In July, while on vacation in Singapore, I injured my wrist/hand by repeatedly falling on a stationary wave simulator called Flowbarrel. I didn’t think twice about it until I got home and I put a bar over my head for the first time. I ignored the minor pain for the better part of a month until I woke up with quite a bit of swelling. At that point I knew I had to REST in order for it to heal up. X-RAYs showed no new fracture in the area so I continued to monitor it and take it easy.
Setbacks and injuries never come at good times, and this was no different. I was forced to forego the Wodapalooza Online Qualifier (The “Super Bowl” of CrossFit events), which meant that I would miss out on the January competition. I also missed the Barbell for Boobs “Grace” event, one of my favorite events of the year.
Fitness is a lifetime achievement. CrossFit doesn’t have seasons, so it is vital to keep perspective about why we do what we do. When you deal with adversity within your training, you must not approach it as lost time but as a diversion in training philosophy. For example I couldn’t use my hands and could not put anything over my head but I could squat heavy and often. During the month I did a bunch of GHD work along with barbell step ups and running. Everyday I picked Coach Matt’s brain about ideas for movements and how to get quality work in. Now that the pain is gone, the process of regaining range of motion begins.
The moral of the story is that your coaches are not machines chiseled out of stone by the CrossFit gods (maybe Mike is). Just as we help members overcome obstacles that hold them back from achieving their fitness goals, we must apply the same principles to our own training.
What makes us different as CrossFitters is constantly challenging barriers and limits. I have never sustained a CrossFit-related training injury. CrossFit makes us better at whatever it is we enjoy doing outside of these air-conditioned walls. If I sat on the couch everyday and watched my life pass by I would have never needed shoulder surgery from playing collegiate rugby; I wouldn’t have had to deal with a broken wrist from playing flag football, or with a hand issue from surfing in Singapore. But I would have missed all those experiences that make life fuller and more satisfying. I needed to slow down to recover, but like my mom always told me “If you want to dance, you have to pay the band!”