Recently I experienced the biggest concern, worry, dilemma, fear, bane, nightmare of a Fitness Instructor. No I didn’t split my pants midway through class. It was worse. I woke up with a bum foot.
I don’t know how I did it exactly. Foot felt fine on Sunday. Woke up on Monday with the bottom of my foot, from the top of the ball to the bottom of the arch, screaming in pain.
Of course this Monday happened to be the Monday I had to teach three Zumba classes. I was already covering for another Instructor and knew that finding a sub would be next to impossible. On top of that I didn’t have a break from teaching until Sunday.
So I did what my father taught me do and what I have always done. I sucked it up, walked it off and did my job.
And let the controversy begin….
I know right now I have a few people going ape shit over what I did and what I am saying, but hear me out.
I am the first person to tell anyone in my class or looking for fitness advice to “honor your body”. Never be afraid to challenge yourself but know what your limit is on any given day. One day maybe your back hurts. One day you are getting over a cold. One day you just don’t feel up to it. I can easily justify and understand all of those reasons to take your workout down a notch or simply skip it (without guilt) entirely.
Just be careful that “honoring your body” doesn’t turn into you making excuses. We all know that making excuses is probably the easiest thing we can do all day. Plowing through the excuse can be the hardest.
Regarding this particular injury I didn’t decide to plow ahead and play through. I just knew I had to.
Suck it up. Walk it off. Do your job.
Playing through injury is nothing uncommon. Athletes, waitresses, fitness instructors, bartenders and those that use their body for their line of work do it all the time. And if I truly felt I was making things worse I for sure would have stopped. Risking permanent damage is never worth the temporary solution.
In between classes and while I was home at night catching up on Sons of Anarchy, I would RICE the shit out of my feeble foot. I knew the RICE method would aid in my recovery.
RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. All pretty self explanatory but to make it perfectly clear….
- Rest. Rest and protect the injured or sore area.
- Ice. Cold will reduce pain and swelling. Apply the ice or cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes, 3 or more times a day.
- Compression. Compression, or wrapping the injured or sore area with an elastic bandage (like an Ace bandage), will help decrease swelling. But don’t wrap it too tightly, your foot going numb is NOT a good sign.
- Elevation. Elevate the injured or sore area whenever you can.
If your injury does not seem to be getting better in 48 – 72 hours (and so I don’t get sued) go see your Doctor. And as always (and so I don’t get sued) if your shit be really fucked up get yourself to an emergency room.
Playing through an injury, depending on what it is, can also be helpful. If your back is tight maybe some Pilates would help. Legs sore? Get in some yoga. A restorative down dog and pigeon can go a long way. If you have a runny nose and as long as you can breath you might as well hit a spin class. You’re dripping so much sweat that no one will know what liquid is coming from where.
In the end you need to know when you can play through an injury and when you need to rest yourself. And don’t be afraid to make the call either way. To be your best you need to do what is best for you.
By the way the polish is VinyLux in Asphalt and is available on Amazon.
A color just as dark as my pain loving soul.