Today's rant is about a video that a lot-- and I mean A LOT of people have been tagging me in this week. I am not going to link to the video because I really don't want to draw more attention to it, so instead I will post a picture of my dog, who has just had a bath, and is not very happy about it but is super cute anyway.
OK. So in this video, there is a woman who is Olympic lifting. She doesn't lock out completely on the bar for whatever reason (it could be that the weight was too heavy for her, or it could just be user error-- it happens), and the bar collapses on top of her. Ouch. (She is OK, by the way. Whew.)
People are passing this thing around like candy, though. They think it's hilarious. One person told me that someone had been using it as "proof" that "women can't lift." This poor woman is being shamed all over the place for a freaking mistake in the gym.
But she's in good company, because I see this happen all the time. "Gym fail" videos are rampant. I don't know what it is about the human psyche that makes people love to watch (and laugh at) people injuring themselves, but there it is.
So what I have to say about this particular video is this:
She made a mistake.
Experienced lifters make mistakes ALL THE TIME.
LOTS of guys.
I have been to more than one powerlifting event where a barbell bounced off someone's neck in a bench press that didn't go as planned, or when a squat went horribly wrong. In my own gym, I installed safety straps on my rack because I train alone, and one time my knee happened to go out from under me in a squat and I ended up slamming my head on the bottom of the cage with the bar on my neck (I was using a relatively light weight, thank goodness).
My point is, it happens. It doesn't mean that people who make mistakes "shouldn't be lifting," or that they are inexperienced or dumb or any of the things people are saying about this woman and others who have had the misfortune to have their accidents caught on video and broadcast to the masses. It means that weightlifting, in all its glorious forms, carries an inherent risk, and it is one that many of us are willing to take. All things in life-- and especially a sedentary lifestyle-- carry risks of varying degrees, and it comes down to what we are willing to risk for the lifestyle we choose. For those of us who love to lift heavy things, we run the risk of tearing a muscle, ligament, or tendon, harming a joint, or dropping something hefty on ourselves. Fortunately, with good form and good sense, those risks can be minimized, but not eliminated.
So think about it. What do you love? Are you willing to take the risks it entails? I, for one, intend to keep on doing the strengthy things. And to that woman in the video, wherever she is, I hope she keeps on doing what she loves and doesn't take the internet frenzy to heart. And if she is in need of something to improve her mood, here is another picture of my dog, who is in a better mood now because she's getting a belly rub.