It was several months ago, I was working out and as we are always prone to do when active, I had something go slightly wrong. I was working on reaching a goal, one that involves cleaning a heavy weight… 300#, that is where I planned on this going, and still do given some recovery time. (a clean is pulling a barbell from the ground up to your shoulders to “catch it”)
3 months ago….
One morning in the middle of an EMOM (every minute on the minute) where I was doing 5 cleans per minute, I chose to reach a slightly heavier load than I had used before in this type of work. Knowing that the best way to get to this goal is to be sure that I am pushing myself. 255#, not a ridiculous choice for me, but definitely a test.
There is this thing… fast elbows, complete the movement and complete the catch. It makes us better at what we do as athletes, as well as protects us. In this case, protects the wrist.
(PAUSE – I know for most you have no idea what I am talking about, no worries, there is a universal point we are going to make).
I was at the 4 minute mark, first rep fine, second rep fine, third rep.., slow elbows, wrestled with it for a second then… uh oh. I stopped right there, and avoided more for the day. I was stuck in a bad place for just a second. But that bad place has lasted for 3 months.
4 weeks ago…
I was feeling pretty good, I had managed this back to a good place. Through adjustments, an X-Ray just to be sure (showed nothing), and rest, all was looking good. Flexibility was back and the world was once again spinning appropriately. Then a competition. World Wide WOD. This day I was going to do three workouts in a short time, all to compete with people doing the same all over the country. On the last workout, on the first rep (of a lovely, well known in the CrossFit world, “Grace”) of a 30 clean and jerk for time workout, I caught it a little off on that wrist, and just like that I was feeling a little sting again. It wasn’t bad, I was only off my best time in that workout by 20 seconds (2:51 was my time BTW), and afterwards felt only mild limitations.
So back to the rest, cautious movement, and careful consideration of what I was doing. Until.
6 days ago…
I was doing front squats, which requires a little pressure on the wrist. But the workout required that the athlete (me in this case), lift 15,000#. Do it anyway you want, but you can only use 4 movements, and only 20 reps per movement. So after doing 20 dead-lifts, I planned on squatting the rest, but i dropped the weight to 225 to do one clean. I felt fine doing it… but then, you wonder. Have you ever done something that you felt fine doing, then later had something awful come on? It is a common discussion I have in my office, “Well I felt fine while I was doing it”.
I don’t know if it was the clean, or the front squats, but that night I adjusted with minimal pain, just discomfort. But last Friday morning, my whole wrist was swollen. It was agony to adjust. This was now the worst it had been since the start 3 months ago. I wore a wrist wrap all Monday trying to adjust confidently, and it was even more swollen afterwards. Typing is a bit stressful. Yesterday I did a workout where I held a bar in a way that it PULLED on the wrist, vs PUSHED on the wrist. I designed this for me to try to stretch it out. It was wonderful. But not the magic elixir I had hoped.
So for you who don’t know these terms or these descriptions well. The reason I wanted to share this experience is to shed light on the consistency that exists across our lives. I told a young patient last week “All poor choices stem from some form of addiction”. He was too young to really get what I was saying. But what I was saying was simply that all of our choices that fly in the face of wisdom, are due in some part, to a strong desire to pursue something.
I am addicted to the work out, the competition, the effort and the feeling. A healthy addiction at most times, but I could have avoided some of this trouble by erring on the side of rest. For most people whom I teach lifestyle change to, it is the obvious addiction to sugar, or to some other unhealthy molecule. The addiction to comfort of sitting in front of the tv vs being active. The addiction to the way it is, or perhaps being addicted to change.
We all have addictive tendencies, and these are not all bad, it is when we let them rule over us that they are bad. Or when we see them as destructive, yet they continue to rule our life. We are powerful when we are in control. We are weak when we see ourselves as out of control. The 60 Day turnaround is more about overcoming addiction, and taking charge, then it is about anything else. I pray that you stop, see what is in your life that should not be, and take charge of it.
Be well and Be blessed! - Dr. E