and I worked out on October 26th for the first time.  The workout was great (intense, interesting, new, etc.).  It consisted of various exercises I had never done before.  Two of which were full sit-ups and V-crunches.

Full sit-ups: Lying flat on your back, legs apart (more than shoulder width).  Hold a 15-pound medicine ball above your head (arms completely straight).  Sit up completely and bring the ball to your left foot.  Raise the ball back over your head and lie back again.  Sit up completely and bring the ball to your right foot.  Repeat (over and over and over and over again) alternating feet each time you sit up.

V-crunches: Only your tushie butt and hands should be touching the floor.  Your hands are only for stability.  Here’s a picture of what it (kinda) looked like when I did them…only I was *not* on a ball.  You alternate (fairly quickly) straightening and bending your legs while leaning your upper body back when you straighten your legs.  (I certainly hope I am making some sort of sense here – LOL)

V Crunches

Alright, so I did these two core workouts for approximately eight minutes (in 1-minute increments with short breaks in between).  Maybe that does not seem like a lot, but these were seriously intense.  The odd thing was my legs were burning (from the V crunches) but my abs felt fine.

The next day; however, my abs were *killing* me…and I do mean *killing*.  I could not lie flat on my back without pain in my lower abs.  I could not sit up without rolling out to the side and using my arm(s) to push me up because my lower abs felt like they would just give out.  The only thing I can even begin to compare it to was having my two cesarean sections.  It was awful.  What I did not realize at the time was I really hurt myself.

I ignored the pain and continued working out on my regular schedule.  Last night I went to Fitworks (two weeks later, mind you) to meet Denise.  When I tried to do sit-ups guess what?  I could not do them.  Not “I didn’t want to” or “I am afraid.”  I *literally* could. not. do. them.  I could do a regular crunch, but not a full and complete sit-up.  So, Denise starting asking questions because she knew I could do them two weeks ago.  Once I explained what I felt like for a week (actually more) after our original workout this is what she said:

I tore my muscle.

How awful.  Really awful.  I wanted to do those sit-ups and I wanted to workout hardcore.  After all, I want to be to 250 (or less) my Christmas.  I want to be to 225 (or less) by my birthday in February.  I have goals to meet and accomplishments to celebrate.  I do not have time to be injured and “taking it easy” on myself.  Right?

Apparently, she had another plan for me.  We switched from sit-ups and crunches to planks.  She said that I can still work the ab muscles, but in different ways that do not hurt them while they are healing (which evidently can take up to six whole stupid weeks, by the way).  She had to start me on the highest platform/table they have available at Fitworks (which really bummed me out that I was starting at the bottom – boo!) because I tried the lowest and could not do it without pain in my lower abs.  I started raised up on my hands and then lowered to my elbows.  Back up to the hands (straight arms) and back down to the elbows.  We did 45-second intervals with breaks (that seemed unnecessarily long to me) in between.  Here is (kinda) what it looks like, only I was on a platform not directly on the floor:


I cried at the gym last night.  Not because I was in pain, but because I am mad (really, pissed) at myself for not being able to do the sit-ups and the lower planks.  I feel like I am failing myself…like I am failing in general.  Then, of course, I was mad at myself for crying in public at the gym (tee hee).

This is when I got my first lecture from Denise.  “Erica, you’re working so hard.  You kicked butt tonight.  Yes, you cannot do this…temporarily…but you will do it in the future.  You *have* to allow your body to guide you on this journey.  When your body hurts you have to listen to it and take it easy.  That does not make you a failure.  That does not mean you cannot work out in other ways.  It does mean you should not continue do the moves that hurt you in the first place.”  That is not verbatim, but you get the idea.

The only problem is…I do not do “can’t.”  I do not handle “can’t” well – at all.  It eats at me.  It bothers me.  It keeps me up at night.  It gives me bad dreams.  It haunts me.  “Can’t” is not usually in my vocabulary.  Does that make me obsessive and a little bizarre?  Sure.  But I am okay with that (it is “can’t” I am not okay with).

Have you ever injured yourself working out?  How did you handle it?  Did it bother you not to be able to continue your “regularly scheduled programming?”  How long did it take for you to heal?


6 responses to “Another {small} Setback

  1. Hang in there!

    I’m suffering from a foot injury now that has prevented me twice from running the marathon I was training for – talk about disappointment! I’m also hard on myself and don’t like slowing down, so I just switched things up. I can’t run as much at the moment, so I’ve tackled swimming and biking (and completed my first Tri this summer!). I would use a fresh focus a new body part, or find a weaker area you can push yourself with – I wasn’t so hot at swimming laps, but now I’m confident and have fun with it (planks are awesome, by the way)!

    Congrats on your progress, from another Ohio girl 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouraging words! My trainer said something similar to this as well…just take this time to focus on some other things/areas, and we’ll get back to crunches and sit-ups as soon as you’re physically able. Logically speaking, I know that is what is best…but my crazy, neurotic mind just won’t quit with the self-bashing for “can’t.” That is something I definitely need to work on as well. 🙂


  2. I hear you, I haven’t done shoulder press for about 6 weeks because the muscle at the base of my neck/shoulder would hurt, and that’s always been a problem machine for me in the first place, so it irritates me. But as your trainer said, you do have to listen to prevent making things worse. get better!

    • I suppose that is part of the problem for me…I want my stomach to be flatter (who doesn’t, right?), so not doing the sit-ups and crunches bothers me. Also – my trainer is doing another “fit eval” this coming Wednesday to track my progress (inches, weight on the machines, and flexibility). I wanted to push myself extra hard so that I get those excellent results I’m hoping for. So, we will see. How is your shoulder doing, by the way? Are you on the upward mend of that?


  3. Yep! I’ve had stress fractures in the past in both of my feet and so I was laid up on the couch for a good week while they healed. If I had listened to my body better and stopped while they were just beginning to hurt, I would’ve only been out for maybe 2 days instead of 7. Pain is your body telling you to ease up.
    Whenever I’m out because of an injury, I start this awful spiral of blaming myself and live in fear that these few days off will suddenly put all 73 pounds back on my body. I also fall into a bad mindset that since I can’t exercise, I might as well just eat whatever I want, too. You just have to take a deep breath and continue on your journey when you’re 100%. Use this time as time to set some new goals for yourself.

    • I am thankful that I am not completely down for the count. I am still able to go to the gym and workout…just no crunches or sit-ups (and, obviously, no ab twister machine thingy). Actually, the planks seem to be helping because my abs hurt less now than they did before. Hopefully that means sometime this week I’ll be back to “normal” again. 🙂


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