About a month ago I wrote a blog post on the many muscle injuries I’ve suffered from these last two years. Overall, I’ve had six different tears in different places on my body and after several visits to several doctors one physiotherapist finally helped me locate the source of the problem; hypermobile joints and not enough recovery time between practices. I left the physiotherapist’s practice with a bunch of homework. In other words, specific moves to do at home with the purpose to strengthen my abdominal muscles and help me control my lumbar spine. I finally thought my fight against my injuries was over but as it turned out, this was not the final chapter in the book. Just a week after my blog post I injured yet another muscle during practice and this time the physiotherapist’s verdict was clear. I had symptoms of overtraining and overstrained muscles and one month of total rest ahead of me. It is finally time to tell you the whole story, even though it makes me a tiny bit nervous.

First, I didn’t really want to believe what I was hearing. How could I be overtraining when I, due to my muscle injuries, hadn’t been able to train properly for months? Even my endurance had gone drastically down. I mean, my heart would beat like crazy and I’d get completely out of breath just from the warm up. I explained all of this to my physiotherapist but instead of changing his opinion, he became even more sure of it. All of what I was saying was actually just one more symptom of overtraining. My body had once and for all reached its limit after years of trying to keep up with my excessive training. The fact that I had slowed down quite a lot for the last two years didn’t seem to make any difference at all. I had simply spent too many years pushing my limits (during my most active years I danced as much as 13 hours/week).

Fortunately, having to have to slow down the pace these last couple of years, had forced me to look at my training habits and my, from time to time, obsessive attitude to training in a whole new light. For once I decided to listen to wat I was told and follow the physiotherapist’s recommendations, no matter how hard they felt. And by felt, I mean psychically.

The times I did however have to stay at home I’d “compensate” by eating less which ultimately made me underweight

I have always been that person that feels bad as soon as I skip even one dance class. No matter the reason. If my foot was injured, I’d do sit ups and back muscles at home. If my back was injured, I’d take a couple of painkillers before going to class. And, if I had a fever, I’d take it ”a little bit more easy” in class that day. The times I did however have to stay at home I’d “compensate” by eating less which ultimately made me underweight. Fortunately, I’ve left all of these bad habits behind me but even though I’ve gotten over it, it turns out my body hasn’t.

If someone would have told me then that my excessive training would still affect my body five, six or even seven years later I probably wouldn’t have believed them. But that’s exactly what’s happened. My dear poor body had faithfully tired to keep up with my intense training schedule until it just couldn’t anymore. It had simply used up all its energy. Now it’s time for me to be there for my body. It’s my turn to shut up and listen and to follow my body’s needs. It is time to slow down and let my body rest and recover. I owe it that much.

Sweater – Stradivarius
Pants – Chiquelle (gifted)