In which, for once, I don’t get injured doing something stupid

Apparently I should have named my last blog post something along the lines of “Ellie gets injured doing something stupid.”

Well, when the most movement you do is hobbling between the couch and kitchen, it’s pretty hard to injure yourself. Unfortunately, it’s also pretty boring. So maybe a better name for this post would be “Nothing much interesting happened because I didn’t do very much.”

They announced the next CrossFit Games workout: 10 minute workout of as many rounds as possible of 60 burpees where you have to jump over the bar in between each one (two-legged jump and landing, whee…), 30 overhead squats @40kgs, and 10 muscle-ups. Would be interesting to see how far I got at this workout if I could actually do the workout.

Adding insult to injury, my brand new weightlifting shoes arrived at the gym from the courier Rika (glad to have her back in the country), and they fit perfectly. At least the left one does. This was a bit of a risk since you had to order men’s sizes (thanks, Rogue Fitness… but at least the sizing charts were bang on). Very exciting. Ugliest shoes in the damn universe but hey, it’s CrossFit not a fashion show (as I think I reminded Roland once when he made fun of me for wearing purple socks with my green shoes…).

Speaking of something that is not something else I had my first experience with acupuncture on Wednesday. Wow this is all very stream-of-consciousness but I’ll go with it. So the first needles went into my cranium (how giving me a cramping headache when they came out will help my ankle I may never know). Probably not ideal to have your first experience with acupuncture be to treat an acute injury but it was what it was. So the needles hurt a little going in, then some dull pain. Then nothing. Then some crazy pain throughout the whole ankle area the likes of which I’ve never felt before. It wasn’t sharp, or dull, or acute, or achy … it was a different sort of pain, and I could almost feel something being radiated out from that area, and some heat. Apparently this is what acupuncture feels like, although usually it manifests as energy and not pain! All in all a very disconcerting thing. Then that faded away.

THEN the doctor came and took the needles out and proceeded to do something that might have been termed massage if it wasn’t absolute torture. Chris had me at an 8 out of 10 on the pain scale the other day, this was more like a 9 or 9.5. I’m not one to cry out in pain, but I did. Holy heck. I will say that I was walking better after that little adventure. Went back to the gym to do more mobility work, and say goodbye to one of our coaches who is off to Europe for a few days. How you can tell I was really injured is that I was watching the other people lift weights and I had absolutely zero desire to join them. I could have done some sort of a workout but I was absolutely, completely, totally not in the mood. That never happens to me. The body is smart, if you know how to listen to it (and, ahem, actually DO listen to it!).

So what did I actually do this week other than lay around on the couch, ice my ankle, massage the fluid away, rest, rinse, repeat?
• 2x sports massage to help with the ankle and tendonitis
• The above-mentioned Chinese torture session
• Visit to the chiropractor
• Picked up my organic veggie bag in Woodstock
• Lunch at Caprice (beach salad & bikini burger, paleo style!)
• 4x foam rolling & stretching at CCF (along with I think 7 pullups, 4 pushups, and 5 or 6 ring pullups)
• Judged two athletes perform 11.4 (both of them did better than I did haha!)
• Did my one burpee jump over the bar; Chris was even nice enough to cross off the “s” on the word “burpees” so it’s nice to know he at least has a sense of humor about the whole thing!

I of course had wanted to do more than one, but I was told in no uncertain terms and multiple times that I was not allowed. I guess that’s the secret: if you want to order me around I need to believe that you believe you’re doing it out of love.

In thinking about it, most of the day Thursday was spent in one form of physical therapy or another. Probably on the order of 9-10 hours total in the entire week. Injuries are not only painful, but expensive and time-consuming!

I finally made it back to work on Friday. That was pretty awesome. I picked a lousy time to get injured though; the next few weeks have a ton of public holidays and so there won’t be as much work getting done. The calm before the storm, and if I’m smart I’ll take good advantage of it.

Saturday was TEDxCapeTown! Unfortunately I was still a bit immobilized so I didn’t get to socialize as much as I would have liked and mainly just hung out with other CCFers. Good thing we brought our own protein because the catered lunch didn’t have any. I should also thank my friend Charlotte for finding someone to put my ice packs in the freezer and for going and swapping them each break. Also, I nearly made myself sick drinking too much water too fast. But this is what happens when I’m cut off from access to water for hours at a time. I am, indeed, for love of water.

Interesting series of talks, and a sublime musical performance by Ard Matthews. Cape Town really is a great town for music. A couple of interesting notes from the day:
• Thanks to mine refuse there are parts of Gauteng that get yearly doses of radiation that are in line with Chernobyl (this was the only talk to receive a standing ovation). From this three take-aways:
o Government coverups exist in every country, I guess
o Another reason to be glad I live in Cape Town and not Johannesburg
o I really hope that Shell doesn’t get to frack the Karoo
• We generally don’t take sufficient time to think.
• Eran Eyal is a singulatarian. Interesting.
• Cape Town had municipal water before the city of London. Who knew? The Reclaim Camissa project is quite interesting.
• Stats are apparently that about 20% of people will have substance abuse problems and 5-10% will have them to the point where it messes up their life severely.
• The universe *is* an amazing place and we really don’t need to be under the influence to enjoy and be amazed by it. Having said that, I still intend to have a drink too many on occasion. Just. Not. Until this ankle heals.
• Never get too dependent on your slides.
• The world as tetris: apparently the best players manipulate the orientation on screen rather than in their heads, and you can work with people and situations in the same way.
o This didn’t sink in as much until in discussions today I realized it applied to CrossFit as well. Vary *how* you do things and you might learn what does and doesn’t work (or, in my case, exactly what situations cause your hands to rip open in various places ….).

Best quotes from TEDxCapeTown:
• “We try to get too clever and we just get stupid.”
• “But something is changing, isn’t it?”
• “It’s so easy to shirk the responsibility to think.”
• “Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

Today was a good day. Decided against yoga because of my ankle, so slept in which was divine, had some lunch, then headed out to Somerset West where I spent a couple of hours with Neil at his gym. Yeah put a couple CrossFitters together and they can talk about CrossFit for, apparently, about 4.5 hours! I did learn a thing or three, ripped my hand open in a whole new way, and I hope I gave him some things to think about in terms of how he might build his own business. I guess the #1 thing is that it’s time for me to put together a specific plan regarding how I want to get stronger and address my own weaknesses, and start experimenting.

This was also the first day that I was able to walk in the morning without having to ice the ankle first, which is encouraging in terms of my being able to train in the morning tomorrow. I feel like a kid before Christmas … I get to train tomorrow!!! Hmm, what was I just saying about substance abuse problems?

I’m excited. Excited for the work week, to be training again, and hopefully for a Sectional workout that I can actually do!

• “Unfortunately being perfect is really hard!” – Meggie
• “Well, you certainly did twist your ankle sufficiently.” – Stuart
• “What sadistic bastard thought this up? This is hectic!” – Rob
• “Don’t eat a giant bowl of berries and cream right before you do the workout.” – Pat Barber
• “It happened outside the gym.” – Chris
• “I ain’t so afraid of losing something that I’m afraid to have it.” – Zoe (Firefly, Heart of Gold)
• “I think we’ll see some things we’ve never seen before.” – Neil

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