Workout: Three rounds for time of:
30 Kettlebell Swings (55, 35)
25 Wall Ball Shots (20, 14)
But Don’t Take Our Word For It…
In Max L.’s own words: “As an avid CrossFitter for the past 3+ years I have had the pleasure of seeing people do amazing things: overcoming fears, achieving lifelong goals, accomplishing things they thought were not possible, growing in confidence both in life and fitness. It has been, and still is, one of the reasons I am so enamored with CrossFit, not only for what it has done for my life, but what I have seen it do for others! I have also had the misfortune of seeing injuries, some minor, and some severe, however when you feel as though you are at the peak of your game, you always encounter the thought “That won’t be me, that can’t be me… It’ll never happen”.
Well, it did happen. I was pulling a deadlift off of the floor, felt a sharp pain shoot through my low back, then immediately dropped to my knees, unable to stand on my own two feet. I knew instantly this was different than any injury I had ever sustained. The following day I found myself hobbling into the gym, sporting a 45degree forward lean, then having to admit to Eric that I was in pain and needed help. Without hesitation Eric immediately sprung into action, and offered to take complete control of the reigns and help me, one very small baby-step at a time.
It really was just that, Eric understood the pain I was in, and knew exactly what to do, and was happy and willing to support me through the painstaking process of recovery. It started out very simple, almost mundane; low-level activities that all injury aside, proved to be the first of many excruciatingly examples of how I had allowed my fitness to become so incredibly unbalanced — always focusing on my strengths, while ignoring my weaknesses. For as simple as that first week of my rehab sounded (and felt), it was not easy… and for that, I was grateful. I will say by some miracle, after just two days of point-specific light stretching and movement drills, I was able to stand up straight again (keeping in mind I was squatting 300lbs just one week prior).
Every night, every workout, every movement — Eric and Nadia took the time to carefully strategize what the plan for recovery would look like. Eric would take the time each day to break down each movement for me, most importantly the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of everything — what I should be feeling, what should be firing, what stimulus it should elicit; everything was laid at my feet in such simple terms that I could always understand. There was always a purpose to each movement, and it was not until I started executing them, that I could truly understand why.
The next three weeks were geared toward creating a base of fortification, learning and practicing new movements that I never would have imagined could bring about such significant change. Each day I would read the programming that Eric and Nadia would send and think “Can I do this? Is this even possible?”. And each day I was astounded by the amount of progress that was being made. I was beginning to learn that the way I personally had grown accustomed to moving my body was what had caused my injury, and that taking what seemed like innocuous, simple corrective measures (to improve my form) would ultimately lead to building an even stronger foundation onto which I could now create a new level of fitness — one that would eventually surpass any of my previous accomplishments inside the gym.
By the fifth week, we began to increase my programming intensity, s as too get me to a point that I could start to become confident in this newly formed base of fortification, and most importantly to show me that getting through this process as now a stronger person was inevitable (so long as I followed their simple instructions). I began to see my body working again in ways that were familiar, yet far more comfortable; I saw it all starting to work.
The sixth week was a test to push my body to its new limits, but not a step too far beyond it. To most folks, the work I was doing would seem useless, or even too easy, but to me, and my body, they were as challenging as I could have ever imagined. In the end, the test was hugely successful, in that I had regained my confidence to start attacking big weights again. And just to put it into perspective, my injury was such that I thought that I might never lift again. And to realize that I had now come back stronger is a feeling that I shall never forget.
I’ve spent a lot of time since that day thinking about where I went wrong, what I could have done to avoid my injury, thinking back to the thoughts of “Sure, I’m a pretty fit person… I think I’ll skip the accessory work today… but hey! My WOD times are fast and I can lift some pretty heavy weight… so, I’m good!” Therein laid the problem — it was right in front of me; it was preached to me day-in-day-out by my coaches. I had built a weak foundation, and continued to pile weight on top of it, until the whole structure came crashing down. The answer was so simple: “If you only work your strengths, and continue to ignore your weaknesses, you will never grow as an athlete!”
I will be forever grateful for the time, care and selflessness that Eric and Nadia showed me throughout this process. All they asked in return was that I be willing to listen and follow their instructions to the letter, assuring me all the while that if I put in the work, I would most assuredly recover. In doing so, I have been rewarded beyond what words can express.”