Sunday, July 22, 2012

I'm not a wimp complex

The "I'm Not a Wimp" complex:

I gotta be tough.
I can't be seen as weak.
I don't want them to think I'm weak.
I'm not weak.
I don't want them to think less of me.
No pain, no gain.
I can push through this.
I'm not a wimp.
I'm not a wuss.
I'm a pansy.

All thoughts that I have either had, or felt myself thinking in response to a vocal or perceived attitude from someone I've been working out with or someone I train with.

Here's the point: It is OK to give yourself a day off, to give yourself permission to sit out, to heal, to recover, to NOT injury yourself or to FULLY RECOVER from an injury you DO receive.

Very, VERY often I forget this. I tend to push myself very hard, sometimes because I feel like I have something to prove, sometimes because I don't want to be thought of as weak, and sometimes just because I like to jump in with both feet and give it all I've got.

This is my reminder to myself that it's in my head, and no one thinks I'm weak if I have to take time out to heal. If I take care of myself, then I can continue to practice Martial Arts and Exercise for the rest of my life. And if they do, then they either don't know or they're a jack ass.

I would encourage you to do the same. Give yourself time to recover. Take a day off. See a a Doctor, a Massage Therapist or a Chiropractor or all of the above if you have injuries. Don't let people talk you into more than you can do. More importantly, don't let yourself talk you into more than you can do.

I am notoriously bad at jumping back in before I should, or overdoing it when I'm already sore. Which is why I keep having shoulder problems. If you don't allow yourself to heal COMPLETELY before returning to your activities, the injury will just keep coming up and you will be in pain perpetually and begin to do very serious and irreversible damage.

Anyway, I just have to remind myself sometimes to slow down and take care of my body. If I forget, or feel like I can't because I have to maintain a "tough girl" image, then other's might need a reminder as well. And if anyone gives you shit for it, you tell them I said to bugger off.

Samurai Girl says:
Take care of your body! You are NOT weak, you are NOT a wimp, you are NOT a pansy. You are a self respecting individual with enough strength to do what is needed for the long term. It takes more courage to step down then it does to keep going when you can seriously mess your body up for life.


  1. Funny timing...

    Today I posted a list of "martial arts maxims" and the most important one was "Train hard enough to push your limits. Train soft enough to come back tomorrow". Here is the link, should you want to see the rest of the list:

    You are right, though. When the ego places the body in danger bad things are sure to happen.

  2. What you say is correct, in principle. We really shouldn't continue training with unhealed injuries but.... that is fine when you are young because your injuries heal much more quickly than when you are older, like me. An injury that may heal in a week or two for a twenty year old many take a year to heal in someone my age (particularly soft tissue injuries) - really! So it becomes a matter of compromise. You continue to train with an unhealed injury but you are careful about what you do and avoid certain drills or exercises that aggravate the injury. If people my age didn't do that they would never train at all - we don't have the luxury of time any more...

  3. Couldn't agree with you more, SueC. Had an ACL replacement and made it through that, but now working through a high hamstring injury which doesn't seem to be going away...coming up on 50 and noticing the injuries just seem to be more nagging and taking longer to heal.

    BTW, Samurai Girl, missing the posts - hope everything is well!