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From the Intrepid Vault: Hurt…or Injured?

By Sean | In Health & Lifestyle, Philosophy | on August 22, 2012

When you hear the words hurt and injured, do they mean the same thing to you? There’s a significant difference between the two — especially in the world of weight training. There are few things more frustrating than being unable to pursue your goals. Unfortunately, some of you in our gym have come across that due to physical setbacks such as broken clavicles or back surgery.

In his book Never Let Go, Dan John talks about this situation:

Passion is a word that doesn’t mean what you think it means. It means “to suffer.” Now, that may not be how we use it today, but that’s what the root of the word means, at least in the dictionary. Let’s define it this way: Passion, to suffer for love.

I think that greatness comes to those willing to go past the sweat. I hear it all the time, “Look, see, I’m working hard. I’m sweating.” Yeah, well, you’ll sweat in a sauna, too. It doesn’t mean nothin’.

You have to go past the hurt, too. The hardest thing to teach young men in football is the difference between being hurt and being injured. Injured means out; you’re done for today, this week, this season. Hurt means that you’ve just moved beyond the pain. Winners learn to live with hurt. In life, you’re going to be hurt a lot. Bosses don’t always care about your inner child when you blow a sale or ram an oil tanker into a dock.

Passion is learning to push beyond all of this in the pursuit of your dreams and goals. Your goals are going to cost you in every nuance of the word: physically, emotionally, financially and any other “-ally” you can find.

The same topic has also been covered by former NFL player and the man behind CrossFit Football, John Welbourn, over on his blog:

Are you hurt or are you injured?

If you are injured you need to go the doctor, get an MRI or x-ray and take some time to lets things calm down. The doc will give you a script for some NSAIDs  or pain killers, tell you to stay away from lifting weights or any training that might aggravate it. The doctor’s job is to manage pain not fix your injury. In layman’s terms, you cannot train or compete.

If you are hurt then you need to assess what is hurting, see if you need to make changes and keep moving forward. If you lift weights long enough you are not going to feel good. Actually, the more you lift the worse you will feel as your body will be beat up. This is a normal part of training. If someone tells you that they have been training for 10 years and has never had an ache, a pain or strain then their “training” consists of sitting on the elliptical machine exercising.

Know the difference between training and exercise.

Exercise is about getting sweaty.

Training is about closing in on a goal.

Both of these guys hit on the same points, emphasizing that there is a clear difference between being injured and just hurt (or sore). You can’t let the occasional “hurt” get in the way of you reaching your goals. Speaking from personal experience, I often have one or more areas that don’t feel 100% at any given time. It’s one of those wonderful things about getting older. Just know that in the course of your training life, you are bound to have bumps and scrapes along the way.

“Accumulating injuries are the price we pay for the thrill of not having sat around on our asses.” – Mark Rippetoe

WOD 8.22.12

Deadlift 1×5/Wendler

4 Rounds:
10 Strict Chinups
15 Russian KBS
240m Run
Rest 1 minute between Rounds

One Comment to "From the Intrepid Vault: Hurt…or Injured?"

  • becky says:

    August 24, 2012 at 9:59 AM -

    i missed this gem of a post when you first posted! i just read and honestly, needed to hear all of this! thanks Sean. such a great, great post!

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