The Pain

A few months ago we started working out daily. It went well for a while. But then came the pain.

I mean, you do expect to hurt when you’re lifting weights. Pitting your body against stacks of inert iron isn’t necessarily the most intelligent thing to do, and yet it’s not like you can somehow get the same effect by outwitting it. You have to suffer. Growth only occurs through suffering. So the day to day soreness wasn’t pleasant but at least it was getting me somewhere. And if the carryover pain was too much to bear I’d leave a day or two here or there. It didn’t happen often once I got my rhythm down.

But one day as I was pushing myself through my now-normal set of squats, something happened. Suddenly a pain started creeping up in my chest. It wasn’t intense at first so I assumed I’d somehow bruised myself and kept pushing through the whole set. It didn’t get worse so I went on about my day. And the next morning I could barely move.

In the end it looked like I’d pulled my rib muscles. There’s all sorts of terms people use for this apparently, but “bruised ribs” is probably the fastest to type so there we go. Intense pain was there for me whenever I needed it, and it could be activated through simple methods like lifting my arm straight out in front of me (as in, driving position), twisting slightly, or trying to lie flat in bed. And it definitely meant the lifting had to stop: this wasn’t like a pulled hamstring that meant I should just do upper body stuff for a while, this is a core muscle: everything hurt when I tried to move. Not long after it happened I went for a gentle swim, thinking some relaxing pool time is a good way to keep moving without overstressing it. Boy was I wrong.

So now it’s been about a month after that happened. It felt largely better so I decided to try to do a light workout. Got in a couple sets before more pain started and I had to give it up. It’s just not healed yet.


And I’ve just now realized that I’m genuinely disappointed that I can’t keep lifting weights, putting me firmly into the mental category of one of those people. Now I feel even worse.