I’m a hypocrite

Personal trainers tell their clients to start off slow; to do “just enough” exercise; not to overdo it.

Coaches tell their athletes to stick to the program; to trust the process; to conserve energy for each training session.

Although I have preached the above to my students, I’m definitely guilty of ignoring my own advice. It’s especially hard as a personal trainer in the fitness industry to dedicate my time and energy to Kettlebell Sport training ONLY. There are so many different aspects of strength and fitness to work on and a vast amount of skills I want to master.

Over the past couple months, I’ve been doing handstands constantly, playing on the rings in between teaching classes, working on mastering the flag, doing shoulder stands and core work on the paralettes, weightlifting for strength, and preparing to lift 2x24kg kettlebells in competition in Russia. At some point in the last month, I had some lingering pain and soreness in my right lat/ribcage area after workouts. Nothing hurt while I was engaging in the numerous skills I was working on, but I knew I had possibly tweaked a muscle because I would feel it after training. It wasn’t until I set down the bells after a 4 minute 2x24kg Long Cycle set on April 29 that all of a sudden it hurt to breathe.

What started as a little tweak caused by overuse ended up blooming into an injury when the stress finally became too much for my body (the 4 minute set actually went very well, numbers wise…). Now here I am, not having touched anything more than an 8kg kettlebell since April 29 and not sure when I will get back to it. My injury is not incredibly serious, but it’s enough to put me out of the game for now.

When training at a high level, it can be hard to distinguish between a little tweak that goes away with time and the start of an overuse injury. I had experience with this at the end of last year, when I was having some lower back pain but trained through it, and it ended up going away (I have zero back pain today).

I’ve decided to cancel my trip to Russia. I’m in this for the long haul – I want longevity for my health and fitness, not just one moment of glory – and I want to give my body the time it needs to heal. If I were to travel to Russia, I would either a) watch everybody else lift and be miserable, or b) decide to lift anyway and hurt myself worse. I’m disappointed, but also realize that there’s nothing I can do about my situation except accept it and move forward. (At least I can still do squats for my kettlebooty!)

So why am I sharing this with you? To warn you, maybe, not to overtrain even if you’re 24 and think you’re invincible (guilty!). Also, to remind you that even if you do your due diligence and do exactly what your training plan dictates, there is always a risk of injury.  While I may have spread myself too thin, I was sticking to my training program, taking care of my nutrition and recovery, and had my head in the game.  Injuries can happen to anyone – it’s all the more reason to have a knowledgeable coach to guide you and minimize the risk. 

I am now accepting a limited number of students for my online Kettlebell Sport coaching program. Email to apply. 


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20 thoughts on “I’m a hypocrite”

  1. So sorry to hear that you’ve had to cancel the trip. I bet that was a super difficult decision but probably a smart one. PS: I bet you would have gone with “b) decide to lift anyway and hurt myself worse”. Take care of yourself!

  2. Aw sorry to hear your injury prevents you from going, Britt… I’m glad you’re taking such good care of yourself though!! Xoxox

  3. It’s one of those lessons Britt… I’m not trying to be philosophical but a body doesn’t has a voice to warn you. It’ll communicate by giving little signals just as you described.
    Going to the same kind of process right now with a knee injury (and not even trying to compete with 24 kg kettle bells, I’m a rookie in the sport 😉
    Rest is the best medicine for now. So no swings and jerks for me. And not competing anymore for the Dutch Nationals in June. Switched to shoulder presses and exercises with the barbell after having a talk with my coach Barry. Gotta keep moving though…

    1. Yes, exactly Gillie. It’s a lesson for me to listen more closely to my body and become a better athlete and coach. Sorry to hear about your injury! I understand your frustration. You have a good coach!! We’ll be back to it again!

  4. Very wise Britt! You Rock! Because of you I’ve been doing handstand almost everyday for a couple months on my way back from feeding my goats. I still use a tree for a safety net. 😉
    Heal quick! Keep being young and carefree as long as you can. :)
    Laurie from Canada

  5. What a tough decision – thank you so much for sharing this experience! I’m a newbie who’s been sidelined by a separated rib. Hearing that you’re taking the time to recover, even when the stakes are so high, helps me not be so hard on myself.

  6. I’m sorry to hear this happened and it’s getting in the way of a big goal. Remember that it’s only temporary though and there will always be opportunities to accomplish big goals that you will inevitably reach. Take the time to care for yourself :) you’ll be back in the game eventually – whether it’s a few weeks, few months, even a year. It just might be a good time to do other things. Good luck, you got it!

  7. From Hell’s Belles KettleBell Club; you are correct and I see over training all the time and it never ends well.

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