Lisa G write a great blog post a few days ago that we wanted to share as well (if you don't already follow her blog Stilettos to Snatches you should check it out here). Thanks so much for sharing your story, Lisa, and for being an inspiration to so many of us in the gym. Your determination, positive attitude, and consistent hard work are all so impressive, and the way you treat adversity as opportunity is something we can all learn from. You rock.
Today’s post marks four years since my back surgery. It’s hard to think that time has gone by that fast. Not only that, but a lot’s happened in four years. By now you’ve probably heard of my story. How I herniated a disc in lower back, swore off CrossFit, then rejoined and recovered to my current state.
One of my favorite ways to pass time at work is reading The Player’s Tribune. It’s owned by pro athletes, and the content is written (in theory) by pro athletes. One of the best series is called “Letters to My Younger Self.” It’s exactly that, and I thought I’d write one to my four year ago younger self for today’s Fitness Friday post.
DEAR 26-YEAR OLD LISA,
I need you to hear me out on this. You’re going to be OK.
I’m almost certain that you won’t listen to this piece of advice, but you need to hear it again. You’ve done all that you could up until this point to fend off surgery. You had 3 cortisone injections and 5 months of physical therapy. You did what you could.
As they prepare you for surgery, you won’t be able to help but to burst into tears. Here you are, a 26-year old, getting split open in the lower back. You’ll freak out and the doctors will need to calm you down with a sedative. Everything starts to go black, and the last thing you’ll remember is telling a nurse that you want to go on vacation to Hong Kong.
YOU’LL WAKE UP, AND I HATE TO SPOIL SURPRISES, BUT YOU AREN’T PARALYZED BELOW THE WAIST LIKE YOU HAD THOUGHT.
In fact, you’ll be able to feel all your toes! A few hours later, you’ll even be able to take a zombie walk through Whole Foods and order a sandwich you won’t remember eating. But let’s fast forward things, shall we? Remember how you swore off going back to CrossFit? You said you’d never touch barbell again.
But I’m about to drop a bombshell on you.
You’ll participate in the CrossFit Open the following year, and you’ll do a few local competitions a few years after that. And you’ll come perilously close to qualifying for a national tournament in weightlifting. Not only that, but you’ll be in better shape at 30 than at 26. And all of those PRs you thought you’d never get back, well, those go up too. Each year that goes by, you’ll think, “Damn. I feel good!” That being said, you’ll need some grounding on your progress.
FIRST, THERE WILL STILL BE SETBACKS. JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE FIXING YOU RIGHT NOW, DOESN’T GIVE YOU A HALL PASS TO BE IRRESPONSIBLE.
There will be a few scary moments, and more times where you push a little too hard. You’ll have to get a few more cortisone shots, but you bounce back. But you’ll never forget the sensation of what it felt like when you initially got hurt. In a strange way, it keeps you sane and safe.
YOU’LL JOIN A GYM THAT TRULY CARES ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.
The gym you’ll join will have many old faces. But you’ll have more access to coaches with more knowledge and are better communicators. In fact, the gym you’ll join is the sole reason why you give CrossFit a second chance. You may not believe me right now, but the gym will reinvigorate your faith in CrossFit’s ability to offer good coaching and a safe environment.
So, before you tell your future husband that you’re forever broken, remember two things.
When you wake up from surgery, hug Greg. Say thank you for the Christmas tree he bought you while you were in surgery, for volunteering to give you a sponge bath to protect your sutures, and his general willingness to deal with all of your complexities.
And remember to be grateful that you’re able to be fixed; that you’re able to start your path to recovery. Your best years are still ahead of you and your health will be better than what your twenties brought you.
And of course, never forget that hard work will always be the answer.
WOD for 12-12-16:
ON A RUNNING CLOCK...
A) From 0:00 - 10:00
B) From 10:00 - 25:00
C) From 25:00 - 40:00
There is NO requirement for the bar to continue climbing from movement to movement, so drop the loading if needed between movements - however, if you can safely complete this WOD as twelve continuously climbing sets then have at it!