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Monday, February 16, 2015

MOTIVATION MONDAY: A Bumpy, But Meaningful Start To My CrossFit Journey - By Katie Elliott

 - The following was written by my sister, Katie.  Her story shows us how physical activity can show us more about ourselves than just what we see in the mirror. -

It was easy for me to take on the research my brother (Michael Elliott) did on diet and nutrition. I found it interesting and fun to implement healthy changes into my daily life. But this CrossFit thing? The collapsing on the floor in agony after a workout? Not appealing to me. But I knew it was just a matter of time before his nagging voice convinced me, "You need to start working out Kid".  October 2014 I stumbled upon a new CrossFit poster in the Albany area, CrossFit Spur in Delmar NY with John Hogan.

And so my Crossfit journey began.

I quickly became a proud CrossFitter by sharing my workouts, getting excited about experiencing the many benefits of the sport, and watching skill videos. Along with the joy came the aches and pains. Two weeks. Two weeks everyone said to push through the pain, the sore muscles and difficulty getting on and off the toilet. My ass, two weeks. More like two months...maybe I'm being a little dramatic.

One bizarre ache and pain I couldn't shake, my right forearm. For a good month I attempted to gracefully complain and question the pain to my coaches John and Mike. (I am quite proud to claim 2 coaches as "mine".) Should I go to the doctor? Am I hurting it more by using it? Is it a pulled muscle? Taking their advice to "baby it" and "never stop moving", I carried on avoiding movements that irritated the problem area. This seemed to be working until December 29 when I simply tripped at home and caught myself with my right arm. I quote from Mike, "Katie are you crying because it hurts or because you are a baby? If you can't move your fingers, you need to go to Urgent Care".

I was crying because it hurt! X-rays showed a fracture in my radius bone. But the thing was, the fall essentially did not cause the break. Determined through a handful of tests and doctor appointments, it was an Aneurysmal Bone Cyst. About a good inch long, this cyst had replaced my bone and left a fragile egg shell like section filled with sponge like blood and serum. The thin "shell" that was left of my bone had been cracking and fractured. On January 13 surgeons cleaned the cyst out of my bone and filled it with bone replacement putty.

Note the hollow section in the radius.
After Surgery

Phew, counting my blessings! Benign tumor, the best family and friend support, quality doctor services-in the whole scheme of things, just a minor inconvenience!

I took exactly one month off from CrossFit...back to the gym, down by one arm for at least 2 more weeks. In this time I found myself reflecting on two highlighted things said to me. One was "CrossFit saved your life" and the other was "I give you a lot of credit".

There is a lot to learn from the high intensity of CrossFit workouts and using your body! In my case, the value in learning about my bodies strengths and weaknesses surfaced quickly and dramatically. It became much more than enduring tore apart muscles and a sore body. I never imagined I would appreciate the aches and pains. It's all in a new light. A day at the gym represents what I AM capable of.  Look at what I CAN do. It feels good to move!

Best of all, my ability to recover. Back to the basics. It's just the beginning!
 - Katie Elliott


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