Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey (How to avoid getting injured)

My mama said, “you can’t hurry love
No, you’ll just have to wait”
She said, “love don’t come easy
But it’s a game of give and take”
A classic from Holland-Dozier-Holland and it applies to so many things and not just love.
Sports performance, rehab and giving your wee boy his Christmas presents.

I do enjoy Christmas and always have. It is the big kid in me but it’s even more fun now with Andrew around.
Last year, no sorry two Christmases ago, was the first time he seemed to get it, maybe the year before. But this year…
Man, he went for it.
It might have been all the different things going on at school in the lead up to the holidays.
Totally mercenary too. In that way, only a 5 year old can get away with.
He walked into his Granny’s the Monday before Christmas. Before he had his shoes off was asking if there were presents for him.
We now spread his presents out.
Very early on Lindsay decided that this was the way to go. It stopped him getting overwhelmed and he actually plays with them.
Christmas past it was spread out even more.
He got prezzies on the Monday from Granny and Grandad B. Presents from us on Christmas eve. Presents from Santa on Christmas day. Presents from Granny and Grandad G on Boxing day, then on New Year’s day presents from Aunty Lee.
This graded exposure to all the goodies means he actually gets to enjoy them.
It works so well I am disappointed it wasn’t me that came up with it because it is no different to what I do at work.


The whole point of graded exposure in rehab is to ensure that the painful area does not get overwhelmed.
By taking a slow, graded approach there is the opportunity to benefit from the exercises.
It is also why I get you to stay away from the stuff you want to get back to. Going back to the gym too early will only upset things so there is no point in doing it.
Or saying “yeah, it’s ok to play a round of golf” when all this will do is set you back.
Far better to think weeks or months depending on what is wrong.
After hurting my hip a few years ago i got back to the gym pretty fast but getting back to running took ages.
I couldn’t tolerate the impact for another few weeks and then it was in the form of a run/walk program.
So I was lifting after about 10 weeks but I wasn’t running freely for about 8 months.

Getting it wrong

Now this would have been much sooner but I didn’t stick to the plan.
It took about 3 failed sessions where I pushed too hard for me to realise I needed to back off and restart.
Very much do as I say not as I do.
But as soon as I got into it things went well and I haven’t looked back.
There is value in “slowly, slowly, catchy monkey”.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t go quickly but rather there is a limit to how fast you can go before you are pushing too hard.
I see it all the time. It’s the number 1 reason I’m in business.
There is a limit to how quickly you can adapt to the stress you are applying during physical activity.
Exceed this and there will be some sort of break down. It might be an injury. It might be a cold, or it might be little or no progress depending on how far beyond your limits you are pushing.
It is the same during the rehab process. You can’t force things. There are pretty fixed time frames for the physiological processes to take place. For you to learn to move well again.

Healing times

I was looking at typical rehab times for some common running injuries with many people starting marathon training.
Hamstring injuries 74 days
Shin Splints 70 days
Achilles tendinopathy 56 days
Calf injury 49 days
Any of those means a big chunk of missed training sessions.
Far better to remember that no one training session matters more than any other.
What someone else posts on Strava is irrelevant, they aren’t you.
Focus on completing the program and ensuring that you recover and you’ll have no need to see someone like me.

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