- First, I will gift you with the ultimate mindset for injuries.
- Then, I will give you tons of practical advice for injuries.
Setbacks come in many forms
1. Psychological trauma can set you back as much as any physical trauma.
- Three month relationship breakup =is equivalent to= Minor knee aggravation.
- Your lifetime soulmate dies in a car wreck =is equivalent to= Major spine injury.
3. You cannot convince me that break ups and deaths of loved ones, or even just bad relationships that you've been in for too long, will not negatively affect your training as much as tearing a ligament or something in the long run. Keep this logic in the forefront of your mind, always, so that you can properly recognize the millions of smaller distractions outside the realm of acute physical pain for what they are: they are THINGS THAT CAN FUCK YOU UP.
4. Stubbed toe, sprained ankle, popped rib because you wore your lifting belt too tight, food poisoning, kidney stones, digestive disturbance from cheap whey protein, burning butthole from last night's hot pepper festival, insomnia, a hang nail, constipation from safe toilet syndrome, the first 10 minutes of the movie Up by Disney-Pixar, a barbell ambush, your boss chews you out Monday morning for playing a prank on a coworker (I didn't know it was fucking ethidium bromide you bitch, you could have at least labeled the cookie jar you put it in before it inspired me!)... ummm... pain underneath the knee cap that comes and goes, crashed a double on your neck, Activision Blizzard Inc. Do you know what they all have in common? They cry out for your attention, they are crying out: FUCK TRAINING, PAY ATTENTION TO ME.
5. The entire world is conspiring to fuck with your training. Every day that you wake up you are going to experience discomfort and itch. This quote: Pain is temporary, Pride is forever. This quote is wrong.
6. I used to see "Pain is temporary, Pride is forever" on a lot of highschool wrestling team t-shirts. You were not a badass if you wore these shirts in highschool. You definitely are not a badass if you wear these shirts after highschool.
7. This quote is completely fucking wrong. Pain isn't temporary, pain is forever. Pain is everything and it's forever. Pain is everyday and pain is real. Pain is your destiny.
8. Anyone who wears any variation of a "Pain is temporary" t-shirt is a goldfish.
9. Try telling "Pain is temporary, Pride is forever" to someone who is paraplegic now from a failed Parkour base jump. See how proud they are for caving into peer pressure to make a jump they felt leery about. See how their pain was indeed temporary as it gave way to paralyzation.
10. On a milder note: just ask anybody over 50 years old if pain is only temporary. They'll laugh in your face. Then they'll pop a couple NSAID painkillers right before they jump out the door to go do physical work while you sit in your bedroom browsing Instagram for more retarded platitudes for "motivation". All that stupid shit your parents and their friends did in their youth? Yep. Getting old blows, they're in pain everyday, but they're over it, they own it, their pain is their destiny. A couple more painkillers washed down the hatch by a cup of coffee and they're on the go again.
11. So what do we do about pain, discomfort, inconvenience, ill feelings, interruptions and injury? Whether it be emotional, physical, or spiritual? What do we do about setback and injury? If we must live with it now, we must contend with it too, right? Well, there is one panacea for all setbacks, of all kinds and of all magnitudes you could encounter in life. There is only one thing that works. Ready for it?
What to do when you get setback
12. GET A G G R E S S I V E
13. Aggression is the meaning of the universe. Without aggression, there is no meaning, no universe. Nothing. Aggression is everything. If someone says there is no meaning or rules or universe, they’re wrong. There is a universe, and its meaning is ruled by aggression. The universe is aggression. Why else would the universe continue to expand indefinitely? It does this because it’s aggressive, and not because of raisin bread like Einstein theorized. He was wrong.
14. What can we do to kick start aggression? Slam a jug of water, take stimulants, use ammonia inhalants prodigiously, jump in cold water, listen to loud & heavy music, and then run outside.
15. Moving kick starts aggression. Anything that tricks you into moving helps you get aggressive.
16. Also recognize this: aggressiveness and anger are not interchangeable here. The important thing is to stop thinking and feeling. With anger there is still thinking and feeling. If you’re angry, that’s a response. It's a response to something behind you. Of course anger is an awesome response, and can be very useful, but anger is never useful without aggression. While aggression is always useful independent of responses like anger. In fact, the only reason anger was ever considered useful is because it came with aggression. And the only reason aggression was ever considered a negative thing was that it sometimes came with anger, impatience or intolerance. Aggressiveness is not emotional, it is not cognitive, it is not a response nor is it a negative event, rather, it is the meaning of the universe.
17. The essence of aggression is movement. It is your prerogative to become aggressive and become pure movement when you face setback.
18. So what should you do when you get setback physically, emotionally, spiritually? Stop looking behind you. Become aggressive. How? Slam a jug of water, take stimulants, use ammonia inhalants prodigiously, jump in cold water, listen to loud & heavy music, and run outside! Look, I'm serious. Here, I made a picture about it:
19. And aggressiveness is actually a learned skill. It’s not dependent on drugs, high hormone levels, or anything actually. Those could help, you know, kick start an aggressive response, but they aren't essential. Once you get moving, and get momentum, aggressiveness is yours.
20. Aggressiveness is learned just like, say, tricking is learned. To trick your best, you have rituals and "triggers" to get yourself into a state of tricking. And you practice tricking for years to get good at it. Aggressiveness is the same. To be very aggressive, you should cultivate rituals and develop "triggers" to get yourself into a state of aggression. And you practice aggressing for years to get good at it.
21. How do you learn to be aggressive? Practice. Look, the important take home message is that you see aggressiveness for what it is: it’s a skill. You can teach yourself the skill of aggression by emulating those with the aggressive, detached, robotic, hyper-focused behaviors. Emulate them and you will see more of these qualities in yourself; you will have these qualities available at your disposal when you could benefit from them.
22. Again: how do you learn to be aggressive? Again: monkey-see monkey-do. Practice. Just like tricking is a monkey-see, monkey-do self-teaching thing, aggressiveness is the same. Practice it day in day out for years, you will get good at it too. And as you keep practicing you will keep getting better at it. Now slam half a liter of water, take stimulants, use ammonia inhalants prodigiously, jump in cold water, listen to loud & heavy music, and run outside.
23. I’ve not lost my mind, and I’m not exaggerating. Although I am repetitive, that is true. Anyway, arguing semantics, metaphysics, or philosophy at any point here is a waste because they are not going to help you comeback from setback of any kind. You know exactly what I’m talking about when I speak of aggressiveness. Soft speak or mental gymnastics makes things complicated; they make things so complicated that you stop moving, which is the opposite of aggression. Remember, aggression is movement, not complicated. So it's simple. Aggression has to be simple. Why? Because some dude named Vince Lombardi said so:
“It’s hard to be aggressive when you’re confused.”
Quote context: Vince was an American NFL Football Coach who lead his team to several Super Bowl victories. He made this comment in response to someone asking him why he always kept his football plays and strategies so simple.
24. The last thing you want to do when you get setback is confuse yourself with existential gobbledygook and go on long walks listening to slow, thoughtful music like Opeth's Damnation album. No slow music. No doom metal. Don’t be digging around in your German philosophy books for hard maxims and consolations. Put your books down. Turn your power ballads off. Put your battle gear on. Metal heads: tune into some violent and fast thrash metal like Kreator, or happy and fast power metal like Heavenly, and get aggressive with your recovery!
Getting aggressive with recovery
25. Have you ever heard of the 5 stages of grief and loss?
Stage 1 - Denial - "That loud pop in my back was okay. Really. Sure."
Stage 2 - Anger - "FUCKING FUCK SLIP DISC FUCKING FUCK."
Stage 3 - Bargaining - "I’ll never backflip off a building again."
Stage 4 - Depression - "I can’t practice my moves. This sucks."
Stage 5 - Acceptance - "What’s done is done. Better luck next time."
26. Acceptance is not enough. So I have improved the theory by adding Stage 6: Aggressiveness.
27. Are you ready to give aggressiveness a try? Good. Get moving. First things first, when you get injured, get help. Immediately. Aggressively seek a diagnosis and a set of actions you can implement immediately to speed up your recovery. Since you’re probably reading this in regards to physical trauma from training: visit a doctor now.
28. Excuse: “I know what happened and I'm googling how to fix it. I don’t need to see a doctor!” no no no! The whole point of going to a doctor is to get a prescription for pain killers so you can continue training without being distracted by your broken finger or toe.
29. Every trickster or lifter worth their salt has a locker in their bedroom stuffed full of leftover pain killers prescribed to them by doctors from past injuries.
30. A doctor can determine how badly you were damaged. The doctor might suggest surgery. Surgery is awesome because it’s aggressive. I recommend immediate surgery for everything except the spine, get some second opinions and explore alternative options before spinal surgery. The spine is special and peculiar, it’s not as straight forward as knee or ankle surgery. So if it’s not the spine, get the surgery immediately. If the doctor says you don’t need surgery, ask for it anyway. If the doctor continues to refuse surgery, then ask for more pain killers.
31. A lot of people have injuries that never heal as well as they could have because they skipped visiting the doctor or skipped the opportunity for a beneficial surgical intervention. I've known a lot of those people. They never fare as well as the people I've known who were not afraid to get under the knife. Don’t be cheap or shy: surgery rocks.
32. On the upside, it's possible that the injury is not as bad as you thought. For example, in the case of an ankle sprain, the doctor may say it's a grade I sprain instead of the grade II sprain you thought it was. The doctor may tell you to start rehab now instead of later. Ask the doctor if you can have some pain killers.
33. Some doctors are giant assholes. Even good doctors can have bad days. Don't take stock of any doctor's pessimism. For example, the doctor I visited in the ER during the spring of 2004, after I crushed my neck in my backyard after a roundoff-flash kick, condescendingly told me that I was too old to be doing such childish stunts and that I needed to "grow up" and have more mature ambitions. One week later, I was out at a park overcoming a newly developed fear of flips.
34. The doctor I visited after I ruptured my hamstring deadlifting in 2008 told me that I would never lift as much as I did before the accident. Six months later I beat my old personal deadlifting record and all traces of that injury had vanished and never resurfaced since then. Fuck him.
35. Had I let these doctors' attitudes discourage me, I might have set my ambitions elsewhere: like medical school! Oh boy I want to be a doctor when I grow up! Doctors help and encourage people!
36. Never accept that your setback will take as long to heal as a doctor says it will. The average recovery timelines for injuries are based on recovery for average human beings. Young people, and anybody who trains seriously are not average human beings, they are supra-average and have extraordinary recovery capabilities (that is, as long as they continue to train during recovery. More on that in a moment). You should be able to recover in three weeks instead of six! You should be able to resume light activity in two weeks instead of four! You should be back in the gym the very next day after you get hurt.
37. For years, the one thing I did that actually made a difference in turning around my injuries, which I have told hundreds of strangers through e-mail inquiry, which helped me bounce back from injuries rapidly, make comebacks repeatedly, and even changed my perspective on life itself is… When you get injured, train.
Training is recovery.
38. Take your pain killers and stimulants, crack an ammonia inhalant and go training hard… train hard aggressively around the injury!
39. Remember this adage: train around the injury, not through it. Don't add insult to your injury because of impatience. You can be aggressive while being patient. Do what you can, and do a lot of it. Do only what you can, and do it fucking hard. If you aggravate the injury, you are losing.
40. If your hamstring ruptured yesterday, do some light activity on your poor hammy to get some blood flowing to that area, stimulate it but don't aggravate it. The blood flow is a good thing. Okay, great. Now annihilate your upper body!
41. Training like a lunatic around an injury allows your body to enter into the optimal hormonal/neuronal state for rapid recovery; while you were doing a million weighted chin ups when your knee was fucked up, your whole body entered a frenzy state that was extraordinarily conducive to recovery. Waste products were exported more rapidly from the knee injury; endogenous recovery chemicals and your workout drink's nutrients were delivered to your knee, all while you were barking at the chin up bar.
42. Training and tricking around an injury is the most important thing you can do to recover. This is the embodiment of aggressiveness. This is pure aggression. Being so hell bent on making a comeback that you "come back" to the gym the next day to train harder than ever: it’s poetry. It’s a metaphor for the ultimate success as a human being.
43. After every major injury or setback I've had since 2004, I started training more after every accident around the injury. That’s actually how I got my iron cross in 2012: I screwed my ankle up and got aggressive with the rings the very next afternoon; had I not fucked up my ankle in the spring, I wouldn't have gotten the iron cross in the fall of that same year. And when it was my thumb, I continued tricking around it.
When it was my finger, and oh my god did it throb everytime I slung my arm fast, I continued training strength at least: when doing front squats, I changed from an Olympic grip to a bodybuilder grip to accommodate. I even did dumbbell presses with just one arm while the other hand was casted. I did these kind of things immediately, everytime I got injured, whether I was under the influence of pain medication or not!
44. So when you are injured, it’s time to get aggressive: go to a doctor, get it fixed, and train more than you’ve ever trained in your life. And regardless of performance level, train hard. That's something important you have to keep in mind: stop comparing yourself to your healthier states, drop your expectations. You took a hit, you’re not as good as you were yesterday. Eat it, drop your expectations and move around and beyond the injury... aggressively!
Drop your expectations and just move!
45. To most trainers (and tricksters especially) "Training" is unconsciously synonymous with "maximum performance", anything that isn't maximum performance does not matter much. This is foolish mindset, and it's why there are so many loser has-beens out there: they just gave up.
46. For all the injured tricksters reading this: are there some tricks you can still do without aggravating your injury? Can you learn to train alternative tricks and "be perfect" at them? Can you get a "maximum performance" experience by working on things that do not aggravate the injury? How about ambidextrous tricking? I bet you can find something to train. Invent a new "maximum performance" scenario that accommodates for your setback. Ground tricks? More opposite sided tricks? More creative tricking? Focus on what you can do! Focus on new things during your comeback! And while you do this, put your rehab into overdrive!
47. So how do you put your rehab into overdrive? Get aggressive with it, do all the boring rehabilitation exercises, everyday, several times a day, with this face:
48. Risk “over” rehab rather than “under” rehab.
49. Now you’re getting the message here! Jujimufu on Injuries!
Making a comeback is a skill
50. Making a comeback is not just something you have to do, it's something you'll always have to do, it's a necessary skill. As I've already said, Pain is forever. You will always be in pain. You will always experience setback, and specifically the painful setback of physical injury. So now it’s time to adopt the most invigorating setback management maxim available today, I invented it, here it is: MAKING A COMEBACK IS A SKILL YOU CAN GET GOOD AT.
51. Aggressiveness is a learned skill and so is "making a comeback". While aggressiveness is just the trained propensity to move whenever you fucking need or want to, making a comeback is more complex. Comebacks depend upon a diverse skill set, it's all the "science shit" and practical "technical recipes" that help you rehabilitate or recover. It's the exercises, the programs, the processes, the rituals, the instructions. You can learn them and get good at them. And if you learn to be aggressive in doing them, you will be unstoppable.
52. Have you ever thought about comebacks in this way? It’s pretty cool, because now you have a license to actually make a comeback worth a damn. Stop wondering if you’ll ever be as good as you were before you hurt yourself. Stop wondering if you will ever recover completely; wondering about these things will not help you; wondering about these things is making you a pussy in the eyes of your family and friends. See the effort and art of making a come back as a competitive skill. Focus on being the best rehab artist there is. Focus on impressing people with your resilience and optimism.
53. You can get good at tricking. You can get good at playing the guitar. You can get good at computers. You can get good at becoming aggressive. You can get good at making a comeback after a setback.
54. Who do you think will make a better, faster recovery: the person who merely hopes they can recover so they can get back to "working out", or the person who desires to be the absolute best at recovering, believes they can do it, so that they can get back to "training" and get on with their life? A rehabilitation artist. A rehabilitation mastermind. Who is going to last longer in this game of training? In this game of life?
55. When you focus on being better than everyone else at something the results will come flying through the window. So research and obsess over having a freakishly fast comeback. Learn EVERYTHING about your injury, learn EVERYTHING about fixing it, do EVERYTHING, EVERYDAY. It's a competition baby, can you recover better and faster than other people who've had this injury? It needs to be ridiculous and over-the-top! Be aggressive! Try to do it really fast. Get at it immediately!
56. Imagine you have spilled a bag of rice all over your kitchen floor. What do you do? You say "crap" and then you get the broom out and clean it. You don't leave the kitchen and start crying about it, hoping you will eventually be able to clean up all that rice you just spilled. You just do it. You don't even think about it. Approach your setbacks in exactly the same way. You just sprained your ankle again. Say "crap" ... but don't leave the gym just yet... get your tools out and start fixing it. Work on it until it's fixed.
57. As an aside, emotional setbacks: take everything I just said so far and apply it to emotional setbacks, except do one extra thing: stamp an arbitrary deadline on when you will be "over it" and visualize that deadline. Let's say you just broke up with a long time friend, partner, or whatever... And it's January. Well, stamp an arbitrary deadline on being over it: 6 months. This upcoming summer, six months later, everything will be green and alive again, and by then, if you do everything in your power everyday to work on yourself and make new friends, then you can be in an even better place. Thinking about a greener future, idealizing it even a little, believing you can find even better friends in better places, can help you acknowledge that recovering is in your best interest. If you don't do this, you could find yourself dwelling on what it was you lost. This is a waste of time and it weakens your immune system.
58. If you have to, reorganize your entire life to make your recovery happen. Own it as part of your identity. For example, let's say you hurt your neck. And people view you as someone who knows a lot about medicine and computers. Medicine and computers are part of your identity. Now it's time to become a master of neck rehabilitation and neck training. Work so hard at it that people begin to view you as someone who knows a lot about the neck. That's what I mean by "own it as part of your identity" ... If you do this, your chances of recovery will be significantly increased.
59. If people are in disbelief over how quickly you've recovered, and are thinking you've lost your mind over the frequency of work you're putting into coming back from this injury, and are cautioning you to take it easy, and are beginning to suspect your injury wasn't as severe as it seemed, then you are doing a good job! You are winning! Make it an art form, be the best rehabilitation artist there is! Make peoples' jaws drop at how quickly you can recover from your setback. Be the person that other people come to when they hurt themselves in the same way.
60. In fact, most people hesitate to jump back into training after they get hurt because they secretly or unconsciously enjoy the pity. It seems like a nice vacation, a nice excuse to take a break or re-evaluate your life priorities… Well, it seems like it's that way, but it’s not that way. Trust me, been there, done that dozens of times myself. Then I grew up.
61. And we all secretly love bragging about how bad our injuries are. We all exaggerate. We are all insane.
62. Bragging about how bad your injury is, and exaggerating its magnitude, sends the wrong signals to your unconscious mind. Doing these hinders your recovery. Don't brag or exaggerate the severity of your injury.
63. Anyway, you have two choices when you get setback.
Choice 1: You take a break and enjoy other people feeling sorry for you for a little while. Have your parents cook your meals for a few days. Read a book or something equally as useless.
Choice 2: You get aggressive, you make a comeback, and you get on with your destiny.
64. Refuse yourself opportunities for assistance within reason, try to continue doing things for yourself. If you're hobbling around like a cripple, continue to prepare your own food and do your own laundry etc. Your parents or housemates may offer to help, or demand that you take it easy and let other people serve you, but try your hardest to politely decline as much as possible. Accepting too much help sends the wrong messages to your unconscious mind and delays psychological recovery.
65. Refuse yourself opportunities to be pitied and battle your unconscious mind's thirst for resentment. You may politely decline assistance, such as opening a door for yourself or making your own dinner or carrying something yourself, and others may say "ok" and let you be self-sufficient; but then at some point you will be in a position where someone is obviously in a position to help you with something but doesn't, and if you pay very close attention to your feelings, you'll notice a mysterious frustration can overcome you, a frustration that arises because they ceased offering assistance. Keep that in your mind for a moment... I'm about to cure you.
66. Or you will be at school or work or home or wherever, and people will communicate to you or make requests of you as if you were healthy: and you will feel an itch to play your "cripple" card and get out of the obligation, or alleviate some of the difficulty of the request, you'll secretly reason, "Hey, after-all, I'm temporarily handicapped and they'll be easy on me." No! Fight these psychic gremlins! It's a temporary, but very real insanity to refuse help but secretly feel resentment when the other party stops offering help when you could still convince them you need it. Getting over this "temporary insanity" is important for your recovery. It's important for your comeback! Keep that in your mind at all moments when you are in the company of others. Especially your parents.
Don't tell your parents this,
67. I know a lot of you out there, maybe 16-25 years of age especially, who are still living with your parents, listen: leave your parents out of your recovery.
68. Parents will always worry about you, tell you to slow down, think you're nuts for going to the gym the next day after you fuck yourself up: just don’t tell them you’re hurt! If they know you’re hurt and ask about it, tell them "it's getting a lot better!" Lie if you have to, be cryptic, tell them it’s better than it really is even when you don't believe it yourself. Don’t give them the opportunity to worry. Don’t give them the “fuel” to convince you to slow down or quit training. Don't give them something to worry about.
69. In matters of medical disaster, take your destiny into your own hands as much as you can. Barring out the possibility of you having a stroke or an arrhythmia because you thought the PEA + Selegiline combo was ever actually safe... (you fool.. your blood pressure was hypertensive crisis levels since you started dosing the PEA that afternoon, and you had the audacity to redose it all the way to 1 a.m. when you jumped into a hot tub with a bunch of your friends?! Nothing good was ever going to happen with these people, why in the fuck did you do that?!) In which case you will need help if you’re not already dead. Anyway, I’m certain you can make it to the doctor yourself if you suffer something less dramatic, like a broken finger while training in a sober state. Ask your doctor for some pain killers.
70. Leave others out of your recovery as much as possible. In the long run, you need to cultivate a greater capacity to reconstruct yourself, by yourself. Start now, you're not getting any younger and neither are your friends or family.
The long run and aging
71. I've been tricking 14 years so far. If I fuck up my ankle and the prospect of full recovery is around half of a year… Well… What is ½ a year of the 14 years I’ve been doing this? It’s less than 4% of my total tricking life time. This is the long run perspective.
72. Interestingly, the past 4 years of my tricking life have been some of the healthiest tricking years for me. Ages 24-28. Comparing these years to when I was tricking at ages 19-21; Reflecting back on those years I was a physical wreck! I thought I was getting old then! I was wrong. Nobody has any clue how much time their body has left. You may have a total of 27 years of good tricking or training or whatever in you. What's 7 months compared to 27 years? It's 2%. That's not much. Be long. What if you only have 2 more years of high performance training left in you? You have no clue. Stop playing these games. Besides, brooding over how much time you actually have left does you no good even if you accurately knew that number. Be long term!
73. And with any long term perspective you need to equip yourself with technical knowledge of injury management. It's time for that.
Injury prevention and rehabilitation
74. The universe of technicals surrounding injury management is humongous, so I will just brain dump and hope that you can pick out a few gems. This isn't systematic or comprehensive, it is merely an orgasm of information.
For tricksters in specific:
75. Warm up well for tricking. The older you get the longer your warmup should be because: short warmups are for children.
76. Do warmups that are so long you arouse paranoia in yourself and those around you.
77. Don’t do static stretches in your tricking warmup. Although, sometimes, when selective chosen or implemented strategically, they’re okay.
78. I don't know nothin' about selectivity or strategy'ing these gosh darn static stretches in the warmup, so I don't do them when I warmup haha.
79. Stop tricking when you get heavily fatigued: 90 minutes or less is safest.
80. Trick more often while being cognizant of fatigue when you do trick. Fatigue is dangerous.
81. Put some effort into recovery work to help manage tricking fatigue.
82. Trick more often:
- Only tricking a couple times per month will become dangerous in the long run...
- I recommend 3 days a week as an average.
83. Don't trick after any other physical activity in the same day. Trick first.
84. Use caffeine (but even though caffeine allows you to trick longer, don't.)
85. Super springy plyo floor is like a mouse trap for ligaments, particularly knee and ankle ligaments.
86. Super springy plyo floor is like fly paper for toes and fingers. I've broken two of my digits on plyo floor.
87. Well cut grass is safer to trick on than good plyo floor. Unless it's slippery or uneven.
88. If you're fat, don't trick. Lose your fat first, then start tricking. (Fat tricksters get injured more.)
89. I like fat kid doing a b-twist. (Man. I remember when that video had only 30,000 views or so).
90. Unfortunately, that fat kid (Joshua Keith Beebe) died. Sucks, we all loved him.
91. Tricking heavy is similar to tricking fat. Heavy tricksters get injured more. Thus, Acrobolix tricksters get injured more than traditional tricksters.
92. So should we buff fellows starve down to a more acceptable weight to ensure safer tricking?
94. Btw, you should probably read this post I wrote about safer tricking.
95. Warmup up your toes for tricking by:
- flexing, gripping and clawing with them as you walk around during your warmup.
- stretch them with your hands for one minute. Repeat 5 minutes later.
96. Soon I'll be posting a video about TRICKSTER FEET. You will like it.
97. Good tricking technique = Safe. Good tricking technique also = Best aesthetic. This is the answer to the riddle: why do elite tricksters suffer less injuries? Because they have the best technique, which is the safest technique.
98. But aside from good tricking technique, the safety of any tricking technique is exclusive to the performer’s personal physical characteristic. A sideswipe kick from a person who is shorter, with shorter legs, is a different sideswipe kick than a sideswipe kick from a person who is taller, with longer legs. Same trick, two different techniques. And whose to say they have the same safety profile? This is why some tricksters tear knee ligaments on sideswipes and others don’t, while the aesthetic of the sideswipe itself often does not seem to differ much between these tricksters.
99. Also, I know some people will not be satisfied with the previous statement that "elite tricksters suffer less injuries" ... But it's true. For those elite tricksters who are the exception: those who do suffer as many injuries as any other non-elite trickster, then the reasons for this are 1) they trick fatigued and sore too often which has resulted in more accidents. 2) they try more dangerous tricks; take the hyper-snapuswipe for example, that trick is not safe, and you won't be trying it unless you are elite (R.I.P. Michael Scalco.)
100. So remember that everyone is different, and what's a safe trick for your friend might not be a safe trick for you!
101. One more thing about elite tricksters, I have a big tip for any elite tricksters reading this. This is a tip especially applicable during tricking gathering sessions and especially battles. Here it is: any time you are in the middle of a session and you don't do anything for +5 minutes, DO NOT throw a big trick immediately after this rest!!! Instead, do about two-three warm up tricks (not combos) and give yourself about two minutes to do them; and then do your big trick. I've seen more good tricksters fuck themselves up trying something big after they've let their body get cold, than anything else. You think it's the trick itself that causes the injury, or fatigue? I don't think so, it's easy to blame the trick or fatigue, but it's often not, it's this waiting too long between tricks thing that results in the injury. This is a common problem at gatherings and battles where you often have to wait your turn in line or something. Try to trick regularly during the session, keep jumping out into the tricking circle. Don't stand around timid. Timid tricksters get hurt at gatherings more than the ones who keep jumping out in the circle. If you must break for +5 minutes, then warm back up for a moment before you do something big.
102. Identify and catalog your own personal risk tricks. Some of my personal risk tricks are:
- 540_msc = knee pain.
- Brandy_x-out = strange back pain.
- Fatigued ch.900 double on plyo floor = ankle sprain.
- Aerial from long and fast b-twist setup = ankle irritation.
- 360 kick / doubleleg takeoff = ankle irritation.
Making a larger catalog of risk factors like these, with this kind of detail and specificity, can go a long way in preventing the recurrence of old problems.
103. Aside from risk tricks, create cripple tricking lists, which is a list of tricks/things you can do when particular pains flare up. To build your cripple list, think of things daily for a month until your list is built. For players of Habitica, add an "Add to cripple list" Daily to your setup for 1 month until your cripple list is built.
104. And since we're on the topic of Habitica, I suggest giving it a go when you get injured, specifically using it to motivate you to rehabilitate yourself. Create a Daily similar to this:
*Voodoo floss info is contained in #135 below.
Resistance training, balance, and therapy
105. Do weightlifting with barbells and dumbbells with heavy weights: it's therapeutic and it helps bullet proof your body.
106. Learn proper lifting technique. Good lifting technique not only helps you prevent injuries, it helps you lift MORE WEIGHT!
107. I've suffered very few back injuries during my time tricking. I'm also absolutely obsessed with deadlifts and getting back pumps. I wonder if there is correlation between a super strong, beefy back and a healthy spine? hmmmm?
108. However, it is true that my body is built in a way for productive and safe deadlifting. My height, core, back genetics, and arms length all affect my deadlifting in a positive way and makes even terrible deadlifting variations easy for me.
Deadlifting is simply a great exercise for me, it might not be a good exercise for you though. Everybody is different. Learn your body.
109. Similarly, my shoulder health has been pretty great all along. Back training is supposed to be good for your shoulder health. Another correlation? The idea I'm trying to inspire you to is to TRAIN FOR A STRONGER BACK!
110. My friend Andreas Rodolfo Nadia Paschina once made a great statement about tricking and weight lifting and longevity:
"I think that although lifting heavy weights mostly hurts tricking for youngsters, somehow in the long run it could help make tricksters more "durable"... I don't really know why, and maybe I'm biased, but I can more easily imagine a man past 35 that does some lifting and some tricking than a man past 35 that just tricks.”
I couldn’t agree more with Andreas.
111. If your butt is really sore, your lower back is in greater danger. Your butt protects your lower back, so if it's having difficulties, your lower back will be under more tension. If I recollect correctly, just about every time I have tweaked my back, it happened during times I decided to try awkward tricks when my butt was sore and fatigued from lifting a day or two prior.
112. More about that butt thing. Glutes. You know. Learning to use your butt, your glutes, when you lift heavy weights is what gives you good form, good health, and good strength. A lot of people have glutes that are "amnesiac" so to speak, they don't know what it feels like to "activate the glutes" ... They are numb butts. That's why there are a lot of exercises out there to help you learn to get your glutes firing. Do these in your warmup.
113. If your hips or ankles are really sore (or have poor mobility) your knees are in greater danger. And if your hips or thoracic spine are really sore (or have poor mobility) your lumbar spine is in greater danger.
114. There is something called the joint by joint approach for the needs of a particular joint, it goes like this:
Joint — Primary Need
Ankle — Mobility (sagittal)
Knee — Stability
Hip — Mobility (multi-planar)
Lumbar Spine — Stability
Thoracic Spine — Mobility
Scapula — Stability
Gleno-humeral — Mobility
You can read more about Michael Boyle's Joint by Joint approach here. Memorize it, it's invaluable.
115. This is me wearing and using a neck harness,
116. Neck exercises are more important for tricksters with long hair. From my experience, long hair tends to alter your habitual, everyday neck movement patterns so you move your neck less (and headbanging is not good for your neck or spine). Maybe this sounds like bullshit, but in 2009 when I hacked off my hair after having long hair for 5 years prior, I noticed how strangely weak my neck muscles really were. I often sustained mini-injuries to my neck while tricking or lifting when my hair was long in my youth. Now that I'm cognizant of it, and have grown my hair back out since cutting it a few years ago, and do more neck and trap exercises, and take my neck health more seriously, my neck is fine. Use an ammonia inhalant on your last set of neck raises lol.
117. Do half an hour of foam rolling 5 different days a month on the body part you need. Order of importance for active tricksters:
- Lower legs.
- Rectus femoris.
- Upper back.
Part of my Recovery for Tricksters video on YouTube detailed these things. Click this to watch that particular part of the video.
118. The benefits of massage work don't announce themselves immediately. From my experience, it takes about 6 weeks time for the benefits of consistent, and good massage to become apparent. Consistency, for me, is 30 minutes total per week for any one target muscle. That can mean:
- 30 minutes 1 time per week for 6 weeks,
- 10 minutes 3 times per week for 6 weeks.
The magic formula, for me, has been 30 minutes per week for 6 weeks.
119. Bruising can happen when you massage but shouldn't be the goal. Think of bruising after massage the same way you would think of soreness after training: soreness after training can mean you had a good training session, but it isn't necessary for gains, it just happens sometimes. So bruising after massage can mean you had a good massage, but it isn't necessary for benefit, it just happens sometimes. It may mean "toxins" were released. It may mean you "worked out" trigger points. It may mean blood flow increased to that area... These are good things, but I don't believe you need to be bruised for those things to have occurred.
120. In my opinion, a good massage is like a good stretch, you're gonna benefit most somewhere between mild discomfort to pretty painful. You can also think of massage like spicy hot sauces: there's a point when you eat hot sauce where it's hot, you're sweating and drooling and you feel alive! But it's still a fun experience and you're thinking when to add a bit more sauce. But if you take it too far, you'll be in unbearable pain and just feel sick and have to stop eating. Find the sweet spot with massage like you would with hot sauces.
121.If you have problem areas where massage work can help fix the area, I recommend having a 15-30 minute, dedicated massage session once a week for six weeks as I mentioned previously. And don't expect immediate improvement after one massage session, it takes weeks for the benefits to appear as I said (like strength training, takes weeks for the strength gains to be realized.)
122. Also, after you have a good massage, don't go training the area worked for 48 hours. Schedule your massage time so that you have rest afterward. So if you are massaging heavily your lower legs, don't be tricking for a day or two after the massage.
123. For people with past injuries, let me share with you one of my "theories" ... in convenient chart form:
What I'm trying to illustrate is that for certain moderate to severe injuries, you may never recover completely, but you can recover not only good enough to perform the way you want, but also to some of the highest levels of performance if you demanded it. Basically, you can probably recover to a point that you wouldn't be able to tell that you were ever injured in the first place... if you continue training it for functionality. That's what the blue bars mean. Now, with the red bars, I'm trying to illustrate that if you ever stop training for functionality, your past injuries will haunt you with weakness and/or chronic pain: your default has been lowered. So continue training for function and strength and most, if not all traces of the injury, can vanish. Stop training and you will experience problems you would have never experienced had you never injured yourself in the first place. And actually, this is why older people who used to train a lot or had some injuries in the past, who start to slow down, complain about the stupid training things they did in their youth. They had old injuries, their defaults were lowered, and now that they're slowing down, they're haunted by arthritis and chronic pain in those old injuries.
124. So when you injure yourself, you'll likely always need to continually rehabilitate it forever in some way to avoid weakness and pain. So fix it and keep training.
125. Listen to your body. If it aches a little different than usual, it might be a bomb.
126. When I ruptured my hamstring in 2008 my left hamstring had a very tight, and oddly specific soreness in part of the muscle. It was peculiarly specific to just a small part of my hamstring. And it ended up exploding on me on my first set of deadlifts that day. Pay attention to strange things like this.
127. Maybe you hurt your leg, and it's healing, but it's still a new injury. Maybe "jumping" off of it is safe but "landing" feels risky. Be cognizant of how your injury relates to both concentric and eccentric forces and take advantage of this knowledge so you can continue training around the injury.
128. Also, in terms of coming back from weight training injuries, you can use changes in range of motion or technique to continue training. For example, if you've strained a muscle in your shoulder while bench pressing, you might be able to continue benching with a partial range of motion. (Stop in the middle maybe? Board presses?) Or perhaps widening or narrowing your grip to see whether a small variation there can be helpful. Try to find pain free modifications. When you return to doing the bench press the way you were doing it when you hurt yourself, ensure you can do it pain free with some weight before slapping on more weight.
129. Blah blah blah Naxoproxene Sodium and Prostagladins blah blah blah. Opioid medicine causes constipation and lowers testosterone blah blah blah Shutup and take your pain meds the first few days fresh from an injury if it is hurting, and keep training. Stop using them after a few days.
130. If you're in the hospital, you can act like you're having trouble breathing (say the magic words: shortness of breath) and they'll give you albuterol which is awesome! Albuterol is a stellar fat burner. Burn some fat while you lay around in the hospital bed!
131. Sometimes compression is actually helpful. Would wrapping your injury really tight help to get swelling down?
132. Swelling restricts range of motion which is annoying. Sometimes swelling lasts for months (sprained ankle). Sometimes there is almost nothing you can do to really get the swelling down. Ice it and pop pills all you want, you’ll still notice after months it has continued to go down at its own rate.
133. RICE (rest.ice.compression.elevation) seems to be falling out of favor for MCE recently (move-safely-when-possible.compression.elevation.). I think there is enough evidence now to avoid rest and ice at least.
134. The idea behind eliminating ice is that swelling is the body's way of transporting waste/debris from the site of irritation. When you ice your injury, you're slowing down the removal of waste products.
135. This whole voodoo floss band thing for mobility/compression work following an injury started by Kelly Starrett is quite intriguing. I am trying it and think it's kind of cool! Google it. Try these associated google searches: flossing joint, tack and floss method, Kelly Starrett flossing. And I bought a pair of VooDoo X Bands for flossing my ankle here on this page from the Rogue Fitness website.
136. What I've noticed from "flossing" my ankle joint is that about 10 minutes after I do it, my "flossed ankle" is still slightly red, which may be indicative of increased blood flow following the compression. I'm doing intense rotations and stretches with the compression band on for about 1 minute, 5 times per day now. So far so good.
137. Speaking of ankle injuries: try not to limp if at all possible. It's better to walk slower and have a normal walking pattern than to limp along quickly when you have foot injuries. It is very important to restore normal gait pattern as soon as you can after an ankle injury, and limping is exactly how not to do that haha.
138. And in regards to ankle sprains for tricking: when you start tricking again wear an ankle brace.
You can find some ankles braces that are stronger than others (the strong ones usually have plastic and lacing on them, the weaker ones are just fabric wraps with velcro). Here are some tips for use:
- Buy two braces, one strong one, one weak one.
- Do not wear them any other time except when you trick.
- Do not wear them during your warmup.
- Right before you start throwing some tricks that endanger your ankle, put on the ankle brace.
- Put on a good "hot" sports cream on your ankle before putting the brace on.
- I recommend one containing Capsaicin extract. See this post.
- After you put on the brace, DO NOT take it off until you finish tricking! (important)
- As weeks pass, try graduating from your strong brace to your weak brace.
- As more weeks pass, try tricking during the start of your session without either brace.
- After an arbitrary time (say 30 minutes) put it on even if you don't feel you need it.
- After even more weeks pass, try to cease wearing ankle braces altogether.
- For Grade I and II sprains, strive to limit your ankle brace wearing period to 2-6 months.
- After you've healed, keep your ankle braces with you when you trick if you have an accident.
The ankle brace is helpful so you should use it while you continue tricking while actively working on fixing your injury.
139. Sprains are pretty common, and so is Jumper's knee (patellar tendonosis) (patellar tendinopathy) for tricksters and athletes who jump a lot: it's that dull ache underneath your knee cap that haunts you when you extend your knee over your foot. (It's important to know this pain is typically tendonosis and not tendonitis, because the treatment methods for the tendonitis (IE inflammation) of the patellar tendon actually aggravates and worsens tendonosis issues). Inflammation isn't the problem, degeneration is. Taking anti-inflammatory drugs, resting and icing the knee is going to make the problem worse. So stop this shit.
140. This pain seems to come and go but mostly comes while you participate in certain activities. This crap haunted me from 2006-2008 big time, and has resurfaced here and there intermittently. There is a lot more information on this problem now than when I had it back then, but here's the big thing I learned about the pain: it's commonly a referred pain, or a referred problem.
141. Referred pain is pain perceived at a location other than the site of the problem. Common themes associated with patellar tendinopathy are trigger points in the rectus femoris and lower legs, immobility in the hip joint, weak posterior chain, and overuse. So anyway, this is how I got some control over my Jumper's knee issue:
- Worked on self massaging my Rectus femoris and lower legs.
- Wore a Jumper's knee strap when I tricked.
- Spent extra time warming up.
- Avoided, at all costs, landing tricks short on that knee.
- Stopped back squatting and started front squatting exclusively.
- Spent more time training my posterior chain
- Glute ham raises
- Improved deadlifting technique
- Shortened my training sessions.
- (because aggravation always happened at end of long sessions.)
- Tried to avoid doing jumps or tricks "heavy footed"
- (heavy footed'ness is indication of fatigue or too high bodyweight.)
I started doing everything right, and yet it still took about half a year for it to begin correcting itself! That's a long time!!! Patellar problems are very slow to develop and very slow to fix. Give them a great amount of time, begin doing things right, and trick/train around it. Be patient. Be long term.
142. Back squatting and front squatting, I bet that #5 point above got your attention there! Here's the thing: back squatting is not what caused my patellar tendon problems. It was my tricking, jumping, explosive training. However, after these things had caused the injury, back squatting became a primary aggravation for the injury. Injuries are like that. Remember that next time you hurt yourself; just because something wasn't what caused the problem, doesn't mean that it cannot perpetuate it now that the problem exists! I simply found the front squat more agreeable for my injury, and then found it a better exercise almost entirely for my needs thereafter. This is why I almost never back squat.
Some RESOURCES for you
143. I learned all about trigger points and self massage and myofascial release work when I began googling how to fix my patellar tendon injury, eventually I stumbled upon a book by Clair Davies, "The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook." It's an instructional tome, and I use it all the time. Highly recommended by Jujimufu!
144. Eric Cressey's online articles taught me the most important technical information about injury prevention. Read these like I have,
- Lower back savers
- More lower back savers
- Lats are not just for pulldowns (so my hunch about back strength = less injuries has merit...)
- 13 tips for mighty elbows & wrists
- Shoulder savers part I
- Shoulder savers part II
- Shoulder savers part III
His article index is here: http://www.ericcressey.com/articles
145. Eric Cressey likes baseball. Oh Eric, lol.
146. Mike Robertson, Eric's buddy, has also written tons of great material on injuries. Read this one in particular:
147. Anthony Mychal is a guru in the shadows and a fellow trickster and lifter.
Anthony's knowledge of injury management runs way deeper than my eyes can see; so deep, that the best I could do as a recommendation for those of you who have read this far, was to ask him to give me links to things he's written about injuries and pain.
His two eBooks:
Posts from Anthony's blog:
- 2 Ways to Make Sweet, Sweet Relationship Love With Your Ailing Knees
- Can Correcting Strength Imbalances Cause Injury? Part I
- Can Correcting Strength Imbalances Cause Injury? Part II
- Can Correcting Strength Imbalances Cause Injury? Part III
- 3 Steps to Fix Hip Extension - How to Fix Your Knees
- How to Prevent a Career Ending Knee Injury
- Strength Imbalances Put to Rest - Why Great Athletes are Imbalanced
- How to Cure Snapping Hip Syndrome
- Muscle Imbalances, Generators, Connectedness, and 3 Tips to Clean up Athleticism
- Why healing injuries takes more than a phoenix down
148. Jan Thore Ramsvik Frostad is my Norwegian friend, I nicknamed him the "trickster medic" because of his experience and expertise.
He's a licensed physiotherapist who is adept at musculoskeletal diagnoses and treatment, strength training and stretching and soft tissue work... and was one helluva good trickster (insane flexibility-kicky guy I trick with in this YouTube video who rivals my aerial based tricks!). I refer people to him all the time when they have specific questions about sports injuries. In his own words: "I am an authorized physical therapist, and I specialize in Orthopaedic medical physical therapy. I'm most proficient at diagnosing shoulder, hip, knee, spine (to a certain degree), wrists." If you need help with these things in particular, contact him via his e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, he's a brilliant, kind and talkative dude. And he's more flexible than even me!
Without CARE, nothing works
149. Nothing on this page will work without CARE.
150. The real reason why anyone would give up after they experience a training setback is because they don't CARE.
151. Is CARE an acronym? Why do I keep bolding, italicizing and coloring the word? No it's not a god damn acronym, it's giving a shit about something. Do you even give a shit about making a comeback? Why?
152. Why do you CARE about making a comeback? What do you want to prove? What do you want to make happen? Do you want to beat others in competition? Do you want to make a training compilation video? Why did you value what you lost? Do you really CARE? Why were you doing it anyway? If you put all this work into making a comeback, would you be better than you were before? Or just, you know, maybe almost as good as you were before? Is that enough for you? Never being as good as you were before, but maybe almost?
153. Why would you CARE about making a comeback if you weren't progressing anyway? Maybe you had plateaued for the past 3 years or so, you weren't making gains. Maybe you were getting bored, you were just training out of guilt perhaps? Felt like you were supposed to do it. So you get injured. Why would you even CARE about coming back to that old plateau? Maybe enough was enough. You were at your genetic limit, you fulfilled your potential. You got comfortable. Time to move on to new pursuits. Think so?
154. Didn't someone once define Insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."? Are you being stubborn? Maybe this injury is a great wake up call, waking you up to other possibilities in your life? For those plateaued souls: you keep training and training, and really, you seem to be going nowhere with it; do you really think this training thing is granting you your best life?
155. By the way, that definition of insanity came from Albert Einstein, the same person who theorized that the universe expands indefinitely because of raisin bread.
156. Why would you rather be making a comeback than finding interest in something else? If you can't train, or train quite like you used to, or don't believe it's worth it anymore, why not learn to play music or spend more time writing or reading? Why not focus on something else? Why not fulfill other potentials? You know, give yourself a break, have a life as some people say? Why not, at least, take a No-Season and go with the flow and take a developmental detour? Was training even working out for you anyway? Was it on the downtrend perhaps? Hey. Why not just retire?
157. Maybe you already did enough. You have enough of a training history behind you, you have already accomplished so much. You got enough pictures and videos from the past. Are your golden days behind you? Maybe it's time to chill and take it easy.
158. Have you read #45 above? Would you CARE if others saw you as a loser has-been? But really, who gives a fuck what other people think, you know? They don't know you or what you've already accomplished. They don't know what you've been through. Fuck them.
159. But you know what, here's the catch: if you don't CARE about making a comeback here, why would you CARE about making a comeback in whatever else you plan to do with the rest of your life? When you experience setbacks or plateaus in non-training worlds like relationships, family, health, finances, job, other hobbies: will you just go with the flow and take another developmental detour? Over and over again? Detour after detour? Find something else yet again? When does all of this end?
160. It ends when you fucking die.
161. Now burn this into your mind:
If you ever want to quit training, make sure you quit when you are making gains again, when you are at your best, beating your best, establishing a new best, or at least making some sort of progress somehow, because that's the only time you are of a frame of mind to make any worthy decision to quit training or not.
162. So if you actually think quitting training may actually be the best decision, well, then, do it after you make your final comeback.
163. Now, learn to CARE again, at least this one last time. You must get aggressive, because distraction and setback are forever a part of your human destiny. Keep moving, and make this come back, make yourself better again, learn what you need to learn and do what you need to do to fix your problem. Then make more come backs, month after month and year after year! Get better at this and you will get better at life.