When Wrists Go Wrong

Working through injury

I think I have previously mentioned my usual weight loss “cycle”. I get fired up to lose some weight. I engage in a new diet. I start up an exercise program. Inevitably, I push too hard because I am in a hurry. Then, I injure myself and sit on the sidelines for several weeks, binge-eating for comfort. Meanwhile, the pounds pile on.

I had really thought that this time would be different. My diet is dictated by my surgery now. I have been cautiously ramping up my exercise resistance and intensity for months. But, as with most things in life, something went wrong anyway.

Something Goes Crunch

A couple days back I was working my way through my usual routine. I had reached the end of my weight training and had now moved over to abdominals. While on the reverse crunch bench, while pushing through my third set, something in my left wrist made an audible “pop”. I finished my set, but it hurt so much I decided to skip the hanging leg lifts and just call it a day.

How does one injure a wrist while doing crunches, you ask? Heck if I know. My arms are normally not involved at all while I am doing reverse crunches, sort of hanging out behind my head. All I can figure is that I was not paying close enough attention, and had wrapped my hands around the back of my head. In that position, it is possible that I was unconsciously pulling my head forward instead of letting my abs do the work. If I was pulling before I was sitting up, I could have strained the wrist. Nothing else makes much sense.

My First Roadblock

Later that afternoon, the wrist had swollen up impressively. We kept an eye on it, wondering if we would be making a trip to the ER. But, the application of the old standby “Ice and Elevation” seemed to do the trick, and it finally stopped inflating like a balloon at the State Fair.

However, it never stopped hurting. By the time my next workout rolled around the following day, it was apparent that I was going to have to skip any resistance exercise for the day.

In times past, this is the point where I would have given up. Frustrated, I would have sat down on the couch with a bag of Cheetos and binge-watched a couple of seasons of The Sopranos. All the while pissing and moaning about how the Universe had it in for me.

Moving Forward

Instead, yesterday Lor and I decided to just change up our routine.

We walked to the gym. We did extra long cardio sets on the treadmill (me) and elliptical (Lor). Then we walked home. At no point did I try to push through the pain and lift weights.

You have to understand, this was a major feat for me. I am infamous within my circles for trying to push through injuries and winding up really hurting myself. High pain tolerance + mule-headedness = “Danger, Will Robinson.” But I managed to escape without taking a frustrating situation and making it a debilitating injury.

Today, thanks to constant use of ice packs and a wrist brace, I actually feel almost normal. So, when we head back to the gym I may experiment with my normal Thursday routine.

But I won’t jump straight in the deep end of the pool, either. If I feel up to it, I will run through my routine for the day using minimum weights. At the slightest sign that I am not ready for prime time, I will quit.

Because I have no interest in forcing myself to visit an Emergency Room.

And I can’t eat Cheetos anymore anyway. Carbs, you know.

Moving Forward (Slowly),


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