This is another in a series of personal reflections contributed by Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights athletes about the mental, physical and emotional changes experienced since joining our health & fitness community. We turn the blog over to Coach Kate, who reflects on the one-year anniversary of Coach Becky’s devastating knee injury, her gutsy return to competition, and how her journey can serve as a lesson to us all. Thanks to Coach Kate and Coach Becky for sharing this story.
Why do you come to Elite Athletic Development | CrossFit Arlington Heights? To improve or maintain your health and fitness? To change body composition? To socialize and enjoy the community? For therapy? To get away? To blow off steam? To challenge yourself? For the competition? To be a part of something pretty awesome? All of the above … and more?
I come to EAD | CFAH because I like to feel empowered. “If I can squat 300 pounds, then what obstacle is ever going to stand in my way?” Not a single one. The grit and guts you need to face a workout should leave you feeling strong and capable. But lately, that’s not what I’ve overhead, and I’m getting frustrated.
“I’m just not built to be strong (or fast).”
“I don’t really bend that way.”
“I don’t have the time.”
“I’m too old.”
“I’m not good with a barbell.”
“I’m too big (or too small).”
“I don’t want (insert body part) to get too big (or too small).”
“I’ve just never been good at (insert just about anything.).”
Blah, blah, blah. It’s time to tell your little, self-deprecating conscience to shut the F*** up.
Don’t get me wrong; I get it. I’ve been there, and sometimes need to push through negative emotions. The fear of failure or the anxiety over trying something new can be paralyzing. But the best thing you can do for yourself is to bust out of your comfort zone. Breaking even one small element of your routine can create major change because it forces you to think about how and why you do what you do, rather than going through life like some mindless robot. I hate to break it to you, but life sucks sometimes. Forrest Gump was right: SHIT HAPPENS. Life can get really hard and uncomfortable, and when it does, what will the negative little bubbles that you allow to float around your head do for you?
To fear change equals an inability to grow. And don’t tell me you don’t need to adapt and grow; I don’t buy it. The time is now. No more excuses. No more negative attitudes. No more “I can’t.” You are fully capable of changing how you think, and how your body moves. I guarantee that if you really challenge yourself with a positive attitude, and commit and dedicate to improving yourself, you will find success far past a MetCon or the Barbell. How do I know that works? Coach Becky.
Coach Becky is always up for a challenge, including posing for one of Coach Jim’s recent photo shoots.
One year ago, Becky — going full-force and fearless, as usual — jumped an 8-foot wall, only to land awkwardly and tear her ACL (Editor’s Note: The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the four main knee joint ligaments that connect the shinbone thighbone). Most would succumb to their perceived reality that there would be no future fun and exciting adventures, or athletic endeavors. But not Becky. After two days of denial and facing the reality of her MRI, Becky got angry and decided to change her focus. She was determined not to let this injury get the best of her.
The radiologist who read the MRI said surgery was the best option. Several people assured Becky that surgery was the sensible decision. But Becky knew better, and instead listened to her gut. Becky believed that her athletic ability and experience creating effective rehab plans would help her get the results she wanted. Her after assessing her fitness level and leg strength, the doctor agreed; there would be no surgery for Becky.
Becky built an action plans. She wrote weekly and monthly goals pertaining to Activities of Daily Living, range of motion, and strength. She had to change her approach in the gym as well, initially focusing on upper body strength like Pull Ups and Dips. With only small episodes of frustration (obstacle, obstacle, obstacle), she stayed motivated because she decided that success was her only option. There was no giving up. There were no excuses. She gained momentum and support as she tracked her progress via Instagram. With every milestone – bending her knee, running, box jumps, pistols, Oly lifting – she received encouragement from members of the EAD | CFAH community. Seriously, she crushed every single barrier in her way.
And, where is she now? Brand-spanking-100-percent-pain-free-good-as-new. That’s right, there isn’t a movement inside or outside the gym she hesitates to do. No fear. She knew what she needed to do to make this happen: goals, a plan, committing to it, doing to work, and being at EAD | CFAH, where the Community had her back.
So, there it is, the evidence you all seek. The recipe for success. Becky’s walking around, calling you out in the gym daily. She does it because she cares and she’s been there — through hard times and hard workouts. Just getting the chance to WOD next to her inspires me. This girl is strong and capable and it’s how she tackles LIFE. She doesn’t make excuses and she doesn’t surrender herself to that overwhelming negative chatter in her head.
So, look, maybe you are currently comfy and happy with your bubbles, and that’s fine. But you didn’t come to EAD | CFAH and you don’t stay here just to workout — you could have done that at any Globo Gym. You came to EAD | CFAH for more — just like I did, just like Becky did. So let us help you. Try something new, different, challenging. Commit. Work hard. Stay positive. Use your community. Get rid of your excuses and trust the process.