Crossfit fixed my sore knee
This past Memorial Day I made an actual appearance outside of my basement and back yard, participating in a Crossfit event known as The Murph Challenge. Given the chance to sleep in and lolly-gag on a hot day, insane people report to the gym and wear a 20-pound vest and run 1 mile, do 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 squats, and run another mile. I finished (which I guess is saying a lot) at around the 51-minute mark.
This type of strength-endurance grind is not exactly my forte. I'm still far less into the workout of the day and more into "How high can I jump and climb up on this tree or roof and jump down."
The Murph was formidablee despite my 6-minute mile, well over 400 pound squat, chin-up +180 pounds and single arm/leg push ups. There were a few key equipment malfunctions and I'm fairly sore today. But I have renewed appreciation for strength-endurance and I'm thankful to have tried something different.
Being the exercise programming chief for well over 40 hours every week, I cherish the chance to show up, have a good attitude, and simply do what I'm told to do. No matter the location, afterward I try to pause and consider "What can be learned from the days activity?" And now we're getting to the point...
With 10-days before The Murph I experienced a sharp and severe pain in my left knee. This was considered a win/fail because it happened while successfully tuck-jumping what is close to my personal record. Such is the nature of doing maximal effort plyos in middle age.
Anyway, the knee hurt to the extent that I skipped "real" lifting in favor of some rehab and strength/endurance type work. Three days prior to Murph I could run well enough but not full blast, and bending as in a squat or jump remained painful.
On the day of The Murph I downed three ibuprofen and decided that I would try to put the knee out of my mind. I ran with a loaded pack and squatted 300 times and got up and down off the floor without a single jolt. I assumed there would be dues to pay after cooling down and the IBU wore off. But everything remains much better.
Did Crossfit fix my sore knee? Shall we call it "working it out" or something else?
We rarely hear about the myriad of physical and mental good that training accomplished every day. I'm not referring to gym selfies and fitspiration, but being resilient and capable as a human. So often we hear about the injuries (or maybe it's just the PTs).
We assume that the past structure and function of our musculoskeletal system is a good indicator of what's to come. We expect our body to work when called upon. But we shouldn't. Nobody is getting younger. People get hurt doing all kinds of things, and those are the ones you hear about.
This is not to say that all methods and means of training are equal. They're not. But we take credit for our accomplishments and shift the blame in our failures (most non-traumatic injuries being a mix of deserved repercussion and accident). People get strong and fit and injured and lean and fast doing Crossfit and a lot of other things. Just like car mechanics, barbers, and physical therapists, there is better and worse Crossfit. This depends to a great extent on quality coaching.
We would all prepare better, function better, and recover much better when we acknowledge our choice in the matter of what we do (or hold from) with our physical being. The brain effects the body effects the brain, on and on. Working for nearly two decades as a physical therapist and trainer (and my own training successes and failures), I've witnessed the dramatic effects that pre-injury expectations and state-of-mind has on recovery and final outcome.
From elite athletes to Netflix champions, there will always be little reward with little risk. Whether proactively or by default, you have chosen your own good, the path that you find some type of value in. Hopefully you will set aside time to take inventory of where you're headed and manage the bumps in your chosen path.