Thank you Rip Thank you Rip

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Thread: Thank you Rip

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Thank you Rip

    • starting strength seminar december 2023
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    If not for your book, your seminar, your coaches, and the knowledge you so freely share, my circumstances this morning could be quite different.

    Monday I fell hard…very hard, especially for a man just a little over a half century old.

    Today, I am in pain, but I was able to dress myself, fix some breakfast, and walk down the steps to type this up.

    I slipped on an ice covered brick staircase. It was a relatively warm morning with no indication the steps were coated with ice, they simply looked wet. Lots of learning opportunities…

    I felt my feet go, tucked my chin to keep my head from smacking back, tucked my elbows close and hit hard. A spot below the base of my spine impacted the edge of one of the brick stair treads. It hurt badly. My upper and mid back hit on higher treads; however muscle absorbed the impact…not bone. Only when I let my breath out did I realize I had been holding it when I hit the steps.

    Having enjoyed disc issues in the past, I am aware of the symptoms. There was no tingling, no loss of movement, no numbness, just pain. So I got up and got in my truck.

    No numbness down my leg and no dead foot made me feel pretty good about the fall. The spot below the base of my spine hurt quite a bit, however the other impact spots higher up were just a little sore, no big deal.

    It was bench day, so later on, I headed to the gym. As long as I only let my ass and shoulders touch the bench, had a big breath and hard valsalva, all went well. When my lower spine touched the bench I was rewarded with additional pain. I finished my workout, not quite hitting the numbers I wanted.

    I squatted down to check things out, and the pain was pretty bad. I got back in my truck and drove to the hospital.

    The lumbar vertebral bodies are normally aligned, no lumbar fractures are identified.
    There is mild degenerative disc space narrowing at L4-5, with moderate disc space narrowing at L5-S1, with vacuum disc phenomenon and osteophytes.
    No par defects are identified. There is some degenerative scierosis of the illac bones, adjacent to the sacroiliac joints
    There is a nondisplaced sacral fracture, involving the 5th sacral segment, visible on the lateral view

    Acute nondisplaced sacral fracture of the lower sacrum. Degenerative disc disease L4-5 and L5-S1

    According to the doctor, I broke clean though the bottom twenty percent of the sacrum, the tip of the upside down triangle. He showed me the X ray; even I could see the line. The recommendation was pain management, full weight bearing and return to training as pain allows.

    Since I was young, I have had back pain, as I got older and stronger, my back hurt less and less. In 2008, I found Starting Strength and changed the way I trained.

    Attending the Seminar in 2012 was the best decision I ever made concerning my health. Being coached by you and your staff fixed a variety of form issues, I learned to program intelligently and was introduced to a world of talented people willing to share.

    Now I am stronger than I have ever been, and most of the time, pain free.

    I realize how lucky I am considering the fall; however my Doctor and I both think there is much more than luck involved. Without the muscle around my spine and lower back holding things in place, protecting stuff, the results could be quite a bit different.

    My Doctor spent about thirty minutes telling me stories of similar falls, with horrific results. He pointed out locations on my lower and upper spine and described to me what could happen if they broke. His position was being stronger had made me more resilient.

    I am convinced the muscular structure that Starting Strength has helped me pack around my spine and my discs protected me and held things in place and prevented more serious injury.

    To address this most recent issue, my plan is pretty familiar…perfect form, add weight incrementally, eat well and sleep often and eventually I will be stronger than I was last week when I pulled 530 for a double.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to read this my friend,
    Be safe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    North Texas


    Great story, John. Thanks for sharing.

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