If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this fitness journey of “CrossFit,” at The Foundation it’s how to scale. It’s kind of funny to look back on my journey with CrossFit. I started CrossFit while I was in high school and thought I was fairly fit… boy, was I wrong. I think a lot of people see coaches and think we started at the level we are at. In some cases, that may be true, but a couple of us started 8 years ago!! (I wish some of you could’ve seen our programming that long ago! Lol.) I started out not being able to squat to parallel, I couldn’t do a pull-up, I definitely couldn’t do a double under, and the little weightlifting I did, I basically had to relearn because I wasn’t doing it correctly. I guess you could say I was a quick learner, but I would hope so, as I went on to become a D1 athlete and compete in my first CrossFit competition in that same year.
The next year I spent at The University of Missouri where I wasn’t allowed to do CrossFit mainly due to our coaching staff not wanting me to get hurt, but in all honesty, I was the only person on my team who ended up in worse shape from the beginning of the season until the end. Once I came home, I decided to just try and become the best athlete I possibly could, which worked since we made it to The CrossFit Games in 2012.
After that competition, I unfortunately fell and tore a ligament in my wrist. Being competitive, and young and dumb, I continued to push on despite my wrist hurting on almost every movement that involved my wrist being in extension. I scaled around my injury and basically avoided anything that hurt it until I had to do those movements in competition and I had to suffer through the pain (I would never suggest this). It was worth it for me because we made another trip out to California in 2013 to the CrossFit Games. As soon as we got back, I got my wrist checked out and ended up having surgery.
Because of that surgery, I focused more on lower body and tried to work my way back. I wasn’t a member of our 2014 Regional Team, but I was determined to make it back to the CrossFit Games at every expense necessary. 2015 was my year!
Despite coming back from my wrist injury, I was having my best year yet; I was stronger than I’d ever been and was the most jacked I’d ever been, but again, I ignored little ailments that shouldn’t have been ignored. I had a knee issue I was working through, but I avoided movements that hurt it and just tried to heal. The 2015 Regional was my jam except for the squatting and lunging, but I pushed through until finally, my leg gave out.
That’s when I broke my leg, and yes, it was a freak accident because I again, fell (put this in italics), but I’ve come to realize had I not pushed through the pain in the months leading up to that, I probably could’ve avoided injury.
Since then, I’ve learned to rehab, I’ve learned to scale, and it’s taught me a lot about myself. It doesn’t matter if you’re a D1 athlete, a mom, or an overweight athlete; we all have to learn how to listen to our bodies. If anything has taught me that, it’s probably this pregnancy… lol (I’m stubborn and hardheaded!). In all honesty though, even with the injuries, nothing will teach you to listen to your body more than carrying another human beings’ life inside of your own.
Scaling isn’t about pride. If you’ve learned anything so far in your CrossFit journey, it’s leaving your pride at the door, and that’s exactly what you need to do. Scaling is about listening to your body and knowing when something just isn’t working for you that day. It doesn’t mean you’ll never learn how to do that certain movement. Ask your coach how to work toward that goal but don’t push past pain to get there. Pain is never a good thing when it comes to your body, and the moment you realize that is the moment you become a smart athlete!
I keep saying CrossFit or fitness journey because that’s exactly what it is: you’re going to have ups and downs. You’re going to go through phases where you get really strong and somewhere you have to scale back a little bit. Life happens, but as you learn more about yourself, I believe you become a better person overall.
My experience has been nothing short of a roller coaster these last 8 years, but I wouldn’t trade my journey with anyone else’s because it’s led me to where I’m at in my life right now, and I couldn’t be happier. 🙂