Broken

Ever had something: an injury or event that’s completely derailed your plans?

The last couple of weeks have been tough

I couldn’t train all week. I mean I could barely stand upright.

On the weekend of the CrossFit LIFTOFF, I hurt my self

OK, so that was a bit of an understatement…

I’d hurt myself BIG TIME!

It’s been a long while (not including MTB crashes) since I had suffered a significant injury whilst training

The CrossFit LIFTOFF is an online comp (kind of like the Open) where you get to max out your snatch, your clean & jerk and hit a metcon – I love participating in these. It’s a great chance to test your metal and get a snapshot of where everything’s at

I was snatching. I’d hit my warm-up lifts and then preceded to 90, 95, 100, 105

I was moving well and thought it’d be a good day to go for a PR – My previous best was 107.5kg and seeing as I’d consistently been hitting 105-107, I felt a jump to 110kg was in order

I loaded the bar, walked to the chalk bucket, meticulously chalked the tape on both my thumbs, and headed back to the barbell

I visualised pulling myself under the bar “You’ve got to be fast. Faster than you’ve ever been… You’ve got to be ‘bullet’ quick (in the catch) if you want to get this one…”

I pulled hard, and the barbell met my hips – it was a good pull. The bar went weightless, and I pulled under…

I was almost surprised that I’d managed to get under it – the bar was overhead and I’d dropped into the deepest squat I’d ever hit in order to catch it

pop.pop.

Something went pop in both my hips?!

To Kenyah who was watching me, it probably didn’t look like much – just another failed snatch attempt – I’d gotten under it but had missed the lift because the bar wasn’t in the right place

but something wasn’t right

I stood up and briskly walked down to next door away from the pumping music and cheering crowd. I found a nearby bench, laid on my back and clutching both knees to my chest, rocked back and forth, grimacing in pain

I tried to make sense of the excruciating agony and simultaneous dullness that I was experiencing – what the hell had I done for my hips to go pop?!

Tiff who was downstairs training, asked me if I was OK – I said I was, but it was pretty damn obvious that I wasn’t

and now for the idiotic (Part 1)…

Most (smart) people would have called it a day there – But I’m a dickhead Stoic

I used to go riding with a mate who once told me that “the best way to get over a stack (crash) was to get back on the bike as fast as possible and keep riding…” That way, you can lick your wounds and feel sorry for yourself when you get home

That’d be the Stoic thing to do right?! Pretend that nothing’s wrong and get on with the job – right? “Have a cup of concrete and harden the F up” a multitude of CrossFit t-shirt slogans ran through my head

The session was still going, the music was still pumping and I was yet to max out my clean and jerk as well as complete a short metcon

So I sucked it up, went back into the class, de-loaded my barbell back to 60kg to commence part 2 of the LIFTOFF: Establish a max Clean & Jerk

I decided the best bet was to go for a power clean and jerk because I thought it would be better to avoid hitting a full depth squat – yep, don’t do that – just power clean it – that should do the trick and not exacerbate my mooky hips

My wrist which had been giving me grief (from a bike stack 5 weeks prior) throbbed with pain in every clean and subsequent jerk “tough it out, suck it up…”

The plan was damage control – just hit something that was reasonable and do the metcon – I know they say “we’re not playing for sheep stations..” but I kinda was – I felt like I had to go on – lead from the front, you know…

I worked up from 60 to 115, 120, 125 – I certainly wasn’t going to go for a new PR – well not after popping my hips

I finished the class and even though I’d hurt myself – I ended up with a very reasonable 105kg snatch and 125kg clean and jerk

But wait, there’s more stupidity (Part 2)

After the class finished everyone who’d registered for the LiftOFF went downstairs into Open Gym to complete the workout. We set up all the equipment we needed, partnered up and divided ourselves into heats

The workout went as follows:

12-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible):
– 25 pull-ups
– 50 calories on the C2 Rower
– 100 OH squats on an unloaded 20kg barbell
– 50 box jumps @ 24/20″
– 25 pull-ups

I partnered up with Craig, and he went first – he smashed it. He did the first set of pull-ups unbroken, rowed like a boss and made it through the overhead squats in sets of 10. He ground out the box jump and had completed 30 when the timer finally went

Then it was my turn…

Taking a page out of Craig’s book, I opted for the first set of pull-ups unbroken too. I rowed for which felt like an eternity and finally made it to the overhead squats

I muscled the bar overhead and preceded to hit my squats – each rep pinched my hips. I steeled myself for the coming onslaught – A set of 20. I brought the bar down to my traps to rest; then pressed it back overhead for another set of 10. Every rep felt like someone was sticking a knife into the front of my hips

I managed to complete all the overhead squats and moved onto box jumps. I was surprised that I’d even made it this far. I ground out each rep, the step down more painful then the box jump itself – OK, box jumps complete

With 45 seconds I ran back to the pull-up bar and went for my second set of pull-ups. All I could think was “get the pull-ups done as fast as possible and get back on the rower… Go unbroken and get your arse back on that C2!”

Now here’s the thing – each round of the workout started and finished with pull-ups – which meant that the second set of pull-ups was supposed to be immediately followed by more pull-ups – e.g. 25 in the second round, etc.

But not in my mind -> it was just 25 pull-ups followed by a 50 cal row right?!

So I did my second set (unbroken) and in a daze, rushed over to the rower

I don’t think Craig quite knew what to do with me – I probably looked like and angry bull and a man on a mission – just get out of his way and watch the car accident unfold…

Becca who was watching everything take place, looked at me confused and asked me what I was doing?!

She motioned back to the pull-up bar, and in no uncertain terms, directed me to get back over to the pull-ups – “What?! Ah fark?!” I grunted as it dawned on me that I’d just wasted a good 10-15 seconds fiddling around on a rower when I could have been hitting more pull-ups – ah shit!

I was in pain, confused, and extremely frustrated at this simple oversight. I did manage to get back on the pull-up bar and bang out a couple but 3-2-1, the beeper went and it was all over

I was a sweaty mess. I was disappointed and angry at myself – I shook my head, muffled some choice words under my breath and wandered over to a nearby bench, I was ropable.

I flopped down on and let out an almighty ‘FAARRRKKK!!!!” Everyone around me went quiet, and there I sat, feeling like a total douchebag for losing my shit.

“Good athletes don’t lose their shit and swear – they’re composed, they have poise, they do everything #likeaboss

What’s more frustrating is that it’s been years since I lost it and yet here I was, exhausted, injured, and frustrated by my inexcusable outburst

I’ve had a week to reflect on my behaviour – Yeah I know it was ego – that’s usually what brings you undone

After all was said and done I was happy with where I placed (in Australia and how well I’d done for my age) But every time I get in and out of a car, or put on my undies, it hurts, and I’m forced to reconcile if it was really worth it?

I’m listening to an incredible book at the moment called the Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives ~ by Lewis Howes

It’s been a timely reminder that there’s probably a few masks that I’ve been hiding behind, most notably, the ‘Athlete’ mask – “You’re only as good as your last performance”

I think my identity’s kinda been wrapped up in that and now that I’m injured – well it’s something that I’m going to have to let go of in order to move forward

Now that I’m unable to train, my focus has had to shift back to my nutrition, recovery, rehab and keeping my shit together (staying mindful) until the end of the year

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be journaling my progress and sharing the lessons I’m learned – so stay tuned 😉


All the best,
Ben

Photo by Daniel Tafjord on Unsplash

Coach B

Husband of @rebeccafwarren. Dad of Madz & Isabelle. Coach & Owner of @adaptcrossfit. One Passionate Dude.

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