A girl walks into a barbell. Ouch!

Okay, okay, it wasn’t a barbell, it was a 25 pound weight plate. You know, the heavy thing that goes on the end of the barbell?

And true, I didn’t actually walk into it. I actually slammed it into my face.

But the joke reads better the other way, don’t you think?

I laughed. I cried. There was bonding. It may have been my most humiliating gym experience, but it was one of the most social nights I ever had, listening to others’ tales of gym woe!

Pay Attention!

The moral of the story, which I apparently needed to be hit over the head to get, is of course, Pay Attention!

I was gonna say it was “Safety” but the irony was I was being safe by doing a proper warmup. So let’s start there.

Proper Warmup: Vogue!

It’s important to warm up properly before lifting and you can read tomes about the subject. Suffice it to say that after a year of shoulder rehabilitation, I am now taking the time to do a specific warmup before this lift in particular!  We had just finished what Al calls “Vogue”. It’s not actually called that at all but that’s what we’ll always call it. We take a weight plate, hold it by the edges, and it goes all around the head in one direction and then the other. This video shows the move at about 25 seconds in.

Shoulder Mobility Warmup

What was that noise?

So anyway, after that movement, I brilliantly decided to use the plate for shoulder press. Al was using the barbell and I didn’t want to just stand there. You’d have thought that my giant nose would have stopped the plate on the way up but no, somehow the space right between my eyes jumped into its path. WHACK! Heads turned. I was totally mortified. “Is it bleeding?” one guy wanted to know? I checked the mirror. No, no, whew, no blood, just a giant welt the size of  a small mountain and right between my eyes! Nooooo! I immediately put my hood on and started drinking my water which I just happened to have dosed with Arnica before leaving the house. The intention was to help heal muscle soreness, but hey, it’s the right thing for smashing yourself in the face with a 25 pound weight as well. I know. I looked it up.

Bonding ensued

Well, you can imagine what a conversation starter a small mountain on the face can be and people in my gym are super nice. Everyone told me their dufus stories. I am happy to report that I am not the only one constantly pinching my fingers on the lip of the rack when replacing dumbbells. Who on earth thought up this design? There were quite a few stories where people were pretty much forced to quit their workout and go straight home. One guy has stopped putting back weights that others are sloppy and leave around because he hurt himself doing this. (Gee, I do that too. I didn’t know it was hazardous!) Here’s my favorite story of the evening.

This guy was doing very heavy shrugs and he turned to check out a woman. Yes, he assures us, she was worth it. His neck made a terrible noise and I suspect got stuck like that. (No, he did not rerack his weights. I think we can excuse him this one time.) He sheepishly gathered up his stuff and skulked out of there. I suspect he had to sit sideways in his car to see the road with his head stuck off to the side. His wife wanted to know how he did it and he confessed. “Good! You got what you deserved!” was her response!

So there ya go. Sure, sure, safety is important. But dude! Pay attention to what you’re doing. And yes, even during the little stuff when you don’t think it matters. Because in actuality, that’s when it matters most. That is when the injuries happen.

2 comments to A girl walks into a barbell. Ouch!

  • Dora

    : ), cute and funny story… hope you’re feeling better! I’ve konked by bonk while doing overhead tricep extentions and I’ve been warned about turning the neck while lifting too.

    • Yeah, me too, Dora! So many little ouchies. And I’ve heard that too about turning the head so I don’t do it. I guess men don’t always have good neck control. Ahem.