Rhabdomyolysis - The breakdown of striated muscle

It's the worst! Today with all the training getting to 100 miles and the incredible fatigue that goes along with it, it makes me think about that day 15 years ago when I was introduced to Rhabdo.

What is Rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis, or "rhabdo" for short, is a serious medical condition that can occur as a result of strenuous exercise. When someone engages in extremely intense exercise, such as high-intensity interval training or lifting heavy weights, the muscle fibers can break down and release a protein called myoglobin into the bloodstream.

Myoglobin can be harmful to the kidneys, which filter the blood and remove waste products. If too much myoglobin accumulates in the kidneys, it can cause damage and potentially lead to kidney failure.

Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis can include muscle pain and weakness, dark urine, fever, nausea and vomiting, and swelling. If you suspect you may be experiencing rhabdomyolysis, it's important to seek medical attention right away. Treatment may include IV fluids to help flush out the kidneys, as well as medications to manage pain and prevent further muscle breakdown.

My Story

I didn't know anything about what had happened to me. All I knew was that I was 72 pounds down of fat and feeling great! I had no trainer, no knowledge of proper programming, nutrition, or biomechanics, and felt like I could do anything.

So one Saturday, I wanted to see what I could do, how long I could go, and what I was made of. This was not smart in the way I went about it.

Well, I went to my gym in Raleigh, NC, and I said to myself that I would hit every class that was available, and in between classes, I would go workout on my own. I just had to keep moving.

6 hours later, with no food, just water and my brand new shiny Faith in Jesus, music blaring in my eardrums, a zealous passion for being able to do anything because I read scripture out of context, and ignorance that God would redeem later on - a recipe for imminent disaster. 

Well, it was! 3 hours later, while sitting in my rocker chair, I could feel a layer of soreness creep in like we do on the next day, then another layer, and then another! My body went into shock, and I didn't know what to do or what was happening. I reached over with every muscle fiber I had left to fire and got my phone, ready to call 911.

I sat there for a couple more minutes as the final layer of pain settled in, seconds away from going into the hospital. I have dealt with many pains in my life and even stitched myself up on a couple of occasions (that's a long story for another time), but this was something else; it wasn't a normal pain. I was at 10 for soreness!

I couldn't go to work for a week, and the second week that I did go, I hobbled to everything. For over 6 months, I was sick all the time, and fatigue set in and stayed. Every day at 12, my body would shut down, and I would have to sleep. I couldn't drink milk anymore, and I had no idea when I would ever step into the gym again.

There seemed to be no relief in sight, nothing seemed the same, and everything was a chore.

What I Learned

I learned a lot about nutrition during this time, figuring out what went wrong so this would never happen again, but also learning how to get through this incredible doom I put myself in was at the top of importance.

All that to say, a lot more went wrong because of the trauma I caused myself; I'll share the details in my book I am working on. My point is that my life took a different turn. Academia became my friend, and SCE Fitness was spawned from ashes - balance is king. Without it, we become susceptible to anything that looks good!

If you would like direction in living your life according to your priorities with balance and attention to detail, please reach out and let us do life with you together well - not perfect, but imperfectly perfect!

We are not trying, we are training to become who we were made to be - Love yourself, love others, and love God most of all!

Journey to Leadville 100 Race - KJay with SCE Fitness

K.Jay Davis
Master Fitness & Life Coach
NESTA Certified Personal Trainer

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