Freeletics fun!

More crippling injury hilarity!


  • understanding of a situation or event only after it has happened or developed.
  • “with hindsight, I should never have tried to star those fucking pull-ups”

So here’s the thing. Coach had given me Hades for my first workout of the week. Hades, as you well know, has pull ups. Pull ups, as you also know, are really bloody difficult. Particularly if you’re boasting the same kind of strength-to-weight ratio as a Eric Pickles when he’s locked himself into a Gregg’s after being diagnosed with an incurable muscle wasting disease. (And THAT, my lovelies, is the most convoluted, pointless simile you will read today, or ever.)

So I’d never managed to star a Hades. Before I started, I was sitting in the kitchen with my wife having a coffee. I was mulling over what to do. I knew that if I tried to do every pull up properly, it was going to take a lot longer than it normally does. And I was (am) very busy with work at the moment, so I’ve got to be honest and admit that I was very tempted to just bash them out as normal – a few starred reps then a little jump into the pull ups. But no. I had to be all gung-ho about it. I made my decision: I was going to star this Hades if it killed me. It didn’t. Quite.

I started off. It was all going pretty well. The pull ups were hard, obviously. By the third round, I was having to basically do them one at a time. But I was doing them! A breakthrough, of sorts. And then it all went tits up.

On my last rep – my LAST REP – I came a cropper. The pull up bar came off. I was struggling so hard to get myself up that my legs began to move out from under me. As that happened, it obviously affected my centre of gravity. The bar is the kind that sits on the door frame. It comes with a small metal clip that is supposed to stop it from coming off the frame, but to be honest I can’t actually blame that. As soon as my bodyweight started to shift, the bar began to rotate until it reached the point where… Well… Look, it bloody fell off. Let’s not dwell on it.

I made the rep just as the bar came off. There was a beautiful moment where I felt as though I was suspended in mid-air. But as often (in fact, pretty much  ALWAYS) happens, gravity was to make a sharp entrance, whilst simultaneously kicking me in the bollocks. Actually, it would be more accurate to say it kicked me in the back. Thanks to my terrible technique and weedy arms, I was almost horizontal as I began my hasty, somewhat inelegant descent.

In my mind, it looked exactly like this. But in truth, it was probably more spectacular.

I landed flat on my back on a wooden floor. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the sound that 12 and a half stones of idiot makes when it lands on a wooden floor from a height. I have. It’s quite loud. But I didn’t hear any nasty cracking sounds, so I figured that all I had to contend with was the pain and an inability to draw oxygen into my lungs. Happy days. My wife, having heard something that sounded like a cow having been fired from a cannon into a wall and subsequently voicing its distress, was quick to investigate. What she discovered was me, rolling around the floor and emitting odd grunting noises. I was in a lot of pain.

After about thirty seconds of her absolutely shitting herself that I’d broken my back, I managed to wheeze the words ‘I’m alright’. Which was bollocks really, but I just felt I ought to try and offer some reassurance. I got my breath back and stood up. The pain was centred in the middle of my back. It was bad, but not unbearable. It quickly started to die down a bit, and after five or six minutes of walking about, I actually considered finishing the workout. I did an exploratory push up. Er… No. Clearly wasn’t going to happen.

It’s now a week later, and I’m still struggling with it. Keeping true to my status as a professional knob head, I have not been to the doctor’s to get it checked out. This in spite of a story my mate Steve told me about someone he knew that broke his neck in three places on a bouncy castle, but wasn’t actually diagnosed with it until about four days after it happened. And he was apparently very lucky not to have ended up in a wheelchair. So if nothing else, it’s been an interesting exercise in further testing the limits of what I will actually seek medical assistance for. I’m guessing there would have to be at least two limbs off, and even then I’d probably be all apologetic for wasting their time.

Joking apart, I need to get it sorted. Even if it’s only so that someone can tell me to rest it for a certain amount of time. What seems to happen now is that I will wake up (if I’m lucky enough to have had any sleep) and be extremely stiff and sore for an hour or so. During the course of the day, it will improve. Sometimes to the point where I think it’s actually more or less better. But then I’ll make a small movement and have that brief flash of pain.

So fuck my life then, eh? Bloody bloody bloody. But I’ll be back, hopefully sooner than later. I’ll blog again when the docs have had a butcher’s hook. In the meantime, I am making a claim for the most ridiculous injury sustained doing Freeletics. Think you can beat it? I’ve set the bar pretty high. (There’s a joke in there somewhere.) Perhaps you could accidentally fall down a well during Aphrodite, or get sucked into a jet engine on your last round of burpee-frogs in Kentauros. I’m not giving you any more examples, you need to think up your own injuries/deaths.


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  • Mateo

    Hey Shaun, I’m sorry to hear that(eventhough you made me laugh at your disgrace),and really hope you’ll get better soon.
    I’m also a little hurt, It seems that my feet aren’t strong enough to go through so many impacts(burpees, jumps, etc). So, I’m resting for a week from this fantastic, healthy and enjoyable activity.
    take care.

    • Shaun

      Thanks Mateo. I actually feel a bit better this morning – managed to get a good night’s sleep for the first time in about a week! Currently debating whether or not to attempt Apollon. Don’t want to set myself back but I’m getting desperate to do something!

      Sorry to hear about your feet. I think my barefoot running has really helped me in that regard. My feet are probably the strongest part of my body!

  • Shaun

    Okay, just tried to do Apollon. Was ok-ish but I stopped after the second round. Not feeling pain as such, but my back and neck were getting stiffer and I got the sense I could regret it in the morning. Still… Nice to get a sweat on again!

  • Nat

    ouch! hope you’re back to full fitness soon.
    Only injury (sore buttocks from Kenauros aside) I’ve had was a red face when I dropped my iPhone on the running machine and (in a million to one shot) managed to toe-poke it inside the half inch gap and actually inside the machine.
    Felt like a right idiot approaching the gym staff asking to recover my phone from ‘inside’ the running machine. They didn’t believe me until we actually dialled my number and could hear it merrily chirrping away inside the bowels of the running machine. It took 20 minute delay while gym staff took the machine apart to recover it.
    A week later I nearly did it again, this time on one of the upstairs machines, but instead of toe-poking it inside the machine the phone went flying over the barrier and nearly hit a woman downstairs, necessitating sheepish trek downstairs to recover it.
    Most bizarre non Freeletics related injury I’ve had was managing to stub a cigarette out in my own eye. I was stood on the doorstep waving goodbye to someone while having a chuff and the next thing I know I’m howling in pain with a burning ember in my eye. Blinding stuff!!
    Stay well and get better soon – Kentauros awaits you!!

    • Joseph

      Sorry to laugh about your injuries Nat, but between this and what I just read from Shaun, this is the best laugh I’ve had all week. Thanks.