How Back Injury Increased my Confidence

It was Friday 14th February 2014, valentines day and I was in the gym. I was planning to get buff for the summer and today was leg day, the gym had add recently bought new equipment and the weight plates were different to the ones I was used to. 

I decided to start off on the deadlift, I had worked my way upto 160kg in the last deadlifting session and I still can’t work out what was happening in my head that day but I decided 120kg was going to be a good warm up weight, I think the new weight plates might have influenced my stupid decision because I needed less of them to make the weight up than I had with the previous ones. 

I struggled to get the barbell off the ground, instead of stopping and dropping the weight I rounded my back to create the worst deadlift form ever, I managed to lift the weight up but as soon as I got it to waist height I felt this horrendous pain in my lower back and my knees nearly buckled. I dropped the weight, the pain was bad and I knew I had done some damage but I tried not to let it show, I decided to do some back extensions I thought that might help it out. 

When I got home I laid down hoping the pain would subside. That night I was planning to drive about 70 miles, I had booked a hotel where I was planning to meet my girlfriend then I had to collect my daughter in the morning and drive home. It got to about 3 in the afternoon and I decided it was time to leave, I got up off the bed and pain like I had never experienced before shot through my back and down my legs. I could feel my legs buckling and fell back on the bed, I eventually managed to get up and into my car. 

I think sitting in one position in the car made the injury even worse, I had to stop at the services twice and stretch my legs I fell over a couple of times in the car park. I eventually got to my junction. At the top of the slip road there was a roundabout that I couldn’t pull away from because my legs cramped up, I ended up sitting there with my hazard lights on until a police car came they helped me get out and stretch my legs at the side of the road. 

Long story short, it wasn’t a very good valentines day. The girl I was going to meet had to call the hotel reception and ask if they could help me get out of the bath, paramedics came and gave me diazepam, the pain was that bad I wanted a cortisol injection, at one point I was scared I’d never walk again, I couldn’t collect my daughter and I had to drive 70 miles home on my own whilst drugged up on opioids. 

But My Posture Improved

Many of us spend our days seated and slouched over a keyboard and this creates all sorts of muscle imbalances and posture issues, slouching also affects our thinking abilities and confidence. When we slouch and adopt bad posture we are taking a low status position, when we stand tall and straight with our chest open, shoulders relaxed we are taking a high status position. When I injured my back I had done some nerve damage, this meant that for months after the slightest slouch would aggravate the nerve and cause more spasms so I had to stand straight and adopt a better posture when sitting. My improved posture meant I felt more confident. 

Lots and lots of studies have shown that when we improve our posture we feel more confident, in one study they found that improved posture even increases mathematics ability. Learn more about increasing confidence and reducing anxiety in my Facebook group

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