Train smarter, not harder

I’ve been following climber Kelly Cordes’ series “Fighting Forty” on the Cleanest Line, and he posted his final segment yesterday. I’ve enjoyed it so much I had to pimp it here.

I have a few more years before I have to worry about the big four-oh. And unlike Kelly, I haven’t had a series of accidents and injuries this year (knocking on wood right now). But I have a deep appreciation for what he’s going through.

My husband turned 40 in 2010, and thanks to a series of injuries, he is thus far not psyched on 40. The hub is a life-long athlete who ground to a depressing halt in early December. Now, he’s on a much more uplifting and crutches-free road to recovery, but he’s not back to climbing yet. He’s still having a hard time doing what Kelly calls the “soft stuff,” even though he knows it’s the core of his recovery effort. But he’s on it.

Though I don’t have as much wear and tear (yet) on my body as Kelly, I’ve had to adhere to the “train smarter, not harder” wisdom over the past year. Last February, I headed into the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine for help with my arm — when climbing at the gym, my left arm would pump out quickly and get tingly while my right arm would be just fine. I was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which is chronic but manageable…assuming I’m smart about taking care of myself.

I’m not always smart.

Climbing in the gym aggravates the TOS, and with the snow and cold, I’ve been in the gym more. I’ve done some other foolish things lately, like not warming up properly, to further aggravate it. So this week, I’m suffering sore muscles and nerve pain at various points on my left arm.

Just because I’m a knucklehead.

If you’re a knucklehead like me, good luck to you. But even if you’re not, you’re sure to find something of interest in Kelly’s stories. Check them out.

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