Unafraid. Unfiltered. Unapologetic.

#29 – Injuries Make me Sad

As I try to get more fit and stronger, I put forth a lot of effort.  As you know, I’m coming from basically a zero fitness level just seven months ago.  While I have been able to develop more muscle, the ligaments can be stressed more easily as a beginner. Muscles and ligaments are like “Hello! What are you doing to me?”

I was trying very hard to get a movement called Toes to Bars (T2B) – hanging from a bar, using my arms (lats actually) to push back on the bar, and then kipping my legs up to touch the bar. It looked fun when I watch other people accomplish it! The good news is that I was able to do one about a month ago! It was very exciting! The next day my right shoulder starting talking to me. I tried to ignore it and continued to CrossFit as if nothing was wrong. I don’t like to be a whimp. After a few weeks, I went to my friendly neighborhood PT (physical therapist), Travis. He’s officially a chiropractor, knows CrossFit very well, and the body itself even more. He’s also one of the trainers for the Los Angeles Chargers. He knows what he’s doing. And thank goodness we know him. Our entire family and our friends all go to him for help.

Travis uses Active Release Technique on me. Here’s how the Google machine explains it: Active Release Techniques Soft Tissue treatment (ART) is a manual therapy administered by trained professionals to certain soft tissue structures of the body. The ART soft tissue management system is based on scientific evidence that muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue develop adhesions within and between them as a result of various injuries that include: acute (sudden injury), cumulative (chronic injury) and pressure (due to poor posture). These adhesions cause the motion of muscles or joints to be altered, resulting in a wide variety of symptoms including pain, weakness and reduced range of motion, numbness and tingling. The practitioner can determine where the adhesions are, and how severe the soft tissue injury is, simply by his/her touch. ART is generally performed with a direct contact from the doctor to the patient’s skin. The practitioner will find the area to be worked on and either have the patient actively move a body part or passively move the body part for the patient. The practitioner’s contact, coupled with the movement of the patient, allows the adhesions to separate.

And it hurts. Oh does it hurt. But it works. But that’s not all! He told me I had to stop doing some of the fun stuff I had been working on for a few weeks. Don’t hang on the bar or do anything overhead until further notice. What? (Insert sad face here.)  A few weeks turned into more weeks, and weeks turned into more than a month. Big sigh.

Ok, while this was a setback and I didn’t like modifying the prescribed movements each workout, I was up for the challenge. The coaches are simply amazing – understanding, patient, and oh so knowledgeable! Oh! You can’t do this, then do that! Gizzi, Josh, both Tims, Brit, Jessica, Amanda and a few more, are all great about modifying a movement or subbing in something else. I had to adjust the negative thought of not being able to temporarily do something, to I CAN do something else and get stronger at THAT. Yeah, I’ve got this. If I have to.

Today and for the next few weeks, I’m at a point of being able to do a few more movements according to and with permission from Travis. I still need to ask the coach what to do and my “score” for the workout is always way off from other athletes because I’m usually doing an easier movement and/or lighter weight. So while I’m much higher on the leaderboard, it feels fraudulent.

I do get impatient but was told not to go back too hard or too fast. Patience. Patience. I don’t want to get in trouble with Travis or the coaches so I am taking it easy and following instructions.

* A note about people who don’t want to do CrossFit because they think they’ll get hurt. These injuries are usually just soft tissue. Very inexpensive and easy to remedy. I’m no doctor but I don’t think anyone has ever died of a soft tissue injury. On the other hand, here’s what happens if you don’t exercise, which could be life threatening:

  • High cholesterol
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoprorasis (bone weakening)
  • Stroke
  • Stiff joints
  • Poor posture
  • Overweight
  • Depression and anxiety
  • and the list goes on and on – NONE of which are easy or cheap to change!!!!

And on a funny note, I saw on a Facebook thread (and everything you read on Facebook is true, right?) that someone got a wrist injury from… wait for it… knitting! So go have fun and get some exercise! The benefits so outweigh the negatives. Exercise injuries are WAY easier to deal with than NOT EXERCISING. Just do it!

FUN FACT: I love going to movies at Cinepolis and the The Lot. These are the luxury theaters where the seats recline and have food service. Even bad movies are more enjoyable. I’m hooked.

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