Ever since I stopped gymnastics I have had a healthy fear of hurting my back. I have no idea where that fear came from. Since developing this fear I am anxious about anyone touching my back or picking me up. (I am 5ft nothing and often times people think it is fun or cute to pick up the tiny person….I have no idea why). This fear has followed me to CrossFit.
Before joining CrossFit I had never really done any of the Olympic lifts before except maybe the back squat. The idea of the Olympic lifts made me really nervous when I first started but I have grown to be more comfortable and like them. Part of the affinity that I have towards the Olympic lifts is that I am relatively good at them for just starting out. This is thanks to my background in gymnastics, my core and just good lifting genes. My 50+ mom deadllifts over 250lbs. Ask me to run a mile though and I am out. I was not built for that kind of aerobic activity which is why I love the CrossFit workouts because most of them consist of very little pure aerobic activity.
My healthy fear of my back helps keep me tuned into my body and focused on what I am doing. On one rep max days I try to never push myself to my absolute max. It is my max with good form. If I feel a twinge in my back or that I am doing it wrong then I am done. In the WOD’s that are mostly lifting based I try to use a weight that I feel is challenging but I can still have proper technique for the entire workout.
So why am I sitting here talking about my back you say……well I broke a couple rules two weeks in a row. The first was last week. We were doing a crazy hard WOD and I was trying to Rx it. The weight felt a little heavy so I chose weights on the bar so I could strip down to a lower weight relatively quickly if need be…..and halfway through the workout when I felt my form falter I should have done that but that little thing called pride kicked in. All the ladies in my class were doing the workout Rx and I didnt want to be the only one that didn’t. So I pushed through and only had a little soreness in the left side of my back to thank for it. No biggie. The next day I contemplated taking the day off to rest but it wasn’t a lifting workout….so I persevered mainly because I love CrossFit….in retrospect I probably should have just taken the day off.
Fast forward to Tuesday……I was working a baby shift at work (8hrs) and contemplated going then not going. So I rushed out at 0715 not quite giving myself enough time for the tremendous traffic that is Northern VA/DC. So I was late….I hate being late. I rushed through the warm-up as well as my warm-up for front squats which oh by the way was the same thing that made my back sore the other week. On top of the that I was coming off of night shift. My body hates everything about night shift. It hates preparing for night shift and also coming off of night shift. It does not matter if I work one night shift or three, my mind and body is confused for about a week. I am nauseated, tired and foggy.
Having known that front squats is what made my back sore the week before…..I was focused like a laser beam on technique, core and body posture. Then on the 3 squat of the last set I let myself relax….big mistake. Instant pain exactly where I was sore the week before. The positive note is that I stopped right there. I did not push through….which may sound easy but it was super hard for me to do. I hate stopping in the middle…it feels like quitting but it was the right thing to do. SO….what have I learned from this experience……..
- I LOVE CrossFit. I almost had a mini-melt down in my head because I couldn’t finish the WOD and because I knew that I was going to have to take some days to rest. Lucky for me some of those rest days involve my family visiting from out of town to keep me busy.
- Warming-up is as important as the work-out. (this statement alone lets me know I am getting old. I have been known to skip stretching before and after working out because “it’s a waste of time”)
- Don’t let pride push you down!! Had I been truthful with myself and stripped about 5-10lbs off the bar mid-work out last week I probably would not be writing this post. I still would have gotten a good workout and been pushing myself to be better without the possibility of getting hurt.
- Sometimes I think that since I am lifting weights and not “flipping” around my focus on what I am doing is not as important but that is totally wrong!! When you are moving heavy weights you better be thinking about what you are doing at all times!!!
- A set-back is not a forever-back. I think one of the reasons that I get frustrated with a set-back is that I think it is going to keep me from reaching my overall goals and that is just not true. Missing four or so workouts to get back to a 100% is not going to make a difference in the long run but constantly being injured will. I need to change my perspective and take advantage of this time.
- What has really inspired me of this week is Lindy Wall – She fractured her L-5 vertebrae and was told that she would never squat again. This year she will compete in the CrossFit. Talk about amazing….check out her story
- I was totally proud of myself for not pushing through the work out….so unlike me and I know it made a big difference. In the same breath I probably should have taken off from work. I have a very physical job and I went the day of and the day after I hurt myself and…..I made it worse. I just hate calling out of work because when the team is short everyone suffers but I also have to remember to take care of myself.
- Technique, Technique, Technique…….
My promise to myself is that I am going to let myself heal, not let pride push-me down, focus on my technique at all times and come back better then ever. Oh yeah and I am going to make this damn front squat my best lift. Here is a picture in honor of the damn front squat that knocked me down but not out….
I also like this picture because one day I will also have abs that look like this……