Fighting the Quitter in Me

I have to be honest.
I’ve been struggling.
Big time.

After five years of CrossFit, I’ve never faced an injury from this sport.  At the beginning of my CrossFit journey, I fractured my ankle during an obstacle race.  I did take some time off then, but it was before CrossFit was my job and my main emotional outlet.  That was long before I needed CrossFit.

I began having what I thought was shoulder soreness about 6 weeks ago.  I found myself having to modify certain movements at the gym.  My trap, lat, deltoid and scapula on my left side was irritating me (I didn’t want to call it hurting).  Any kind of movement where the barbell was behind my neck hurt.  This included back squats which are my FAVORITE.  This also included Olympic lifts which I love deeply.  It hurt to do hand stand push ups and muscle ups.  All movements I’ve worked for the past 5 years to learn and master.  To try to help with the soreness, I decided on a treatment plan that has worked for me in the past.  Dry needling, physical therapy, resting the area, massage and I tried cupping for the first time.  All were working well and my shoulder area began to feel better after about three weeks.

I wasn’t born with any patience, and I’m not good at resting.

Now let me tell you something about me.  I’m not good at patience (as I told Adam the other night…I wasn’t born with any patience) and I’m not good at resting.  So when my shoulder started to feel better, I started to add back in movements which I’d been avoiding.  And I did too much too quickly.  Not only was I back where I’d started, but I was actually hurt more.  The loss of ability to move my arm in certain ways really scared me.  It went from soreness to weakness.  It went from soreness to injury.  I’ve feared that word.  That word wasn’t for me.  I was too strong to even be injured, right?  What did I do?  How did I do this?  As I began to have to change my workouts and reduce and remove movements, I began to notice a change in my mental health.  I was frustrated, angry, discouraged, and immensely sad.  My range of emotions transformed daily, hourly even.  I was mad at my body.  How could you betray me like this?  I was mad at CrossFit.  This is your fault, CrossFit.  And so began my battle within myself.  A battle I’d never faced before.  A battle to be a new me.  Not the me I’d always been.

I should have listened to my body.
I should have rested longer.
I pushed too hard too soon.

You see, I’ve always been a quitter.  When things in my life got hard, I continually quit.  Instead of bucking up and fighting, I walk away.  My fight or flight response has repeatedly been flight.  I’ve quit jobs.  So many jobs.  I’ve quit relationships and friendships and pets.  I’ve quit schools and diets and sports.  Maybe it was part of being young?  Maybe it was part of who I was.

As this soreness has turned to injury and I am facing (worst case) surgery and more patience, rest, and rehab…I want to quit CrossFit.  I want to walk away.  Screw you (CrossFit).  I gave the last five years to you and how do you repay me?  Injury.  Loss of movement.

How can I coach CrossFit and weightlifting when I lack the basic ability to demonstrate?
How can I preach to the goodness of this sport when I can’t move weight above my head or press out of a dip?

Old me wants to just run away and hide in my room and cry.  Old me wants to vanish and start over with something else.  Old me feels sorry for myself and blames…blames persistently instead of taking ownership.  I should have listened to my body.  I should have rested longer.  I shouldn’t have pushed so hard so soon.  As the word “quit” creeped into my mind, my sadness grew.  “Are you really going to quit this?  This is your life.  Your passion.  One set back and you’re going to quit?  Is that who you are and is that who you want to continue to be?” I asked myself.  Because at the end of the day, even if I can’t control this injury or this recovery, I can control how I choose to address it.  I am fighting the quitter in me.  That bitch needs to go.  Bye Felicia.  This is the new me.  The five years of building a better me.  I don’t quit.  I seek help.  I modify.  I rest and recover and work hard to get back to where I was.  When I see my favorite things programmed and I know I can’t do them (right now), I show up anyway because I’m fighting that quitter bitch in me.  Maybe I can’t back squat 90% right now, but I’m going to show up and back squat what my body will allow.  No, I can’t do touch and go cleans because bringing the barbell back down kills my shoulder.  But I can still clean and drop between reps.  I can get through this.  And I have to say thank you to our community.  I’d be in bed, quitting if it weren’t for you.  You all keep checking in with me, encouraging me, telling me I can do this.  You’re helping me fight the quit and I couldn’t do it without you.

This is just another step in my CrossFit journey

While it sucks…a lot…right now, I know it will only be another stepping stone for the better, stronger, faster, healthier me.  Injury is a lesson I needed to learn.  Embracing this journey is hard and I’m struggling with it daily.

With my family, team of healers, and our community, I’ll come out on top.
Not a quitter.
Definitely a crier.
But a more whole ME

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