After more than six years of CrossFit I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been injured from the sport and not a single one of them lasted more than a week or so. We’re talking tens of thousands of pull-ups, squats, deadlifts, cleans, snatches, handstand push-ups, toes to bar, rope climbs, muscle-ups, basically anything you can name I’ve done.
That being said, there is no way I could even come close to guessing the number of times I’ve had soreness that seemed impossible to overcome.
Now, in those same six years, I can also count the number of times I’ve snowboarded and played soccer on one hand each.
The last time I snowboarded, I spiral fractured my right arm, which resulted in a surgeon needing a metal rod and eight screws to put it back together and six months without any weight-bearing exercise.
The last time I played soccer, I tore my ACL in my right knee, which was replaced with a cadaver ACL and I had to do rehabilitation for 5+ months before I was allowed to do anything laterally. Even then I needed a few months before I could achieve full depth in any squat and it would flare up every single time I deadlifted or opened my knee all the way.
However, no matter how small the injury, tweaking my wrist during a clean, or big, completely blowing up the middle of my knee, I continued to find a way to do CrossFit and worked around my injury.
Whether that was pressing dumbbells instead of a barbell so that my wrist could stay neutral at all times or running and doing single arm presses and snatches when my arm was broken or riding a bike, doing pull-ups, handstand push-ups and sit-ups for months on end because I couldn’t put any weight on my knee.
In fact, I even started a thread on the CrossFit.com message board to log all my workouts and my progress when I tore my ACL so that others could use it in the future. You can check it out here: http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=69541
What I’m getting at with the stories above is that injury, whether major because you got hurt trail running or minor because you tore your hand doing pull-ups, soreness because we had a hard workout the two days before, and mobility issues because you’ve worked for years sitting at a desk are no excuse to not come to the class.
I’ve heard from a lot of you that you don’t want to be a burden on the coach or the class by making us change the whole workout for you, but you need to understand that that’s our job.
One of the biggest reasons we’re there besides making sure everyone is moving well and safely is to modify and scale workouts for each and every member so that they can get the most out of our program.
We want to see you, we want to help you, we want to modify the workout as needed.
We have all done it for ourselves and for others hundreds of times and I know for a fact that each one of us takes pride in having this as a skill of ours as a coach. I personally love it when I get to modify a workout for someone and at the end of class their mobility issue or injury is completely fine and they just got their butt kicked by the workout I gave them as a modified version or completely different WOD than what the rest of the class is doing.
Finally, I’d like to specifically call out one of our members for being such a champion and doing exactly as I’ve asked above. Marc V was trail running in Los Gatos with a friend of his about two months ago when he stepped wrong and tore one of the meniscus in his left knee. After a couple weeks he came in with a knee brace on, let me know what had happened, and let me know that the swelling had gone down and that he was going to start coming to class again with a knee brace on until he decided whether he was going to have surgery or just let it heal. Since that day, Marc has been in the gym 3 days a week, like clockwork, and we’ve modified every workout as needed. At the end of each day his knee is perfectly fine and he’s usually laying on the ground covered in sweat trying to catch his breath.
Thank you, Marc, for always giving it your all and allowing us to help you to continue to increase your level of fitness instead of just sitting at home feeling bad for yourself. You are a model athlete and I’m proud to have you as part of our Cróga Community. Oh, and happy birthday too.