Karen has been a Crossfit athlete for 2 years after falling in love with lifting and pushing herself to her limits. Since starting Crossfit she's wanted to compete and is always on the lookout for the next competition to get involved in. She's so excited to be contributing to So She Lifts & is a great member of our online community. You can follow her Crossfit story on her Instagram account.
Injury sucks. I’m hope I’m not being melodramatic here, ask any athlete and I’m pretty sure they’d agree. I’ve been a CrossFit athlete for 2 years now, and despite constant warnings that it’s the most dangerous sport going (yes even more dangerous than diving with sharks) the worst injury I’ve had was a blood blister under my nail after trapping my thumb between 2 plates (it hurt like a bitch!). The worst injury I’ve had happened 8 weeks ago and had nothing to do with Crossfit at all. I decided it would be a fantastic idea to go trampolining for my birthday in June and for about 30 minutes it absolutely was a fantastic idea! Then I got cocky and whilst my boyfriend was filming me I went bouncing from one end of the room to the other until I landed on my ankle with my foot at a right angle and a resulting nasty sprain, happy birthday to me! It has to be the high point of my life, being carried off the trampolines with 8 year olds parting the way so the injured old lady could get off. And yes, the video still exists, I’m sure I’ll be able to watch it with glee soon(!).
I wish I could say I’ve dealt with my injury with the composure and grace of Julie Foucher after her Achilles injury at Regionals last year. But I haven’t. In writing this I’ve realised I’ve gone through 5 stages; amusement, despair, anger, irritation and in the past couple weeks I’ve accepted it and starting to move forward. For the first few days I thought it was the funniest thing on the planet, here’s me training 12 hours a week and I manage to do this trampolining! I really thought I’d be back on my feet in a few days and I’d be back to my full training regime in no time. I even went to the gym a couple of times to train upper body trying to ignore the pain in my ankle.
I came to a realisation when a week after the injury my manager told me to leave work and get to A&E because I was in so much pain. Apparently winching through meetings isn’t professional! A&E promptly told me to rest. Full rest. No training. Little walking. Basically stay in bed for a few days.
I realised this was bad, and I wouldn’t be back training in a week, or even a month. I was absolutely crushed. I was signed up for a partner competition in July, a team one in August and an individual in October. To let down my teammates was such a blow, and I’d been so looking forward to competing.
I stayed in bed for 3 days. 3 days watching Instagram videos of other people lifting and crying. I really thought this was the end to my competing plans. I’d messed up all the goals me and my coach had for this year and for next. I gave up.
Once I was back at work I came out of the despair stage and went into anger. How could I be so stupid?! People often tell me I have to schedule fun and spontaneity (4pm on a Tuesday, just FYI) and this is exactly why I don’t go outside my routine! Bad juju happens if you leave your set routine! I was so pissed, I couldn’t train, I couldn’t even go for a walk on my lunch. This was SHIT.
3 weeks in, I was a bit more stable so went back to the place I love most, my box. I still couldn’t train so I helped coach. It sounds twee but helping our new members, and those struggling with a particular movement was really fulfilling and I felt I was back where I belong. It was also nice just to catch up with everyone and have their support.
So where am I now? 8 weeks in and with the help of my coach I’m back training and have been for the past two weeks. I can do pretty much every movement now, and I’m starting to build up the weights and I’ve got my nutrition sorted which is helping me focus so much more.
I do feel I’ve lost a bit of me somewhere along the way. I’ve always been the girl in the corner doing double and triple sessions, preparing for one competition or another, using my lunch breaks to do a bit more training, and always trying to better my last time or weight. For now, I’m just an ordinary CrossFitter and it’s not something that sits comfortably with me, I’ve always wanted to be better than average. I’m scaling most WODs which isn’t something I’m used to, but I know its all part of the bigger picture, and scaling now will mean I’m back to RX that bit quicker.
If I could impart any advice it would be the following;