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Is the mind really stronger than the body?

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  • Is the mind really stronger than the body?

    Hi everyone,

    First and foremost, thank you for taking the time to read this. I've read through many forums on improving physical fitness in the academy and I'm currently in Week 6 of a 25 week academy. I started on the wrong foot by developing shin splints prior to coming in. I tried lowering my 1.5 mile run time too quickly. We PT nearly everyday and the constant running never gives me time to properly heal. As many people say, I just push through the pain and never quit. I haven't fallen out of any runs and I actually run in the front. However, lately my legs have been taking a brutal beating. Everyday feels like I was hit by a car. One of my instructors pulled me aside the other day when he saw me limping away and said it appears that I don't have any heart.

    Because of other training and holidays, we won't PT for nearly 3 weeks. I'm wondering if I should take this time to rest my legs or continue to push myself so I don't fall off track? I've done nearly everything to treat my shin splints including: new shoes, icing, stretching, vitamins C & D, compression sleeves, and foam roller. For the most part they heal over the weekend, but we increase our mileage every week so the increase always throws me back to square one.

    I spoke to one of my instructors who told me the "the body can take what the mind tells it to." Is this true? Has anyone been through an academy with severe pain and pushed through? Every time I look up shin splints on the internet, ever forum suggests quitting to avoid stress fractures. Quitting isn't an option for me. I've gone through a lot of these forums since finding this website and I admire the feedback and support everyone gives. I'd appreciate any advice/feedback given. Thank you all.

  • #2
    While the phrase about the mind being stronger than the body is true, it's also true you should have a good sense of your body's limitations. The instructors will not be sympathetic. At the same time, this is your future career. If you get injured in the academy, your agency may just release you or make you start over.

    I'm not a doctor. First and foremost, I'd consider speaking with your general practitioner about this. But in my opinion? Three weeks to heal your legs doesn't sound like a bad idea. You can keep in shape doing low impact exercises like a ski machine. I wouldn't risk my job on a point of pride.

    My two cents. Good luck either way!

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    • #3
      Watch some BUD/s videos on youtube and get motivated to push through it. Shin splints won't kill you. Get some super-soft insoles for your shoes.

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      • #4
        I say rest the legs the 3 weeks you can. But I'm not a doctor.

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        • #5
          Riding a bicycle or using an elliptical to keep your cardio up while you're resting from the high impact might help. You might also talk to a running coach about adjusting your form. A better gait, stride, and foot strike can help to reduce or eliminate shin splints.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by NYPD mouse View Post
            Riding a bicycle or using an elliptical to keep your cardio up while you're resting from the high impact might help. You might also talk to a running coach about adjusting your form. A better gait, stride, and foot strike can help to reduce or eliminate shin splints.

            Cant agree with this more. Proper posture while running is one of the best things you can do to prevent injury and up those mile times.

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            • #7
              Lots of other ways do to cardio while resting your legs. Use the 3 weeks to your advantage. I never felt I was fully rested or recovered during my academy. But looking back I never thought I could physically do what I did... so mind over body is true to an extent.

              The right shoes and insoles can make a world of difference. Make sure you are eating plenty of protein, water and sleep. My whole motivation through my 26 weeks was knowing I'd never want to go through it all over again from the beginning.

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              • NW121
                NW121 commented
                Editing a comment
                Amen to that.

            • #8
              The others are right..... Use this time to probably improve other areas like flutter kicks........... Planking... ......... Leg raises....... ...... You can do it.

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              • #9
                Originally posted by Recruit5257 View Post
                Hi everyone,
                I spoke to one of my instructors who told me the "the body can take what the mind tells it to." Is this true? Has anyone been through an academy with severe pain and pushed through? Every time I look up shin splints on the internet, ever forum suggests quitting to avoid stress fractures. Quitting isn't an option for me. I've gone through a lot of these forums since finding this website and I admire the feedback and support everyone gives. I'd appreciate any advice/feedback given. Thank you all.
                A stress fracture is the absolute last thing you want - an injury like that would most likely cause you to have to be on light duties for months, which would probably result in having to repeat the Academy.

                I'd suggest resting as much as possible during the time off from running. Go to the doctor, physio etc, get it treated properly.
                Get it fixed, you've still got a while to go before you graduate, and you don't want this to be an ongoing issue for the whole time.

                Regarding maintaining your cardiovascular fitness, most gyms have plenty of cardio machines that don't involve running. Get on the exercise bike, rowing machine etc.

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