It had been two months since I returned to a CrossFit gym. I missed it so bad and was realistic in my expectations and safe with my plan of attack. The fact that I just wrote the word "attack" is a prelude to this blog post. LOL
Knowing that my body wasn't used to heavier weights and overhead movements, I vowed to go smart with light weights. I even stuck to three days a week maximum coupled with yoga and 2 or 3 rest days a week. Initially I felt great. The endorphins were dearly missed as was the community. Then I started to feel like my bad old CrossFit self and started to challenge myself a little more. (I felt like I had turned a corner).
Well, I was wrong. All of a sudden I started to wonder what was happening to my shoulder. I mean, when I was on vacation and barely working out my shoulder just stopped working for no reason. I couldn't lift anything not even my own arm. Okay, well, maybe there was a reason. The day before my trip I did a tough partner WOD with a guy. No big deal. I promptly told him that I would get my own barbell because his was too heavy, & I thought that would be safer. Not long into the workout he started using my barbell because it was lighter and it was a challenging workout. We added weights slowly at a few intervals as prescribed. It was a challenging workout but I left the gym feeling fine.
The next day hauling luggage around the airport my shoulder was a little sore. I brushed it off and told myself it was normal post workout soreness. The day after that my friend and I were taking pictures in the Moqui Caves in Utah. It was a light hike up some rocks to the most beautiful caves. The pictures required throwing our hands up in the air while jumping in the sand. Needless to say, it took us a while to get that perfect shot. The next day, I could only use one hand to pull up my underwear. Uh oh!
We laughed so hard trying to get the perfect shot. Here are a couple of our favorites.
When we got back in town I should have had it looked at but it felt better, then it didn't, then it did. Then the other shoulder hurt. Interesting... Long story short, I let it go for about three or four more weeks just to be sure it wouldn't miraculously stop hurting on its own. The next week I decided that if I want to be able to sleep comfortably without my arms and body aching I had to do something to take care of it. Hopefully, now I know better. I preach listening to your body all the time. I'm happy to say that the right masseuse just made his way into my life. I'll call him Special K. I was convinced that I'd need 90 minutes to work my body issues out but my friend insisted, "Just get an hour. He's a magician." "Yeah, right - I wish," I thought.
Let me tell you I am not exaggerating when I say that I had to deep breathe my whole way through it and almost tapped out a few times. Honestly, I created a mantra to get through all the crackling and pressure points as they bucked, fought and finally released. I kept breathing like I was on a mission and repeated in my head, "I am safe, I am protected" with the occasional "I am free, I am relaxed." When he was done it took me a bit to get my wits about me and get off the table. I walked out of there without any pain, straight posture instead of leaning to one side and with a smile on my face. Thank you Special K, I will be back.
The point of this whole blog post is to remind you and myself the importance of listening to our body. It usually shoots up a flare when it needs help, some love or a little extra attention to prevent a worse future outcome. How do you know what to listen to? The trick is to sit in silence or at the very least, to be sure to pay attention when that voice in your head, you know the one, starts spouting off. Do not squash it down. Instead thank it and explore some more.
You may even find yourself verbalizing that red flag aloud to yourself or someone else. A week before my massage I was warming up my back squat with a partner and I commented that I felt my body leaning to one side. I even mentioned that the day before my coach asked if I had shoulder issues because when I was jumping rope she noticed the jump rope was moving diagonally around my body instead of out in front and around me.
What I have learned looking back is to allow feedback in and to let it land. We can be quick to deflect or brush it off. Always listen to your intuition, your inner voice, your guardian angel. Intuition is the whisper of the soul. It is important to trust your intuition and listen to what your body is telling you. It can be a great indicator of what is right for us and can help us make better decisions in life.