If you’re not first, you’re last

I love Will Ferrell movies. I can quote most of them frontwards and backwards. They are absolutely hilarious and not sure I’ve ever seen one I didn’t love. Today… I kinda felt like Ricky Bobby.

I had my workout all planned out today, however, when I saw the programmed workout for the box, I thought, “hey, I can do this!” Sheesh. At some point I’m going to realize that I’ve taken a month off and all this stuff that used to be super easy for me is now super hard. However, I’m apparently not at that point yet. So today’s programming looked like this:

Strength/Skill: 

  • 4×4 deadlifts at 60-80% 
  • 10 min of accumulating wall sits

WOD

40-30-20-10

  • Wall balls (20/14)
  • Push-ups

I know what you’re thinking. How can she do any of that? Well, let me tell you I have done a lot of research… A LOT. I’ve gotten pretty good at finding ways to modify a lot of crossfit movements and make it work for me. I also substitute work that I can do for work that I can’t.

I knew I couldn’t do wall sits so I traded them out for an EMOM of hanging L-sits on the rings. I can’t do deadlifts, but I can do single-legged deadlifts with my foot propped up on a bench. Wall balls, my favorite, (no… I’m not joking) I have to do either kneeling on my knees or seated on a bench. Since we don’t have gymnastics mats, I chose to use the bench today and do seated wall balls. Push-ups… easy. I just put my casted foot on top of my left foot and do push-ups. It’s possible to make the programming work.


What I wasn’t expecting was how exhausting it would be for me. Normally, this WOD would have been a piece of cake. Yesterday was my first day to get back in the box and really train. I did weighted push-ups, DB snatches, and a lot of strict work on the pull-up bar and rings. After a month off, my everything was sore! However, in my mind, I am still the same crossfitter I was a month ago. In reality… not even close.

When we think of injury, we think of the physical injury itself. No, I can’t use my right foot for anything because I’m nonweight-bearing. It doesn’t cause me any pain other than a super uncomfortable cast, but that’s what we see… the physical part. I’m telling you now, it’s not even in comparison to the emotional and psychological aspect of an injury. It does more to us I think than the physical limitations.

Feeling tired from 45 pound deadlifts is a punch in the gut when you’re max is 300. Being the last one to finish when you are usually the first is a shot to the ego. The funny part is that I thought it would bother me more than it did. Truth is, it didn’t bother me at all. Honestly, when I finished today, I felt good. It was an opportunity to feel the high of competition again… the reason I truly love crossfit. Beating a time, a goal, a number of reps… 


At the same time… I was exhausted! My leg and arms were shaking when I finished. Mentally, I thought this would be easy. Emotionally, I was frustrated, yet proud. Physically… tired. Yep, I finished last. But I finished. I worked out 5-6 days a week prior to injury. Right now, I think 3-4 days is going be my limit until I build my stamina back up. 

It isn’t just crossfit… it’s all aspects of life. You think you can do something because you take for granted how easy it was, but reality quickly knocks you on your butt (sometimes literally) and you have to take a step back to realize you aren’t that same person right now. 

Jimmy is super excited about going to Keeneland. I love Keeneland. It’s my favorite thing to do in the spring and fall. I immediately said yes… but then reality started setting in… long distance walking, standing, crowds to push through… yeah. Then I got sad because I miss getting to do all the fun things with my family. Here’s where I get to modify in life! Called the ortho and got a temporary handicapped parking pass. ✔️ Bringing my scooter for getting around easily. ✔️ Taking a chair where I will sit and watch the horses while letting everyone else fetch me bets and beer. ✔️ Problem solved. 

So that quote from Talledaega Nights, “If you’re not first you’re last…” yeah. That’s garbage. You have to admit you can’t do it all when you’re injured. You’re not the same person. You can’t do the same things the way you used to… but you CAN do them! You might do them slower. You might do less. You might struggle. But there is strength in the struggle. That’s my mantra. When things feel rough, when it’s hard, when you want to bail out… remember these are the times you grow the most. 

No one wants to start over

I was so excited for the open. I had goals and this one was on the top of my list- compete in the open and RX every workout. But then the rest is history. 

My redo of 17.2 before rupturing my Achilles’ tendon.

It’s hard not to be bitter, although I am trying to stay positive. I’ve worked so hard to be where I was before getting injured. I’d met so many goals that I’d set for myself since last May. Now, I sit looking at posts from all my friends and crossfitters on IG and it’s hard not to feel crushed. 

Why do I have to start all over?

 Why do I have to go through all of it again? 

How am I going to meet my goals now? 

Yeah, I know. Woe is me, right? 🙄 Trust me… I’m getting on my own nerves. 

Contrary to what a lot of people want to think about me… I could care less about being better than other people. Ever since I started crossfit, it’s been me against me. I always want to be better than I was. I set a goal for myself and I do what needs to be done to meet it. I even struggled during the open because I wanted to repeat every workout, even when I thought my results were good. I just felt I could do better. I am a pretty determined chic. I go after what I want and I won’t stop until I get it. I’ll put in the time, the sweat, the hard work… I don’t need anyone to push me because I will push myself, but I have to admit I feel a little defeated now. 

It’s going to be hard going into this knowing I can’t do what I was doing. That I’m starting all over in some areas and it will be harder than it was before. It’s going to take time and as I’ve said a million times before, I’m not a patient person. 

To be completely honest, and this is hard for me to admit, but I feel pretty alone. Injury sucks. It sucks to have to sit out a few weeks or even a month. However, when you’re told it may take 6 months to a year to be back to your normal self, it’s a bit gut-wrenching. Most people know how much I love to compete and competition after competition keeps coming up on my Facebook feed. I can’t compete right now. I don’t know when I’ll be able to compete again. Hell… I don’t know IF I’ll be able to compete again. Its really hard to relate to everyone you work out with… while they are excited about making gains and new pr’s, I’m trying to not stress out over all the gains I’m losing and pr’s that I may not see again for a really long time. That’ a hard reality to face.

Reindeer Rampage with my partner in crime, Christine

And while I’m so ready to get back in the box to train, I have no clue where to start.  Everything needs modifying and I’m so used to knowing exactly what to do when I walk in. I’m going to need help and we all know I’m not good about that either! Lol. It’s overwhelming to say the least. 

So as the open comes to its end, I imagine how I would have done on the last two workouts. I plan on doing them when I’m healed and I can… Just to say I did them all. I will continue to cheer on the athletes in my box and watch them do the things I wish I could. It gives me pleasure to see people meet their own goals and I’ve enjoyed cheering for and pushing my friends through a lot of these workouts.

Cheering on and judging for my friends while I sat out the last two workouts of the open.

I do see the good in this though… it’s forcing me to step back and evaluate what I was doing and how effective it was. It’s making me reevaluate my goals and how to approach them in a healthier way. It’s forced me to listen to my body and not be obsessive about it. I have to rest. My body needs it to heal. 

I’ll definitely have a new perspective when I walk in the box to train next time. Talk about an ego check. Injury will checkmate that ego and shut it down for good.  Meeting my goals before was big and I was proud of myself when I did… but meeting my new goals will mean so much more because of where I was, where I am now, and where I plan to be on this long journey ahead. 

*P.S. Pity party is over… a friend reminded me that they aren’t that much fun anyway. 😘 

Pain, pain go away… come again, no wait… just go away!

They say three days out of surgery tends to be the hardest. I hope that’s right because today sucks. I always thought I had a high tolerance for pain, but geez. I kinda feel like a big baby.

I woke up this morning to an intense pain and throbbing that went from my Achilles all the way up my calf. That meant my nerve block was no longer working. Man, that nerve block was great! I felt nothing the day of and after my surgery. It was wonderful. Of course, it came lose a day early. Just my luck. 

I took out the catheter since it wasn’t numbing my leg. A friend of mine that’s a nurse said better to take it out than risk infection. I do NOT want an infection or anything else that’s going to make this process harder. 

The worst part… I. Feel. Disgusting. I want to take a bath or a shower. I want to change my clothes. I want to feel clean. So I ventured upstairs. Yeah, you heard me. I went up the stairs for the first time. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again soon unless I can take a bath. That was terrible. Before surgery, I’d hop myself right up there because it was no problem and my Achilles didn’t really hurt. This time I thought I’d vomit every time I took a hop. 

But I did change my clothes, put on some lotion and deodorant, brushed my teeth, and put on a little makeup. These are the little things we take for granted. I felt a lot better after that. And the trip down the stairs was not nearly as bad as going up the steps. 

I’m digging the scooter, too. Holy cow. If you have a foot or leg injury… you need this in your life! I was lucky enough to find someone that let me borrow theirs and it is a God send! And don’t think for a second I care if you call me an old granny on this thing. Shew, I’m an OG ridin’ dirty! 


What is really hard is that life doesn’t stop when your injured. My oldest son had a basketball tournament out of town this weekend so my husband had to be the driver for everything- taking kids places, getting groceries, running errands, spending the weekend going back and forth from Louisville. Sucks not being able to drive and how this is going to work for 12 weeks is beyond me. I absolutely hate missing out on their stuff. I’m hoping by next weekend I’ll be able to venture out to watch them play. We’ll see. 

In the meantime, I’ve watched more tv this week than I have all year. I’m halfway through the season of Stranger Things and I’m almost done reading Don’t you Cry. I have downloaded so many games on my phone it’s ridiculous. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat have been distractions but are now getting boring, too. 

However, I am so blessed with all the people in my life. So many have called, texted, messaged, brought food, snacks, movies… you name it! The people who truly care about you are always there when you need them most. And while I absolutely hate for people to spend their time and energy on me, it is very much appreciated. 

So I have forced myself to rest and will continue to do so for the next two weeks. I’m going to take it easy, try not to overdo things, and make sure my wound heals so the stictches can come out and I get my cast before going back to work. I think then I’ll feel a lot more comfortable about going back to my normal life of work, kids’ games, crossfit, and maybe a night out… a night out: ah, that sounds good. 💞 

Opinions are like buttholes… 

Errrybody’s got one. Lol. And to be honest, I could care less. Since I’ve been injured, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, oh, I guess you’re not going to be crossfitting anymore then, huh? Um… of course I am. In fact, I plan on hitting up the box as soon as I feel comfortable about it… with my cast or boot on. 

⚠️ Warning: if easily offended, you may not want to read on… 

Go ahead, call me crazy. Maybe I am. But I’m okay with that… seriously, I am and learned a long time ago not to stress over what others think about me. There are millions of other people that workout and participate in sports and exercising while injured. But aren’t you afraid of getting hurt? What can you possibly do if you can’t stand on your leg? What if you fall? 


First of all… you can’t live your life scared. If you are active in sports, running, lifting, aerobics, crossfit, you name it, your risk of injury is more than maybe the average person. But let’s look at the other side of this. What if you aren’t active, don’t exercise, and don’t live a healthy lifestyle? You are risking obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, the list goes on and on. So how is that any better?
Let’s get back to crossfitting while injured. It’s not like I’m going to walk in the box and start doing one legged burpees and box jumps. While some people are that crazy, I am not one of them. In fact, I now have a good excuse for getting out of burpees! However, my ortho has told me I can train anything as long as I follow restrictions for my right foot. So instead of power cleans, I can do light weight cleans from the knees. Instead of jerks, I can do strict presses on a box or prop my foot up on a bench and do one-legged push presses. Instead of burpees, I can do one legged push ups. Instead of wall balls, I can do them seated. Instead of running, I can row with one leg… you get the idea. One of the advantages of crossfit is everything can be adapted or modified. 

Crazy… sure, I guess, but I prefer healthy. This injury is not going to get the best of me. I refuse to let it. Working out is a passion for me. It has been since I was 15 years old. I love to see how strong I can be. It is my stress release and the one hour of the day I have to myself. Instead of sitting home and being upset or feeling sorry for myself, I choose to workout so I feel better. Can I do what I was doing? No. Do I plan on pushing myself to extremes? No. Am I going to be lifting heavy like I was? No. I just want to stay physically fit and have that outlet that makes me happy while also trying to recover. 

I plan on doing everything I am told to do during this process by my doctor and PT. I want to heal and I want to rehab quickly. I will not be the one to try and rush things. I don’t want to risk a rerupture or anything that could slow down this process. I want to eventally get back to where I was when I got injured and continue to grow and compete. In order to do that, I’ll do what I’m told no matter how much I may not want to! I just want to be healthy again. 

So here’s the deal… I hope in this process I can be a motivation and inspiration to someone else that’s fighting an injury or just needing a pick me up. I hope that I can keep my own sanity through all of this. And I hope that by blogging all this, I can look back at this journey and see the positive that came from it. 

So call me crazy. Have your own opinions. It’s okay. We are all mad here. 


The pop heard ’round the world…

Okay. So I exaggerate… but that’s what it felt like. I debated that morning on whether or not I should go. I was sore and the week before I had overdone it and saw the effects of it on my open workout.

Let’s backtrack some… I am a 36 year old wife, mom of 3, teacher… and crossfitter. I found crossfit in April of 2016 and immediately got hooked. It became a passion and as I began competing, my love for it grew even more. I went 5-6 days a week and fed off of my quick success. I got pretty good… fast.

So when the registration for the 2017 CrossFit Open opened up, I was the first one to sign up in my box. I had no expectations other than to try and RX every workout I could. The first three workouts… I did just that. It wasn’t until week 2 that I actually looked at the Leaderboards. I just wanted to see how I compared to women my age in Kentucky, where I live. To my surprise… I was 13th! 

That brings us to the pop heard around the world… it was week 4 of the Open. Wednesday morning, my alarm went off at 5 am as usual. I laid there in my bed doing the daily debate: 

Do I really want to get up and workout? 

Yes, you have to.

Get up. 

But I’m sore. 

Push through. 

It’s cold out. 

You have a sweatshirt...

You know that battle that goes on in your head! But I decided to go. I had taken a rest day the day before and the workout was a good cardio metcon. I rolled outta bed, put on my workout clothes, fixed up my preworkout, and headed out the door. 

The metcon was 1 min DB snatches, 1 min shuttle run, 1 min rest. Then 1 min deadlifts, 1 min row for cal, 1 min rest. I was on round 2 and was RX+ the snatches. I felt good and my first round of reps were high. I was determined to maintain the pace I started. I took off on the second round of shuttle runs… 25 ft to the tape and back… 25 ft to the tape… as I turned to head back, I heard it. A loud POP and it felt like someone threw a DB at the back of my foot. I quickly turned around to see what I hit. There was nothing. Nothing at all.  I took another step on my right foot- I felt nothing and collapsed. That’s when the pain shot up my calf. I grabbed my foot where my Achilles’ tendon is and knew. 

My coach came running when she realized I was on the ground rolling around moaning. All I could say was “I have no Achilles!” It was mush. Now, I know right now you’re feeling the back of your ankle to see what your Achilles’ tendon feels like. Now imagine instead of feeling the tension of the tendon there… your finger just keeps moving into your heel. Yeah… 😷 

My best friend and I workout together most of the time and thank God she was there! It’s all a bit of a blur now, but she called my husband, got all my stuff and before I knew it, my fellow athletes and coach were walking me to the car and she was driving me to the ER. 

Now… why I went to the ER, I’m not sure. Mostly because I was scared. I knew what had happened the second it happened. But they did the usual… no fractures (which I knew) and without being too mean, the doctor told me it could just be a sprain. Um… yeah, okay. It’s not a sprain. Lol. 

Cause you have to find the lighter side of things…

I am a positive person… I like to have fun. I can take any bad situation and find something good. My best friend is the same way so of course she had to snap a pic! I left the ER and called the orthopedic doctor immediately to schedule an appointment. Tomorrow. The appointment is tomorrow. Now, let me mention that I’m impatient. I’m like an engine. I’m constantly in the go. I hate to sit around and do nothing. I hate waiting. Get the point… I wanted to scream. For 24 hours, I Googled… which I DO NOT recommend. You will die if you Google. Word also travels fast and my phone was going all kinds of crazy with texts, snaps, messages from all my box friends and coworkers trying to find out what happened and what was wrong. Ugh… I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it’s my Achilles. 

Cankles for days

Everyone tries to make you feel better… maybe it’s a sprain. Maybe it’s just partially torn. Maybe it’s just strained. I appreciated the optimism, but I also knew they were wrong. I knew exactly what had happened. So here I am. I have a ruptured Achilles’ tendon. My husband is going to have to do double the duties he normally does cause not only can I not walk on my foot… it’s my right foot and I can’t drive. My kids now have to pick up some slack and do stuff they usually rely on me for. I have to figure out how I’m going to manage at work as a teacher of 120 ten year olds, and everything I’ve worked so hard to achieve in the last year in crossfit is flushed down the toilet. 

But I refuse to feel sorry for myself. That’s not me. I refuse. So I’ll wait. I’ll be positive. And I am going to kick this injury in the ass.