Overcoming Obstacles: Training Through Injury

August 25, 2017

I receive e-mails on a regular basis. Mostly spam mail from some nutrition company exclaiming they have created the next superfood or some amazing piece of exercise equipment that will "change the game" with fitness. These are quickly deleted and sent to the trash folder. The ones that no coach likes to see and the ones I spend the most time with are the emails regarding injuries. You may have experienced these lines before: 

"Hey Coach, went running and rolled my ankle. Can I still come in?"
"Wassssssup?! I played flag football with some buddies and I think I may have sprained my wrist. What can I do?" 
"I was gardening and I think I threw my back out. Should I quit the gym?"


And they break my heart. I have been very fortunate (knock on wood) to not deal with any injuries during my CrossFit journey. Sure, I've had a tweaked back, countless hand tears and a few shin scrapes from poorly timed box jumps but I haven't had to take any significant time off training. I attribute that to a few things. 

1. Mindset: You have to use common sense here. Obviously, the day after you break your leg falling off a cliff, you shouldn't be back in the gym training. Give your body time to heal. There is a thin line between mental fortitude and stupidity. In order to get past an injury, you have to have the foresight to see beyond the troublesome times that you are facing currently and envision the point at which you are training again fully. Injuries are frustrating. I've seen countless people deal with them. The ones who make the quickest recovery are those who have the best attitude and mindset. 

2. Patience: When working through injuries, sometimes it can be boring, as you may find yourself doing similar movements day to day. Or maybe the rehab exercises your physical therapist has you doing are "boring" or "too easy". Guess what. You aren't above the recovery process. Suck it up, buttercup. Do the lame stuff so you can get back to top shape for the fun stuff. If your doctor says it will take 6-8 weeks to heal a broken arm, don't remove the cast after 3 and hope for the best. Diligence and persistence are your allies here. 


3. Trust: It's very important in our field. As coaches, we ask you to do amazing things on a daily basis. Sometimes, those things are scary, dangerous or seemingly impossible. It's up to you to trust that the coaches have your best interests in mind. If we say, "Hey, I know you hurt your shoulder, so I want you to ride the assault bike with one arm instead of row", understand that we have put some time and effort into that suggestion. There is a method to the scale that we hand out. Same goes for your medical professionals. If they tell you to stay out of the gym for 2 weeks, try and listen to them. Go for a walk around the neighborhood or something, just stay moving. 

 I can't speak for all gyms but here at CrossFit PR Star, our coaches our knowledgable in scaling appropriately for just about any injury that may limit your participation in CrossFit. Communicate with the on-duty coaches, email us or reach out at any point if you have any specific guidance. We can get you started on the right path, the path to recovery! 

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