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Daily Archives: January 3, 2019

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Riding While Injured… Helpful or Harmful?

I had a fall Tuesday evening, taking the garbage to the curb of all things. We had better than 250 pounds in the can and I stumbled. The weight of the off-kilter wheeled garbage can pulled me down instantly. My skinned knees doubled in size. I have a fair gash in my right middle finger knuckle, and my thumb, pointer and ring fingers are skinned. My glasses were bent, but thankfully not scratched. To round it off, my back was tweaked pretty good, too.

The knees are bruised, but there’s nothing grinding around in there. Still, I was hobbled a little bit Wednesday.

So, I pulled into the driveway after work and contemplated whether or not to ride.  Movement may hurt, but I know darn good and well it will also loosen me up.

I rode on the trainer and it sucked… until I stepped out of the shower. The pain dulled after sitting on the couch for ten minutes, continuing with my movie.  My wife came home with the kids (from swim practice) and some pizza.  We ate dinner together and I went back to the couch to finish Inception.

Awesome movie, by the way.

I drifted off to sleep shortly after 8, went to bed around midnight, and slept till 3 (that’s seven hours for the math challenged)… and woke up feeling 75% better than when I fell asleep.  My legs, especially my knees, showed significant improvement on waking up.  The twinge in my back eased up considerably and I almost feel pretty good again.

All in one night and because of one ride on the trainer – and I thought about quitting five times in the first ten minutes.  I have no doubt, I couldn’t have improved that much in one night had I just taken a day off and “rested” on the couch.

The question, of course, is when one really needs time off from exercise to heal and when one should muscle through it.  I like to err on the side of the latter, though I’m no doctor.  I think there’s a little too much “take two weeks off” and not enough “rub some dirt on it, you’ll be fine.”  But that might just be me.

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