it’s a crash test- dummy!

last weekend an ill-executed vault (which i had done 100s of the previous weekend) left me with a sprained wrist and lots of purple and green patches on my knees. yoga practice is yelling at parkour practice about being more careful, and you only have one bodyand pk practice is noting that there have been lots of yoga crashes in the past and this is nothing new. and the observer in the back of my mind is saying STFU both of you! and it’s all crazy in my head- what are you doing, you dumb-ass!?!?

so this crash taught me a few things…

  1. there’s a moment when you realize you’re going to crash, and you let go, because you realize holding on is just going to make it hurt more. and the free-fall is exhilarating and scary at the same time. and then you land, hard. and then everything returns to normal.
  2. i care more about my lululemon sweat pants than i do about my knees. my first thought upon landing was: ‘i hope i didn’t rip my new lululemon sweats.’ and then: ‘i hope i don’t get blood on my new lulu sweats.’ and then: ‘damn, my knee is sticking to my lulu sweats.’
  3. girls deal with crashes completely differently than boys do. girls are like: ‘OMG! are you ok?! OMG!OMG!OMG!’ and guys are like: ‘dude, you ok? cool, can you move please?’ i do prefer the latter (sorry ladies).
  4. just a quick reminder to R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compression, elevation)

all my pk bumps, bruises, scrapes and strains have been superficial. this wrist injury is the first injury that has affected my yoga practice, and by extension my teaching. without my wrist i can’t do jump-backs and jump-throughs, so no upper body conditioning. and without my wrist i can’t adjust other practitioners, so i need to rely on verbal adjustments.

luckily, i’ve been practicing yoga for so long and had so many, many injuries, that i’ve learned handy modifications that allow me to get around the sharp, shooting pain in my wrist. yes, i’m doing 5 breaths of navasana between each posture for that adamantine core! suckaaaazzzzzzz! injuries are an opportunity! in many cases they’re a good time to examine what you actually use that specific muscle, joint, etc, for. surprise, wrists play a huge part in upper body conditioning. ok, not so much of a surprise, but it sucks not to be able to do vinyasas. ashtanga just isn’t the same without them.

this sprain is healing so much faster than my sprains of the past. my wrist wants to be moved and stretched, it wants to heal. so i’ve been using trans-act patches, hot packs and supplements to get it on it’s way. and during practice i give it as much as it can take and then i back off, because i don’t need to be a hero. which is a much more mature view than i’ve taken in the past (am i getting older?). anyway it needs to heal properly so i can get out there and start practicing my vaults again :). so i don’t crash and look like a dumb-ass :(.

the take home messages….

  • a square or rectangular rail is not the same as a round rail, practice on both from now on, dummy!
  • get your frikkin’ knees up into your chest, lazy ass! drag your toes at your peril. condition, condition, condition!
  • never assume that because you’ve done something 100 times that you can do it again on a different day, in a different environment. this goes for yoga too, you will practice a posture thousands of times, but there will be those days when it just isn’t going to work out for you. accept that you’re always learning.
  • return to the point of failure and try again. because as i said above, just because it happens is one place at one time, doesn’t mean it will happen again. 

this is not the last parkour crash i’m going to have, i know there will be tons more with all the associated injuries, minor and not so minor. as the narrator in croupier says: ‘hang on tightly, let go lightly’. commit, go for those big moves and stick those landings, but if you fall let it go, get back up and try again. you learn either way.

DISCLAIMER: no lululemon sweats were harmed during the training for this blog post. which is lucky, because i luuuuvs them!


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