Oops, I did it again

So I am knowing that I need to rest, am very smart and even though my knee doesn’t feel any pain doing the 50kg front squat (woohoo!). And that was the easiest time I think I’ve ever had power cleaning that weight. Didn’t hurt that I decided to do my one whole rep when one of my favourite songs came on (Shipping Up to Boston).

After that I was judging and coaching. I had the pleasure of judging one of our athletes for whom 50kgs was also a big PR, and she managed to get 5 complete reps in. So inspiring to watch competition bring out the best in people. Also on the men’s side two amazing performances: one guy had tried to squat clean 75kgs probably like 20 times and failed and finally got it. THAT was amazing and I was so happy for him, we all ran over to give him a hug. Another guy managed to squat clean 75kgs when his previous PR was something around 50. Now that is amazing … if the weight had been 75kgs for me, I’m not at all sure I could have done it. Speechless.

So instead of resting for the day instead I decided it would be a good idea to go and do a workout of tire flipping and rope climbing. It was actually super fun while it lasted: 20 minutes, as many rounds as possible of 4 tire flips (300lb tire), 10 jumps onto and off of the tire, and 2 rope climbs. I was really having a blast, practicing pulling myself up the rope with both my arms (usually I primarily use my right arm), learning that flipping the tire isn’t quite as easy when you don’t have 15-20 seconds of rest in between, and just generally having a great time working out outside in the sunshine.

And then on the way down on one of the rope climbs I let go before getting fully to the ground (as you do, you know, trying to conserve energy), landed on the rope with my right ankle, twisted it violently, heard a loud pop, swore, and went upstairs to get it treated. By the time my shoe and sock came off my ankle was swollen about 2 inches bigger than normal size. It was not pretty. Somewhere there is a photo from a traveling CrossFitter that should be mailed to us of me on the ground covered in dirt from the tire with my foot being iced and a huge smile on my face because in that circumstance what can you possibly do but laugh?

My friend Kerry told me yesterday that she thought I was handling the whole injury quite well: taking it as a message that I really should have been resting and now I am being forced to; that the things it will prevent me from doing for 2+ weeks are the things I am good at anyway (running and jumping), and I can just use extra time to work on areas of relative weakness in my upper body and there is no chance I’ll try and push myself back from my knee and bicep injuries too quickly now. When she met me a year ago, I probably would have gone off about how awful it was that right when I was getting over one thing I went on to the next injury, and bemoaning the situation. Thinking back on it, it’s probably true that I would have done exactly that, but I look at the problem more holistically now. Sometimes I wonder how much I’ve realistically changed in the last year and this is actually a great example of how I have.

I was thinking how I was just writing about how I’m not one to cry over spilt milk, so of course, I wasn’t sitting here crying over this one: just absorbing advice on how to get better and putting all my energy into recovering. Luckily one of our coaches knew just what to do, which was to put tight compression on it as quickly as possible to stop the bleeding. He seemed amazed that we got the swelling down as much as we did (it was reduced by about 50% in the first hour or so). Obviously he’s not well acquainted with my parasympathetic nervous system.

But here is another area where trust is critically important. What he did HURT, like grit your teeth and hold your breath, 8 out of 10 level of pain hurt. When you’re injured like that and someone is touching you and it’s increasing the pain you really, REALLY have to trust them. I am not sure I had ever been in a situation like that before, come to think of it. Then, another of our coaches literally carried me down five flights of stairs, to his car, and into my apartment up another three flights of stairs, and I’m 69kgs of heavy. If there is one thing I don’t like it’s to feel helpless, and in this situation I was scared, helpless, trusting, and so, so grateful. All of which is good for me.

52 hours post-injury I was taking my first steps. Well, I eat well and I’m healthy, right? Faith in my own healing (although I need to stop having to prove it!), combined with lots of fish oil & antioxidants, some physical therapy, and following instructions regarding icing and compression. Been drinking a lot of protein shakes with crazy amounts of antioxidants (maca powder, hemp protein powder, cacao powder, the marine collagen stuff that tastes terrible but is great for tendons, ligaments, etc.). I feel a bit like I’m on the SlimFast diet but these things taste fantastic and are so filling! Also, abstaining from drinking has surely helped. A year ago I probably would have self-medicated with a bottle of red wine and would have felt better for a little while but alcohol promotes inflammation, so it was actually the last thing I should be doing with an injury like this. Shame, though, I was kind of looking forward to having a few drinks before the paleo challenge started. Oh well… 🙂

72 hours on, now, walking is easier. It’s so funny because with a sprain all your balancing muscles forget what to do and walking becomes something you have to concentrate on. It literally is almost like learning to walk again.

The x-ray is a year old but it shows how my bones are made out of concrete (thank goodness). Now this is another area for me to be extremely, extremely grateful because the height I fell, and the way I twisted the ankle, well let’s just say I am DAMN lucky I didn’t break it.

While being laid up I read this post which is the best thing I have read in a while. Funny because I was just thinking a few days ago that this is one thing that I generally enjoy, is being open to new possibilities and being flexible. The best decisions in my life were made that way: the decision to go work for Ask Jeeves, the decision to drop out of Cal, the decision to apply for the South Africa offshore course instead of the India one, the decision to try out CrossFit (yeah I’m still hooked, this injury doesn’t mean Xfit is dangerous it means I’m not as careful as I should be and let this be a lesson to us all!).

I have had some good reflection time working from home, and have gotten over some bits of writer’s block because here there is nothing to distract me (other than chat and Facebook…). Time to grab another ice pack and get back to it!

BTW thanks to Chris for staying up late to pull a photo of me climbing the rope off his video. Thank goodness he repositioned the camera part-way through so my injury was not caught on camera!

• “Well, we’re all running from something I suppose.” – Inara (Firefly, Bushwhacked)
• “Be prepared for some extreme pain.” – Chris
• “Everything works together for the good.” – Shaun
• “Wow, how much fish oil did you consume? An entire whale?” – Janie
• “For the past 33 years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” – Steve Jobs

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