My chiropractor warned me that the treatment for my back problems would cause the pain to get worse before it gets better. He said “It’s like we’re putting your body through a car accident.”, and he wasn’t kidding! The pain is especially bad when he does any kind of manipulation that involves the bulging disc.

He also told me that I can train BJJ while we’re fixing it, as long as I don’t take any painkillers before class (which I never do anyway), and I stop when the pain is too much. I thought “Could you please define ‘too much’?”, because I don’t think he understands the amount of pain I am accustomed to tolerating on a regular basis!

The pain will go away when it stops hurting.However, after getting a difficult adjustment on Tuesday evening, then again on Wednesday morning, I discovered what “too much” pain was when I tried to train BJJ Wednesday night. I made it through the warm-ups in the kids’ class, but I couldn’t make it through them in the adult class. Greg saw that I was in pain, so he told me not to do anything that hurt. I said “Then I should just go home, because everything hurts.”, and he said it probably wasn’t a bad idea. I didn’t want to stop, I wanted to just suck it up and do as much as I could, but then Greg said “There’s no point in half-healing or half-training.”, and I knew he was right, so I went home (but I wasn’t happy about it!).

Some of the people in my family don’t believe that the chiropractor told me I can keep training, they think I’m lying because I don’t want to take any time off! Joe’s family has a saying “Always go to the doctor, but never follow his advice.” I’m the opposite of that, I normally never go to the doctor, but when I do break down and go, I try to follow the advice. I will keep training as much as I can while I’m healing, I just have to let the pain be my guide.

“Pain is the best instructor, but no one wants to go to his class.” -General Choi


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