Back Injury, Swimming, and Back to Running and CrossFit

Back Injury, Swimming, and Back to Running and CrossFit

Nothing really prepares you for the news you’ll get from your chiropractor after you tweak your back lifting.

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You kind of feel alone.

To his credit, my chiropractor understands CrossFit. He does not, however, understand why anyone would want to run 13.1 miles when no one is chasing her. In any case, I went in last week, the Monday after my injury, and had a slightly contentious visit culminating in a near-panic attack when he tried to adjust my neck. Running was off the table. However, swimming was on the table, as was going back to CrossFit and lifting really, really light. Like, naked training bar light.

I was happy to get into the water on Tuesday morning. I got a guest pass for my husband’s gym, and I swam slow laps, mostly backstroke, for half an hour. It felt good, except for the water I swallowed when I tried to freestyle and remembered why that had never been a strong stroke for me. I also lifted some weights after I changed – bench press, front squats, dumbbell rows.

Wednesday, I was back at the box, and wouldn’t you know it, it was Benchmark Day. Fight Gone Bad, to be exact. I took one look at it and knew I was just in it for movement, so I used a 10 pound wall ball, an 18 pound kettlebell, and a 35 pound bar. Again, it was slow going, but my back didn’t feel any worse. Which of course meant that I went to barbell class on Thursday and lifted light, focusing on my clean technique, in particular, the pull.

I also went back to the chiropractor on Thursday, and he cleared me to run on not-concrete surfaces. I was also cleared to go to yoga that night (yay!), which I happily did. Friday, it was back to CrossFit, again lifting light (35 pound hang cleans).

But the best and worst part was Saturday, when I met my running group at the Seabrook Trails. I had originally planned for 4-6 miles, depending on how my back was feeling. It was such a pretty run, through the marsh and down to the fishing pier, and the air was scented with flowers and magnolia. I ran past a pretty butterfly garden and saw rabbits along the way. Totally beautiful. But my back wasn’t thrilled, and it was slow. Like, turtle slow. Still, it felt good to run, and I walked about 1.25 miles and ran 4.75.

The run was kind of a metaphor for my back injury recovery: slow, steady, taking breaks when I need it. I’m feeling immensely better, although I’m certainly not loading up for any 55 pound cleans this week, either.

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