Yesterday was leg day. I hit a personal record with my squat that made me remember how far I’ve come. I hope this story inspires and reminds you that perseverance and the will to press forward can take you further than you ever thought possible.
At the end of my freshman year of college, I dove for a fly ball in the outfield that separated my pelvis. The doctor told me many things, but one was that I may never be able to squat under a barbell with any kind of load ever again. As a college athlete and fitness fanatic, I was devastated. I spent the upcoming summer and fall working with chiropractors and endured intensive physical therapy. I had just come off an All-Conference freshman year and I was determined to at least get back on the field and continue my career. The adjustments and PT helped me get back to a starting position halfway through the spring of my Sophomore year. However, I never did hit the squat rack as my doctor had advised. I was just happy to get back playing.
Something inside me kept driving me to add weight to my squat. Something told me that I’m not going to be limited by fear.
Fast forward years later, I worked my way back to squatting with high reps at 135 lbs. I didn’t go too far past that weight from fear that I would re-injure my pelvis. After my playing days were over, I would slowly work my squat weight and volume up more and more. I would do a lot of plyometrics in order to burn fat and work my legs intensely without the added weight. This worked well for the Men’s Physique division because of the fat-burning benefits of plyometrics, but also because of the board shorts hiding my upper legs.
Something inside me kept driving me to add weight to my squat. Something told me that I’m not going to be limited by fear. I knew my body well, and I wasn’t going to give up my discernment to someone that didn’t know my body, work ethic, or desire to squat again.
Just in the past 6 months, I’ve been really working on a progressive overload for my squat. I’ve incorporated all the band work for my hip strength and stability as well. The whole time I’ve had the doctors voice in my head. That did two things:
- It kept me humble and careful not to progress too fast.
- It kept me motivated to prove him wrong, not so much the doctor, but to prove it to myself. All the hard work has paid off and my pelvis is more sturdy than ever. I certainly don’t advise anyone to go against their doctors’ advice. But, I do advise you to push the limits strategically with a burning desire to persevere in hopes of reaching all that you are capable of.
Photo By: Andrew Feraci