So, apparently, there really is such a thing as going too hard at the gym. Reddit user "Unilythe" posted in TIFU about how he went "permanently deaf after intense sit-ups." Seriously, take a moment to sit down before you read this, and maybe think about canceling that ab circuit you have planned later -- or, just, go easy with it, for the sake of your ears.
According to the user's post, after a few rounds of sit-ups, he felt a pop in his left ear, which was soon followed by extreme nausea and vertigo, and of course, a frantic online search of his symptoms.
After the internet basically told him he was dying and that it was definitely cancer (curse you, Google), he eventually received a more realistic diagnosis of a "fractured round or oval window" -- aka a perilymphatic fistula.
Apparently these fractures can be so small, it's possible you'll never actually locate them. But after a hospital visit and a scheduled surgery, the Reddit user was given a strong likelihood that he would regain hearing from his core-related catastrophe.
However, months later, his balance is still somewhat off, and the hearing in his left ear has yet to return.
While it's extremely rare for this to happen, intense exercise can cause a rupture in a membrane in your inner ear.
In fact, you may have actually experienced this yourself at some point already, brushed it off, and the condition essentially healed itself. But in some cases -- i.e. this extremely unlucky Reddit user -- it requires surgery to repair, and can result in permanent hearing loss.
Even something as chill as breathing exercises during yoga, if done incorrectly, can also result in vertigo and cause sudden hearing loss due to a buildup of pressure in the ear.
So, I know what you're thinking: This is the perfect excuse to skip out on the breathing portion of your yoga class and literally never do a single core exercise again.
But even the Reddit user himself admitted he knew what he was doing was wrong before he received his diagnosis.
He wrote in his post,
I held my breath, which is dumb. I kept going when my body barely could, which is dumb. I strained all my muscles to get those last few sit-ups out, which is dumb. Working out doesn't cause this. Being a dumb f*ck who doesn't know what he's doing causes this.
A little harsh, but I definitely feel his frustration on a spiritual level.
So, yeah, this story should kind of scare the sh*t out of you, but it shouldn't turn you off of all exercise for good (now burpees are another story... JK, sort of).
In the end, if you can take any lesson from this TIFU post, it's that pushing through a workout when your body is screaming for you to stop is never a good idea.
And while you might really want that extra core strength, I'm willing to bet you probably want fully functional hearing a lot more.