Working Around Injuries – Focus On What You Can Do

When was the last time during your training when you could honestly say, “How awesome is it that I have absolutely nothing wrong with my body right now”?  For me, it might have been my early 20s.  While some of us sit around lamenting about pain and injury, others are bypassing limitation and doing work.  Basically, shut your cockholster and focus on what you can do.  Then do it with directed intensity.

No matter what your issue is, use your time wisely to focus on other areas (unaffected by the injury) that can use some improvement.  For me, my achilles repair has given me plenty of time to work on other shit.  Does it suck dick that I am limited?  Yes.  Do I want to slug obese people in their guts when I think about the fact that I can’t squat right now?  Fatpunch, yeah.  Fuck it, punching innocent human cattle is as wrong as not squatting but I have to stay out of jail.

That zebra looks like a fist target to me.

So what do I do with the frustration?  Heavy presses.  Weighted fucking pullups.  Bench pressing like I’m in a correctional facility.  And intervals on the god damned exercise bike?  Fuck you, I gotta get monostructural conditioning somehow.  Me and the cardio slobs sweating in front of wall-mounted televisions showing that cunt Rachel Ray yip-yap about her gay husband.  I gets it done somehow.

I want one of my lady readers to fight her. Unmerciful.

While I’m stuck being an upper body champ, what are you doing to work around your limitations?  I realize I’m preaching to the choir on this one, because no one who actually reads this has given up on training because they got a fucking boo-boo.  I won’t brow-beat those who are making shit happen with their fitness while their bodies repair the trouble spots.  Cheers to all of you who have figured out how to go BEASTMODE despite injuries.  Whatever issue you have, your coaches should be able to help you maintain or increase capacity in other areas while you heal.  Brian Wilson from Potomac and Patriot CrossFit does a great job of that for his clients.  

Keep in mind:

Heal your junk.  Your body’s ability to repair itself is dependant on several factors, rest is the most important.  Don’t just power through and do stupid shit that will limit your healing.  Be smart about it.  Remember that the body heals itself during rest and if you’re overdoing it on your training, you are robbing potential recovery of the injury.

Eat clean.  Depending on your limitations in activity, alter your food intake to account for this.  Not only does your body need proper nutrition to heal, overeating while you are injured is stupider than when you are healthy.  Dumbasses have told me they are surprised that I didn’t gain any weight in the months after surgery.  That’s when I punch their mouths loose with my flexed pectorals.  Bitches be stupid.  You know who overeats?  Fucking livestock.  

Small victories.  Within the confines of what you can do, take pride in not being a lazy fuck and pay attention to the gains you are making.  As I’m limited on lower body work, a couple of weeks ago I got some huge PRs on Zoe and dead hang pullups.  I also bench pressed a garbage truck, learned Latin and built a light saber.  Clap for me.

No matter what your injury is, be patient and stay focused.  This is just a small setback in your training and will be over when your body is done doing its job healing.  Do what you can and attack it like a beast.  Right as I post this, I am about to go out on my first run in 3 months.  I’m pretty fucking pumped.  I used to refer to running as “coward practice”, but at this point I’ll take it.  I’m just glad to get off that fucking exercise bike.

Now, watch this and understand what it really means to flip the fucking switch despite a setback:

  1. #1 by Drew M on September 21, 2011 - 11:59 AM

    You seem extra angry in this post but that chick is beast mode for sure. Great post!!!!

    • #2 by EPIC on September 21, 2011 - 12:10 PM

      Anger is kind of like an emotion except that it’s awesome (unlike emotions).

      • #3 by Drew M on September 21, 2011 - 10:34 PM


  2. #4 by Drywall CrossFit on September 21, 2011 - 12:10 PM

    That’s nice and all but I want to see this light saber.

    • #5 by EPIC on September 21, 2011 - 12:16 PM

      As soon as I get back from training on the Degobah system. Elite shit. One-arm handstands, running with my coach in my weight vest and making shit hover.

  3. #6 by HonestAbe on September 21, 2011 - 12:17 PM

    How come that girl did a burpee in the middle of the run? That doesn’t make much sense.

    Also, the slowest guy that ran the same distance still beat the fastest girl.

  4. #7 by John Lohry on September 21, 2011 - 12:23 PM

    Excellent article, Eric. The “Heal Your Junk” point is spot on, but also something we all probably have trouble following at some point or another in our training. Usually, it’s just some nagging problem that you’re waiting on to eventually go away, so you show up to the box each day and proceed to throw down. Perhaps it’s a little out of fear in not wanting to miss a day…and then another day, and another, and so on as those missed days string along almost endlessly.

    Obviously, no one is going to turn to shit during that time off, and, instead, could possibly come back stronger than ever after some good recuperation. But it’s difficult, probably for all of us, I’m sure, to stay away from the box or not train for anymore than a couple days or so when we’re not feeling up to par. You miss the intense workouts and the camradery even after just a day. Most of the times, we all seem to be pretty good judges of what are bodies are capable of while injured. Sometimes, however, we may not even realize or believe that we need some good rest and time to heal…even needing to be reminded or told at times. That’s when it’s up to the coach to determine the best course of action for the athlete.

  5. #8 by cyn on September 21, 2011 - 12:29 PM

    Epic…. this week has not been a good one in the world of Cyn’s shoulder pain… I needed this.. THANK YOU!!!!!

  6. #9 by Michael Hopkins on September 21, 2011 - 12:49 PM

    Man, Eric. Nice post. I have no injuries to complain of, yet I always find excuses not to go BEASTMODE. I’m about to go flip the switch in the pool. Keep em coming, bro.

  7. #10 by Carol Hawkins on September 21, 2011 - 1:15 PM

    Thanks Erik for another awesome and informative freakin hysterical blog. So, I should not but you Rachel Ray’s DVD, 30 minute meals? Their is a link on yesterday’s message board from CrossFit Delaware, 10 tips for the CF newbie. Read number 10, it dovetails into what Epic is talking about.

  8. #11 by Carol Hawkins on September 21, 2011 - 1:16 PM

    OH and PS….goosebumps watching that video.

    • #12 by EPIC on September 21, 2011 - 1:25 PM

      Yep, I’m guilty of getting pumped watching that clip. All 30 times I’ve watched it. I like how she looks pissed when she crossed the finish line. Fucking BEASTMODE.

  9. #13 by Pat Burgess on September 21, 2011 - 1:24 PM

    For anyone interested,
    For a while I did Military Athletes programming. I absolutely loved thier workouts. anyways they have 6 week programs developed and available for athletes with single arm or leg injuries. I have not seen the full program but i have read reviews and praises about it. thier training is pretty legit and i thought it was great that they developed programs to work around an athletes injury. If you have a single limb injury or train someone with it, this may me worth checking out.

    • #14 by EPIC on September 21, 2011 - 1:31 PM

      Miltary Athlete is top notch programming. Timmy Francis follows their programming and I may ask him to do a guest post on it. That is: if he doesn’t post it all to comments instead. One thing Military Athlete programs that I have always wondered why CF doesn’t: the AB WHEEL. That thing is truth.

    • #15 by Tim on September 22, 2011 - 1:36 PM

      Military Athlete is the truth. Rob Shaul is my life guru. I have the in on programming almost identical to MA for free. Can’t reveal too much though. If I say more than that ole Erik might get downright douche-y.

  10. #16 by Dustin on September 21, 2011 - 1:27 PM

    Good blog post as expected.

    Re: The video. The first time I saw it a long time ago I thought it was really awesome. And not taking anything away from the girl who fell and got back up to not only finish but win the race because that takes guts and courage. But how the hell do you get to the Big 10 finals and essentially lose a 200m race given a 20m headstart? Those other racers suck!

  11. #17 by Trinity on September 21, 2011 - 3:10 PM

    Very good post. I always enjoy to read them amd some how I tend to relate to most of them.

  12. #18 by Jason (New Zealand) on September 21, 2011 - 4:41 PM

    Great post Epic. I am going to print this article and hand it out at my box for all of the lame ass people that are full of excuses.
    That clip was truly badass!! I am going to show that to my class of 8-9 year olds so today before P.E they can flip the switch to beastmode for our game of BullRush.

  13. #19 by Leeroy on September 21, 2011 - 5:53 PM

    I shed a tear while watching that clip… My estrogen levels must be high, let me go lift some heavy shit.

  14. #20 by Brian PCF on September 21, 2011 - 8:33 PM

    Good reminder that I still need to write Part II and III.

    Glad to hear your out of the boot dude.

  15. #21 by Justin Pearl on October 13, 2011 - 12:46 PM

    Came back to read this today after I went to do deadlifts and my back told me to go to hell. Fuck. I guess programming the lifting of heavy weights from Ground to Anywhere out of my workouts won’t be *too* bad.

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