Not everything can be attacked

It has been my custom to attack everything with relentless zest, energy and vigour - in the hopes that such drive will force whatever I'm attempting to go smoothly.

This approach has successfully seen me through life and seemed adequate for my needs.

So, I applied the same logic to the gym and to training.  This is where I began to come unstuck.

Rather than working on my strength and muscles, I focused on cardio, believing I was increasing my fitness to become better at badminton.  Weights, in my mind, were for other people who wanted muscles and I didn't care about muscles.

In hindsight it is obvious that, in order to run, jump and succeed at badminton, I needed muscles.  But my blinkered approach left no room for such wisdom.

Until I was running quite merrily a few days ago and felt a small twinge in my Achilles'.  Determined to power through, I powered through and it went away, only to be replaced by an urgent, stabbing pain that could only be remedied by immediate and sudden evacuation of the treadmill.

Again it went away after a few moments and, determined to keep attacking, I walked home and ran up a small hill.  

Did I learn my lesson?  Well, no.  I went back to the gym and did a small, ten-minute run - the short duration being my sole concession to the pain.

It's only now, having just begun to get over the pain of Achilles' tendonitis, that I have begun to learn my lesson.  

So let's examine what I did wrong. 

Rest is a vital part of training and I neglected it.  My false assumption that the more you do, the better the results proved to be just that - false!

Proper shoes
As you can see above, I decided to use my badminton shoes for running in.  This was a stupid idea.  These shoes are built to support the ankle and stay stiff - they're not suitable for half an hour on the treadmill!

Knowing when to stop
I should have stopped at the first sign of pain - not tried to be clever and force my way on.  I should also have realised that the Achilles' can flare up the next day, so walking and running on my way home was a foolish idea.  

Not varying my training
Focusing solely on running didn't give my other muscles a chance to develop, and it continually put my Achilles' tendon under pressure.  It wasn't even particularly helpful for what I wanted: to get better at badminton!

Fortunately, my copywriting job allows me to sit down and rest a bit - which I'll be doing.  I've also given myself some exercises to do to strengthen the calves (something that would have happened naturally if I'd just varied my exercise routine!) and will be tackling the leg machine as soon as I'm fit for the gym.  

What will I be keeping an eye on when I go back?

Not doing too much too soon
As soon as I'm better, it'll be a great idea to throw myself back into my old routine and do as much as possible to make up for lost time, right?

Wrong.  Very wrong.  I'll be making sure to rest carefully and appropriately.  Maybe at the cost of some badminton competitions, if need be.  Hopefully not, though.

Trying new things
I'll be looking to strengthen my calves and other muscles, hoping to avoid this happening in the future.  

Appropriate gear
I wouldn't wear a business suit to the gym.  I wouldn't wear high heels to walk up a cliff.  So I'll be applying that logic to running and making sure to have the correct shoes.  

Stay positive
I tend to catastrophise easily and a small bout of tendonitis quickly lead to me envisioning tendons snapping and twanging like broken guitar strings!  This isn't a healthy, or realistic, approach so it's time to think positive and follow the plan.

Anything else?
Keeping fit has a direct relation to my work, as I write better when I'm fresh and exercised.  I also found the treadmill was a good place to think up ideas.  

Although I won't be doing much running in the near future, I will still be thinking up ways to stay fit.  And I'll have a bit more time for exciting copywriting projects, so reach out to me via the contact form if you have some juicy briefs!