Some people turned their noses up at my turd talk the other day.

Let me give you a very similar message with a much sweeter smell today.

 

I spend about half of my life on a train and I am sat on one as I write this now.

Just 10 minutes ago, having sat myself down on a seat that has a power socket sneakily hidden behind it, I got a charger out of my bag which is positioned on the seat between the corner the socket is hidden around and where I am.

Instead of moving my bag out of the way and shuffling across to the next seat to reach around the corner to plug my charger in, can you guess what my lazy ass did? None of the sensible things I just mentioned; that's what.

I leaned over my bag, strained to reach around the corner, shaking and holding my breath. In my strain, I managed to drop my phone screen down on the floor (always a nervous moment). It's OK but the question is, “Am I?”.

What would drive me to make such a simple thing so hard for myself? Moving my bag and shuffling over was clearly a better way of going about things.

 

What does this have to do with sports performance and sports injury rehab and prevention?

 

I remember working with a very good runner once who came to me saying that she had very poor form that was slowing her down, an evident part of which was a highly asymmetrical arm swing.

After a session or two, the runner came back to me telling me that when she last ran, her arm swing was even for the first time in memory...but it felt weird and after 20 minutes she managed to return to her old arm swing. I think the phrase "lost for words" best described my state at that moment.

 

This seems to be quite a common way of acting. We want to get better results yet we don't want to do something different or for it to feel different in the process. The common way is to polish the turd rather than change it for something better and much easier.

We act like addicts to strain and needless hard work. Lots of us have grown to love that feeling of struggle. Check out the video of a guy taking his love for strain just a little too far. Bravo.

When we strain, we reduce our ability to perform how we want in our sport and increase our chances of hurting ourselves. It's that simple.

 

To offer you a different metaphor, the fastest race car driver isn't the one who floors his car all the way around the track. He's the one who knows when braking is appropriate and where the best racing lines are.

 

Arton “Kick your strain habit” Baleci
Float Sting – Sports Injury Rehab and Performance, Harley Street, London, W1