Battling Through an Injury –Coach Andrew

Screen Shot 2013-10-30 at 4.00.35 PMEveryday we are at the box we push our bodies as hard as we can. We endure ripped or callused hands, a nagging pain here and there, and yet we somehow manage to keep on showing up each day. When people outside ask us “Why do you continue to do this to yourself?” we simply respond “Because I enjoy pushing myself every time I am hitting a WOD”. Maybe we all have a masochistic type attitude and the outside world just doesn’t understand why someone would want to endure that much pain without a monetary value attached to it.

What I want to discuss today goes beyond those little nagging injuries. This article is for those members that find themselves with a serious injury that could possibly keep you sidelined for months. Within the past few months I have been bitten with the injury bug a few times. It started at the end of summer with a chronic shoulder issue that I have had for just about 5 years now. Since a lot of the movements we do in CrossFit involve the use of our shoulders, I had to scale and modify each WOD to make sure I wouldn’t aggravate it even further. Through modifying WOD’s, taking extra time to work on shoulder mobility and strengthening exercises, I was able to get my shoulder back to its normal state. Shortly after getting back to 100% I was then bitten by the injury bug again.

This time I was doing a 5 rep max deadlift. On my last and final rep I was just about to hit full extension and I felt a sensation I had never felt before. It felt like my lumbar spine was being wrung out like a wet hand towel. That night adrenaline masked the true pain that I would experience in the next upcoming weeks. The following morning it was a task to move period. Each and everyday presented new challenges. My mindset at the time wasn’t focused on how I was going to workout, but on if I would be able to workout ever again like I was accustomed to. After seeing Doctors I was given the news that I had sprained a ligament and muscle in my lower back and that I couldn’t CrossFit for at-least 2 months. Even though this was great news it was still devastating to me. Crossfitting is what I love to do and it is my outlet to relieve any stressors in my life. Instead of becoming defeated by this news I decided that there  had to be some other exercises I can do to work on some of my sucks. I allowed myself two weeks completely off from training since even bending over was extremely painful. After my two week rest period I then began doing volume training strict pull-ups and focused on using static holds to help improve my shoulder stabilization. All of the movements I used involved little or no movement at all. This allowed me to work on muscle groups that we don’t focus on primarily during our foundational movements. So, even though I couldn’t hit the WOD everyday (which drove me crazy at times), I was still able to work on things that would get me stronger for when I could return.

Defeat was not an option and even though everyday I woke up in agonizing pain I was still able to find something for me to work on. When my back started to feel better I was not only working strict pull-ups, but I had built up enough strength that I was doing sets of 5-10 weighted strict Chest to bar pull-ups. All of this work paid huge dividends. It has been my goal for the past year to get a strict muscle up.

One day I glanced over at the rings and thought to give it a shot and attempt a strict muscle up. So I chalked up my wrist and got my false grip set. I then got myself into the hollow body position and started my pull. To my amazement I did it! I wish I had a picture of my face when my elbows were on top of those rings, because I was in complete shock. I then pressed out of the dip and slowly lowered myself down. My excitement was through the roof and I just looked around asking anyone and everyone if they just saw what I did.

What this taught me is that even if you do experience an injury, there are always things that you can work on. Some injuries may still allow you to do the daily WOD with just some minor modifications and others may force you to completely change your style of training temporarily. If you suffer an injury, do not use that as a reason to stop working out entirely. The staff at Albany CrossFit is always here to help you out on your fitness journey. We can modify workouts for you or come up with a program specifically suited for you to help you get back to where you want to be.    


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