There are few constants in the world, one constant is change. Another constant as it relates to our industry is bad guys don’t grow old, seem to be younger.
Wear and tear
If you have been doing this job for any length of time, it takes its toll on the body. It is really hard to avoid injury when you are pushing the limits on a daily basis. It is not a matter of it, but when you are going to see injuries. They will vary, but count on them and more importantly you need to have a plan for how to get healthy, stay healthy and prevent future injuries. I changed my perspective after a serious injury 7 year ago, in a way it was a good thing because it forced the change.
It’s a young man’s game
I am not getting any younger in case you were wondering. Threats to my well being from criminal or terrorist actors are not aging with me, instead they are younger. They pose a significant threat because they are younger4, but they are also probably stronger and faster than most. When we are conducting our training classes I am surprised to see people have difficulty with the most innocent of movements such as retrieving equipment off the deck. With that being said, most people need mobility, balance and coordination more than anything.
Get your mobility on
We work hard to adjust and modify student’s posture in classes to better support their shooting. Most people either use techniques considered suboptimal due to the demand on the body or in some cases technically inferior. Understanding the importance of the muscular skeleton as it relates to shooting is something we push hard in classes and so on top of having difficulty retrieving equipment most have poor performance in this field because they don’t have the range of motion, their mobility sucks.
Range of motion is sweet
I noticed a ridiculous change in my lifts when I put more effort into my mobility, limited range of motion affects all aspects of your life. Balance and coordination hinge on your ability to be flexible and rigid at the same time. Yes, at times when people ask me how they can get better as a shooter I want to tell them to get stronger, but really what I should be saying is work on your mobility. While there is no safe way to provide advise these days due to our litigative society I would encourage you to simply ask yourself what hurts. It’s a great place to start your search into learning more about that region.
Knowledge is power
There is no excuse why you cannot research a joint, muscle or section on your own. To educate yourself on how it works, what it does and more importantly what it doesn’t do when injured. The body is an amazing mechanism and it compensates incredibly well, learning about those compensations due to the imbalances. While it may seem counter intuitive, your knees may be hurting because you have no flexibility in your ankles. Yes, there could be dozens of other reasons, but by educating yourself you better align your response. You may even come to realize you need to see an expert because it is much worse than you thought and you were doing a good job of trying to ignore the injury.
With access to so many resources these days it is hard not to take a more vested interest in your own body. If you don’t make it a priority, no one else will.