Due to some recent events with my own physical wellbeing I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone that we are indeed human. If you’re in the right mindset to get yourself physically prepared for some hardcore hunts this fall then you’ve likely surrounded yourself with likeminded individuals to help push and motivate you. Since you’re reading this then I’m thrilled that I am one of those people helping you along your journey. You should be getting encouragement and inspiration to push harder and go farther. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this because nothing is given and as one of my favorite quotes from Cam Haines reads, “Nobody cares. Work harder”. There is much truth to this but you have to take some things into consideration when tearing down your body so it comes back even stronger.
You need to be aware of the difference between pain and injury. By my personal definition, “good” pain is that feeling of grunting out that last squat, the burn after a long trail run, or the soreness experienced the day after a wicked workout that eventually goes away in the short term. “Bad” pain associated with an injury on the other hand is a debilitating event that caused harm or did damage and requires additional measures for proper healing.
Broken bones, lacerations, etc are extreme examples of what we may see in the field or during extreme workouts and are easily identifiable injuries we would surely seek medical attention for. But what about those nagging issues that just don’t seem to go away? I have been fighting an annoying “pain” in the heel of my right foot. I ignored it for several months because I needed to push through it and make the fitness gains I was targeting. I managed for a while but eventually the pain became enough that I unintentionally began favoring my right foot/leg. Next thing I know my right hamstring feels like a banjo string. A week later my hip hurts and I can’t sleep at night. Needless to say I finally went to the Podiatrist and low and behold I’ve got Plantar Fasciitis. Not a career ending injury by any means but one that required action to remedy. Another example would be my hunting partner during and elk hunt several years back. He took a nasty spill while we were getting his bull down the mountain. He hiked through the pain that week assuming it was nothing. However, once back home it never went away. Ultimately he went to the doc and had torn some ligaments in his knee which required surgery to repair.
I bring all this up because now is the time to get those things addressed or if you unfortunately have something come up between now and the season get it looked at as far in advance as you can. One of my hunting partners just found out he had damaged his rotator cuff preparing for Colorado this fall. Fortunately he was able to get to the right doctor and will go under the knife later this month. If all goes as planned he’ll be ready by Oct. Hunting season only comes around once a year and who wants to be sidelined or be put at a physical disadvantage because you were negligent in seeking professional assistance. It’s great to work hard and feel the “good” pain. That’s simply how we improve ourselves. Know your body though, when it tells you something isn’t right you need to sometimes accept that we are human and get it fixed.