Athleticism Questions...

bruerin Posts: 124 Member
I've been thinking about this for a few days now...I read the workouts you post in the workout thread and in staus updates. I'm always impressed by what everyone does, and wonder if I will ever be capable of anything like that. Things like unassisted pullups, running really fast and/or running really long distances, release pushups, handstands, prowler pulls/pushes, crazy barbell complexes, box jumps; I could go on and on. It is so impressive, and props to you all for being truly athletic.

Have you always been athletic? Did you do sports or just train regularly at an intense level? Or did you find that exercising regularly made you into an athlete (or cyborg as it applies to some of you)?

I want to be like you, but I'm beyond clumsy/klutzy. Kid you not, I trip over my own feet walking, fall going UP the stairs, crash into stuff on a daily basis, drop containers of eggs in stores (did that last night-again), break glasses and dishes on a weekly basis by dropping them. I used to regularly trip over my own feet in group exercise classes. My clumsiness was a running joke in my family while growing up, and is now a running joke within my own family.

I know that lifting will make me stronger and also works on a neuromuscular level which will help with balance and coordination. But, can a true klutz ever achieve a high level of athleticism if starting at practically 37 (end of this month)? I did not ever do sports, so I have no knowledge to fall back on.

Is anyone else clumsy? Did training help to alleviate any of that? How do you keep from getting hurt doing these intense things if you are klutzy?


  • suremeansyes
    suremeansyes Posts: 962 Member
    Have you not noticed how clumsy krokador is? Sorry for throwing you under the bus, but it's true. ;) She is a badass in the gym, still does box jumps despite repeatedly cracking her shins on them. I, on the other hand, stick to my little safe box jumps. I should take a page from her book.

    Have I always been athletic? No. But I have always been muscular, it's just my body shape. That being said, I've always been determined and positive. That helps in any athletic endeavor I pursue. There is nobody or even an inside voice telling me I can't do it, because I don't believe it. One thing that helps me when I try to do super awesome things like pistol squats, pull ups or handstand push ups is to look up progressions for these things. You don't just set out to do a perfect pistol squat, you work up to one. :)

    If you want to be a cyborg, choose to be one.
  • krokador
    krokador Posts: 1,794 Member
    Ha, I'm not even mad! I'll be the first to admit how much of a klutz I am. I didn't earn the nickname Krash by avoiding injuries. Thankfully they've always been minor enough that I could work through it. Sometimes you fall...

    I never was athletic. I did soccer as a summer sport as a tween (age 10 to about 15 I believe?) but I was overweight, slow, and mostly was used as a goalie or D (although towards the later years after much ball abuse and getting kicked in the face too many times to count I started enjoying running the field a bit more. That and my pinky is forever damaged thanks to one of those indoor giant tennis balls we used for our early season tournament...)

    After that I mostly stopped being active and started working at Subway while I went to college. I would bike to and from work but then got my bike crash and a fairly severe concussion which then led to me being unable to really get back on it much at all afterwards.

    Ballooned up to 270lbs or so by the end of college. A "friend" of mine got it into his mind to train me with running and bodyweight at the time, and after a pretty bad groin pull/ what was the beginning of my sciatic nerve issues, I made it back down to around 205 before I hit a wall and burned out on his hitler-like program (wouldn,t even let me take a few days off to go camping!). I tried doing some rollerblading and got my face and skin rearranged a few times in the interval to. To this day, anything on wheels going downhill kind of scares me. I manage to scratch or bruise somethig up every time I get on my bike.

    Got myself back up to 250, down to 235, back up... yoyoed like that until 2011 where I decided that was enough and I was really getting into it for the long haul. Did bodyweight stuff for most of the year, tried out P90X, found Tapout XT and that's where I really got my spark to workout and when it became a daily need instead of a grind. I hurt myself doing it. A number of times. In november 2 years ago I tried to get on my door push-up bar and must've swung it and fell right on my toe. The toenail caught most of the shock and i was a week almost unable to walk on it because of the pain, then 2 months babying it and re-learning to walk afterwards where my exercise suffered.

    Joined a gym last summer and immediately fell in love with it. I started out on a bro split. Then an upper/lower split mixed in with Wendler. Regained weight because I wasn't doing my cardio anymore and the weights made me hungreh! lol. Threw in a weight loss challenge by Top Secret Nutrition around the past holidays and regretted it for multiple reasons... Played friendly soccer over the fall, pulled my groin after the first game, got my shin banged up by a kick (walmart shinguards = no protection...)

    Did some 5x5 work at the beginning of the year and hurt my knee.

    Found this crossfit-like program that looked really fun and broke my face doing the introductory course for it. Gave it a rest because I was visiting my gf anyway, went back to it once I got back. I love it. I love functional training. It beats me down but the feeling at the end is like a drug.

    I'm the gal that walks into doorframes in my own home and trips over my own feet. I am never without a bruise on my body, usually have at least one I can't even remember how I got it. I slice my fingers on a regular basis cutting up veggies.

    But in the end it's not anything unlike life. It kicks you down, you just gotta get back up. If you truly want something, in the words of Mike Karpenko (the trainer from Tapout XT) "You gotta come and get it!" It's my philosophy.

    I'm nowhere near the athletic abilities I'd like to have. I see people on a daily basis at my gym doing things I can't do yet with so much ease it makes me jelly. But I'll get there eventually. Doesn't matter how long it takes or how many times I have to start over to do it. If there is anything I thrive on, it's to prove people wrong - in this instance, I'll prove my past self wrong. I CAN do this.

    And so can you!

    [/motivational speach/novel]
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    Have you always been athletic?

    i don't feel like i qualify for 'athletic' enough to respond, but i'm going to anyway . . . no. i was probably 'active', definitely compared with myself in these days. but it's pretty hard for me to tell what the norm was back then or would be now. my mom refused to drive so we walked everywhere (at the speed of a fat labrador), and i was in my school's recreational netball team; wanted to be nadia comaneci for a few years, and my dad built us a balance beam and a parallel bar in the backyard . . . i had all the freedom of a whole city that people look back on now and point out that children don't have, and i guess i did roam a lot. but honestly, what i really really REALLY liked doing was lying on my own bed, reading. or being up a tree, reading. or hanging by my knees from the parallel bar with a book. i guess i was strong, i always *felt* like i was, or maybe not strong exactly. i felt as if i was sturdy . . . but then women and girls don't go around testing their strength against one another, so i have absolutely no idea if i really was.
    Is anyone else clumsy?

    oh lordy lord . . . physiotherapists and 'dance' instructors and trainers are baffled by me. it's not that i'm weak or that i'm not willing, or in the slightest sense that i'm some kind of fool. i just don't get it, and i truly do try. i'm like that person who phones up a tech support line and is completely unable to take in even the basic concept. i'm like that about fine-motor stuff, or about differentiating one part of my body from any other part. i tried taking a belly-dance class this past year, and the point where i quit was the point where i was *absolutely* paying attention and watching everyone else and following them, and i couldn't feel a thing that was wrong - but when i looked into the full-wall mirror i was doing the move inside out. i'm always that one bat in the flock who is trying to walk. and i usually start out really trying to get something like that right, and end up so angry and frustrated that i can't be there anymore, because what they say to me just doens't make sense. and i know what questions to ask, but i can't get them to understand what i'm talking about.

    so neurologically, i'm just . . . inside out, in my brain or something. i'm selectively body-dyslexic, i guess. but i'm also selectively talented. for instance, i can catch hell out of a baseball. can't hit, can't run, throw like a girl, can't tell one kind of pitch from a different kind in slow-mo . . . but i'm amazing at tracking and catching a flying object. i think i do well at certain whole-body things. biking comes naturally. and compound lifting seems to work well for me. it's almost like when i don't have to think about things, and it's a big whole-system movement, that makes more sense to my brain.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    i'll just add too that my little sister who could give me six inches and forty pounds, WAS an athlete. she was a competitive swimmer, and that was in a country where swimming was huge the way hockey is here. most of the kids she was racing against had their own backyard pools to train in all day, but she was good enough just from the training she got at our school to be scouted by the provincial competitive team. 'her' stroke was the butterfly, which is a hell of a workout. in college here in canada she took up fencing, and ended up winning the national championship in one year. she was really proud of the fact that she was an epee fencer, which is apparently the 'man's' form of it. she could have bench-pressed me with one hand on any one of those days.

    she's clumsy as hell. legendarily clumsy, breathtakingly clumsy. only person i've ever seen go up in a handstand trying to do a walkover dismount from a balance beam, and *fall over backwards* because her brain suddenly lost the connection to 'how to make your back arch'. i can still see it now. beautiful handstand, long endless hang, and then down as straight as a plank, like a slapstick routine. broke her toe doing handstands against the wall in our hallway, sliced a vein doing something with a chisel or something . . . she went skiing (once) and broke her THUMB. the thing that's notable about her is that you expect really active really strong headlong people to injure themselves, but she always finds such weird only-you-could-do-this parts of her body to break.

    recently she told me 'i was standing waiting for the elevator the other day, and i dropped a full mug of coffee onto my foot. don't have a clue what happened. my hand was holding it, and then all of a sudden . . . it wasn't.' i love her to bits. she probably lost a big toenail off that one, now i stop and think more about it.

    people talk about 'heart'. i guess i really do believe in that quality. i used to hear a lot about it when my son was playing baseball, because he really did get your attention and just make you so happy to watch him. but it wasn't really the spectacular *stuff* that he did that drew them. they'd come and hang out in the bleachers with me, and they'd talk about 'heart'. the trouble was, in my experience of anything where (frankly) whole bunches of men get together and use only their own closed-off value systems for stuff like this . . . they try to farm heart, in a way that totally misses the point and most often kills it. they think it can be leveraged and used to 'get' you somewhere, and turned into externally-visible gains and accomplishments. i just don't think it's like that. you do stuff because you love to do it. and you work at whatever it is because you love working at it. where it gets you and how far it takes you . . . that's secondary.
  • perseverance14
    perseverance14 Posts: 1,364 Member
    I have always been muscular too and strength training is a natural for me, but I can walk into walls with the best of them. That said, I am still on the basics. ;)
  • bruerin
    bruerin Posts: 124 Member
    Thank you all for responding.

    @sure-I completely agree with your mindset. I was determined enough to continually overeat and be inactive. I just need to stay positive and focused. The more I read about these super-awesome things, the more excited I get for the future and the possibility of actually doing them.

    @krok-thanks for sharing so much. We are very similar in our ability to seek out accidents. Ironically, I have those Tapout DVDs. I liked them until...that one workout where you wrap the band around your ankles and do those side to side steps...Yeah, well, I fell flat on my face with that damn band around my ankles and knocked out one of my front teeth when my face hit the floor. Never did any of those DVDs again. Maybe someday. Maybe not. It cost too much to fix that tooth.

    @canadian--I was like you and still am-a bookworm. I've always much preferred to sit and read to anything else. Never did any sports, never wanted to. Used to hang out at public libraries. Yep, I was a wild one as a teen "Mom, can you drop me off at the library?" As far as heart, I agree to some extent. Rudy had heart. I'm no Rudy. I'll probably never be able to do a handstand pushup, but I'm ok with that. I just want to feel more athletic and less like a bull in a china shop.

    @perseverance-I think you are a natural at exercise. Your workouts always impress me. You have been dealing with flooding, yet have still found time to post and inspire others. I admire that quality greatly.

    Exercise still does not feel natural for me. But, I LOVE lifting. I'm actually pretty good at it. I'm a lot stronger than I thought I was. I just want to remove all of this fat so I can be limber and do all of the super cool things too. Oh, and to look like Linda Hamilton from Predator!
  • navygrrl
    navygrrl Posts: 517 Member
    I'm still a beginner, but I figured I'd chime in. I've never been athletic, but strength training has made me feel stronger and better in control of my body. I've also gotten more confident, which has helped me a bit with coordination, since I feel stronger, I move better (if that makes sense). That said, I'm also the one who broke her toe last week walking into the bathroom.
  • PurringMyrrh
    PurringMyrrh Posts: 5,296 Member
    I'm still a beginner, but I figured I'd chime in. I've never been athletic, but strength training has made me feel stronger and better in control of my body. I've also gotten more confident, which has helped me a bit with coordination, since I feel stronger, I move better (if that makes sense). That said, I'm also the one who broke her toe last week walking into the bathroom.
    ^ Completely this, minus the toe thing. Although weirdly enough, I think I woke up with gout this morning (I just self diagnosed via the internet and have all the signs and symptoms). *sigh*
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,268 Member
    Yes I have always participated in sports...was in the military (combat arms) and have always been fairly strong...

    But I am clumsy too...I have bruises usually on my hips shins arms from walls, stairs, my bar (hitting your ankle on that is painful)

    For me tho this is about getting strong...I am not gonna go out and play basketball anytime soon, or soccer or anything like that cause well...I get hurt...hehe...elbows to the face, pushed down, possible strains etc that would interfer with what I really want to do.
  • bruerin
    bruerin Posts: 124 Member
    I appreciate you taking the time to answer.

    @navy-I completely understand what you are saying. I'm hoping to also feel in better control of my body and develop better coordination. I saw your post in the workout thread about your toe-OUCH! Let it rest before you try to get back into your C25K routine. That's something else I'm trying to work towards-running.

    @purring-Sounds like you may need to see a Dr. Everytime I have something wrong, I'm on webmd trying to self diagnose too. I'm glad to hear that another person has experienced better coordination and body awareness because of lifting. It makes me want to really keep going to see what my experience will be.

    @stef-so you've been a badass pretty much your entire life? Military training-no joke. I'm definitely not going to attempt any contact sports. I would get hurt for sure. Getting stronger appeals to me, because I'm short and don't want to develop osteoporosis. Trying to build up bone density. I'm just overweight now; no actual health issues of any type-yet. Time for me to grow up, get the weight off and prevent stuff from happening.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    @canadian--I was like you and still am-a bookworm. I've always much preferred to sit and read to anything else. Never did any sports, never wanted to. Used to hang out at public libraries.

    hee. i still struggle, always will off and on, probably. half the time when i blow off a workout, or can't really get my head into it, it's not physical laziness. it's just i really want to be reading instead. i start to kind of disintegrate without my daily allowance of print.

    used to lie on my bed as a kid, doing glute bridges and pikes or whatever to the rules of 'how many pages/chapters can you hold this for?' just for fun. come to think of it, i should spend more time on the floor and try doing that now. now that i know about (oh gawd) planks.
    I just want to feel more athletic and less like a bull in a china shop.

    well . . . riding a bike all over the place never really made me feel like i was integrating all of my different body sections with one another, but compound lifting just feels different in that way. [/quote]
  • navygrrl
    navygrrl Posts: 517 Member
    Yes I have always participated in sports...was in the military (combat arms) and have always been fairly strong...

    But I am clumsy too...I have bruises usually on my hips shins arms from walls, stairs, my bar (hitting your ankle on that is painful)

    Awesome! I was in the military, but it was the Navy, and I sat in a small dark room and stared at screens, so not much coordination involved in that. When I was attached to a coastal combat unit, I (in a 6 month time period) tore the ligaments in my ankle while walking to the back 40, fell off the back of a truck, walked into a pipe and had to get stitches, and was injured when the slide of my 9mm bit into that flesh between your thumb and pointer finger. Oh, and I ended up in the hospital because of complications from an infection. The medics always smirked at me whenever they saw me. It was a very clumsy six month period. (Feel free to laugh. I laugh now. :laugh: )
  • lizafava2
    lizafava2 Posts: 185
    I was never athletic - super clumsy when it came to team sports. Overweight, slow. But always very muscular and strong. It makes me mad that no one ever thought to encourage me in sports where my strength would have been an advantage. Alas, at 35 I am finally figuring it out.

    I did start running (slowly) and biking for transportation in my 20s when I quit smoking. So I have been "fit and fat" for many years.

    eta: IMP clumsiness is not always the opposite of athleticism. Sometimes people are clumsy in sports because they have never been taught - I was raised by a non-athletic single mom who never thought to throw the ball around for me. Can't learn the basics of sports though osmosis.