Are you injured? If so, whatever you do, DO NOT do this…
…sit at home and believe you can’t exercise because it’s not true. Come to CrossFit – there’s always something you CAN do!
I’m not talking about being silly and training through an acute injury to make it worse, I’m talking about getting over your worries and looking for the positive outcome to your chronic pain or limited movement.
Your belief that your injury means you can’t exercise to reduce or manage your weight and improve your mental health is just not true. I can tell you this from personal experience.
CrossFit helped me recover from major back surgery
Many people believe CrossFit is a bunch of crazy people pushing themselves to the limit. This is actually 100% correct – it’s the limit that’s important. Your individual limit. Not anyone else’s, just your own.
At 43, today I feel leaner, fitter and stronger than ever – even after having a year from hell with a slipped prolapsed disc in January 2019.
When it first happened, the pain stopped me in my tracks for a few weeks. In the early days the back pain was unbearable as the disc was touching the nerves and waves of pain would shoot down my leg every time I moved – even sneezing was very painful. So, to get into the car and walk upstairs was quite a struggle.
Whilst dealing with the back pain I also learned that I had osteoarthritis in my femur (thigh bone) caused by a double impingement in my hip joint.
I had to wait until April 2019 for my prolapsed disc to be removed and I was advised to have my hip reconstructed six weeks later to help reduce further damage and the risk of osteoporosis and to improve the limited hip movement that I’ve had all my life.
Unfortunately even now, in December 2019, I still wake up every day, after an uncomfortable night’s sleep, in agony. I have a burning sensation in my hip joint and my heavy stiff lower back hurts as soon as I move. My first thought is, ‘what excuse can I come up with to stay in bed today?’ My second thought is, ‘what can I achieve today?’
The main reason I continued to limp to CrossFit Volentia in Rugby whilst waiting for my operations was to continue with the routine of movement and for the mental health aspect of being with people and doing something rather than nothing.
Pre- and post-operations, I could only manage a few physio moves and a slow walk down to Draycote Water. I eventually managed to get all the way around Draycote and within a few weeks of my back surgery, I could get into my car. I went back to CrossFit as soon as I could.
Of course, there have been good days and bad days.
And on the bad days, there have been a few tears. I felt sad when I watched my new gym mates get stronger and smash their personal best lifts and skills because I couldn’t. But it’s also rewarding to be part of their success journey.
And those bad days are far outweighed by the many good ones I’ve had. I’ve always felt welcome, supported and motivated by my friends and especially the coaches. Each time I go to CrossFit Volentia, we all celebrate every very small victory. Sometimes, this can be as simple as just turning up.
One of the coaches, Matty Lee has been my rock – he’s taught me how to scale and adapt parts of each movement in the classes to ensure that I don’t do more harm than good. The whole team at Volentia have impressed me with their skill and expertise. Each one of them has the knowledge and the right level of empathy to ensure I’m safe to move and improve my functional movement without pain or discomfort.
CrossFit vs Gym
Alongside CrossFit, I kept going to my normal gym by myself, but I could not pick the weights off the floor without shooting pain down my legs – it made me feel quite useless and it hurt! I struggled to get a routine together and I started to feel very lonely in the busy gym as everyone was busy on their phones and with headphones on.
After multiple attempts at the gym and some variations, I did work out the right positions on the machines. However, I discovered that just putting on my outfit and going to the gym, even if just for a sauna helped me get out of bed to keep moving forward.
The physio from the hospital advised me not to swim so I discovered that the gym was a great place to get the most important of exercise – active REST in the sauna! At least I was sweating..
By combining the functional movement and mental motivation from the coaches at CrossFit and the active rest gave me the ability to move every day and keep positive during this traumatic year for me
If I were to list all the things I couldn’t do this year there’s an equal list of what I could do!
Furthermore, by choosing to eat less (more about that in another blog), keep moving forward slowly, acknowledge when I need to ask for help and when it’s time to rest. I managed to turn this painful life-changing event into an opportunity to actually put myself first and concentrate on the small simple things that lead to great successes.
Yes, this is my success story, and with the unwavering support from the team of athletes and coaches at CrossFit Volentia I made it happen. The moral of my story is so can you – for me, my injury has been an opportunity to learn more about how to reset my body as I’ve even managed to lose a few pounds.
You DO NOT need to be fit to go to Crossfit, just turn up as the door is always open - you can even hobble in like me. Please do not use your injury or lack of confidence as an excuse to not exercise and gain loads of weight. Turn it into an opportunity to try something new and meet some amazingly inspirational people.
Take a look for yourself at CrossFit Volentia the best thing about Crossfit is that there are no mirrors, treadmills, headphones or fancy swimming pools. You can take your children or a friend for moral support if you need to.