Working out helps you develop the agility and nimbleness you need for skateboarding. Having a bit of muscle helps you get do tricks higher and deal with falls.
– Ryan Sheckler
an important unspoken topic.
So in this article I’m going to uncover a truth that most of us as skaters would prefer to deny. It's a sensitive topic that might unleash a lot of supressed emotions that you’ve kept locked up for a long time, but, if you manage to break out of denial it could save you a lot of unnecessary time off your board in the future.
So back in the day when your fish ancestors were swimming around in the ocean, bumping into things and smacking their heads against shells, they slowly started to develop pain receptors which would protect them from things like this and damaging their bodies. When you have a recurring pain, it’s this same mechanism that evolved in these fish, and it’s your body trying to protect you from damage, it's telling you something’s wrong, that your body isn’t working how it was built to work.
The thing about skaters is we have a pretty high pain threshold making it easier for us to ignore our pains and live in denial about their existence. We find ways to compensate for different pains by skating slightly different or just by giving our legs a little shake when they hurt. But the sad truth is that if you’ve been having the same pain in the same spot for a long time then not making any changes and continuing to skate as you were isn’t going to solve the issue and it could even cause it to develop into something more serious.
Just like you might do when you skate, your body can also end up compensating for the injured spot by passing whatever job it did, onto another part of the body that wasn’t built for that job. This can lead to injuries on different parts of your body along with making the initial injured spot worse. So when your body's hurting, don't treat it like your grandma - turning your phone on mute when she's calling - listen to it and give it the attention it’s asking for.
Recurring pains can have many different causes from not rehabbing a previous injury properly, to muscular imbalances, to some kind of physical damage to a part of your body like your muscles, joints, ligaments, etc, or from just skating too much without rest. I know many skaters that skate every day and barely take a day off, but there's only so much of this your body can take. Rest is important for your body to adapt and become stronger and eating right is important so your body has the materials it needs to adapt. As you learn how to recover from skateboarding better, or eat better, a lot of these pains will start to fade.
On the other hand, if you’re dealing with muscular imbalances or damage to a part of your body, you’re going to need some specific exercises for your issues. Either way, if your pains aren’t going away you should hit up a sports physiotherapist to get some specific advice for you, and just think, by trying to sort the issue sooner rather than later you might not even have to have any time off your board, you might just be given exercises you can do in-between sessions, behind the scenes, and avoid any time off your board.
the real reason we ignore our pains.
Maybe the strongest factor to us ignoring our pains is how intense that feeling of wanting to go skate is. I’ve been having recurring pains in my hip recently and decided that I need to have some time off to focus on rehab. However, when the opportunity to skate came up, even though I’d skated only a couple of days before, turning down the session created such a tightness in my chest and just a straight up depressed feeling. Getting over this feeling is probably harder than the actual rehab process itself and there isn’t a magical solution, it's just going to take straight willpower, and one thing that might help is realising that focusing on sorting any recurring pains now will save you time off your board, and once you’re sorted, you’ll come back feeling stronger, skating even better than you were before, and you’ll be able to keep on pushing in the future when you’re old and saggy.
So like I said, if you’ve been having any recurring pains the best thing you can do is to hit up a sports physiotherapist for some specific advice as every injury is different and everyone’s body is different so it’s extra important to get some specific advice for you from someone who knows what they’re talking about. Along with learning how to rest good, how to eat good, following these other recovery tips for skateboarding and building up the necessary strength for skateboarding.