Treating an injury like a refactor

FEBRUARY 3, 2020

For far too long now I’ve had a nagging tennis-elbow-like injury (self diagnosed). I’ve been busting through my upper body workouts pretending that eventually the pain will go away, except it hasn’t. I’ve adjusted my form and even started doing only body weight exercises for upper body, but the pain in my one elbow just won’t go away.

I’ve come to the cold hard truth that I’m going to need to take some time off from lifting to let my elbow actually heal.

Me after not doing upper body for 2 weeks

I’m pretty bummed because I look forward to my upper body workouts much more than doing lower body. I already know it’s going to be a lot harder to get myself out of bed in the morning to get to the gym and some leg workouts.

But I’m looking at it as a necessary ‘refactor’ of my body. If I was working on a codebase that had a major problem area of code I would want to take the time to fix that problem. When working on a project at work that time isn’t always afforded, sometimes a feature has a hard deadline or project managers never want to take time to refactor old code – ‘it’s a waste of time’. So, many times neccessary refactors are skipped over and we just deal with the problem code as best we can.

I always wonder in these situations if taking some time off of the next feature to do a refactor would actually speed up dev time moving forward. I’m sure in certain situations this is true but I’ve never had that opportunity when working on a project at work.

So unlike a project at work, I do have the time to take a break from the gym and let my body ‘refactor’. I’m hoping that my elbow will heal faster than if I keep pushing myself through workouts. Time will tell.

P.T. program I’m trying: