I often talk about taking something away from each training session. Just one thing learned, usually regarding form or recovery. I quit keeping a training journal long ago, but I certainly make plenty of mental notes.
A semi-serious injury will earn you opinions and questions and sage advice, mostly from folks who don't train. I hear each of them, nod my head, cannot disagree in their context. Truth is, there's a flip side that many will not appreciate.
"What are you bench pressing all that weight for anyway?"
315 pounds for a relatively easy set of 5 is just where I arrived, resistance training two days per week for years, keeping my head and body clear and strong, because I could. One of the main things that I learned from this injury is that if you want to train seriously hard two days per week, you should allow more than 1 day of recovery from the previous session.
There was nothing reckless or irresponsible involved with this. Truth is, bench press is one of the more lame and benign activities that I do for kicks. And isn't that usually how it happens - when you least expect it?
"All that exercise stuff is good for is getting hurt."
People get injured engaging in all varieties of good and not-so-good exercise. Part of my job is helping them not to. Truth is, we have mounds of evidence that regular exercise, especially resistance training, helps prevent injuries in sports and every day life, especially as we age.
When someone needs a triple bypass or trips while carrying groceries and fractures their wrist, our first reaction is to lend them a hand, comfort them, pray for them. It's just not acceptable to give them a sedentary lifestyle version of the Nelson Muntz laugh that I seem to be getting from pushing myself.
But you don't want to hear about evidence based prediction of fall risk or protocols that minimize the risk of ACL injury.
Maybe you can appreciate that this whole issue is a lifestyle decision. At 35 I play flag football and basketball with young men in their prime, and regularly take major hits while biking and horsing around with nary a pulled anything. That didn't happen by way of strolling through the park.
You may not think it's cool to 180 a mountain bike, ride backwards, and pull out of it to ride forward. But I do. It took some lumps to learn that in my 30s. My kids think it's cool to be home. And with the cast of characters that regularly shows up around here, it IS cool. I was never a very cool or confident guy, and years of weight training seems to have helped me (some!) with that.
"Y'know you're not 20 any more."
Thanks for the reminder. Given the interaction with young adults at work and church and a few friends who train with me, it's almost every single day that I both lament and celebrate not being twenty. Truth is, I'm not 50 either. It would be a shame and unnatural to be as careful and wise and lame as a 50 year old. Good thing I also know some pretty bad dudes in their fifties.
Though, Lord willing, 50 is coming. Thank God that 20 and 35 and 50 don't happen all at once. I have some pretty strong preferences on the road I'll be taking.