-Written by KC, with Blog Posts from Josh Mahon's website Foundation on the Rock
I’m better because I decided that I was not going to lay around, I was not going to take the pain medication that I was not going to listen to society’s ideal that I need to live in fear of this injury. Be smart sure, but “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”-Josh Mahon
Clean & Split Jerk Comparison
First video that I actually got positive feedback on from my remote coach, Josh Mahon, took about 5 months! Till that time, he had broken down all my movement dysfunction and wasn't afraid to tell me all the corrections I needed to make. It began to be so frustrating to hear I was doing things incorrectly over and over, but I gave it time and you can see from this video that progress happened! You can also get a feeling for how this type of coaching worked for us.
First 85# vs. Last 95# of Mondays workout, remember the 20, 200m sprints followed by heavy Snatch reps?
Yes, even the coach needs a coach. I had followed the Outlaw Way website since the end of the 2012 Open. I had pretty much figured out from Open WOD 12.2, the Snatch ladder that my Olympic Lifting needed lots of work, along with my overall strength; both go hand in hand. A friend had told me about the Outlaw Way, a free online blog with specific programming for strength & Oly as the base. I tried it and it felt right. And I got stronger! I followed for about 6 months, before hiring an Outlaw Remote coach for myself. I figured it was not only an investment in myself, but would also help all the AllStar Athletes as well because as I develop personally, my coaching skills develop and grow professionally, and my ability to help others increases in this great upward spiral. I was assigned to Josh Mahon from CrossFit Deep Ellum, who works along side Spencer Arnold, one of Outlaw Way's Weightlifting coaches, programmers, and blog writers.
Josh Mahon has been my remote coach for about 6 months. Sometimes I want to get mad at him because he gets so real with me about the sub optimal positions of my body during my lifts, it sucks. But then I realize that's what I hired him for, to keep me in check and tell me what I NEED to hear, which might be different that what I WANT to hear. Most people wonder how it works. I send email video of my lifts, workout results, & comments on an almost daily basis and he analyses, coaches, and asks powerful questions and guides me. I've attached some of his video analysis so you can see how it works. It's been awesome so far, I have learned a lot, and just by having my iphone camera pointed at me when I train it causes me to train better. His analysis always make sense but lot's of times I wish he was here in PERSON.
He WILL be here soon!
3 Position Snatch 95#
But for now, I've taken this story from his website Foundation on the Rock which I would love for you all to go check out. His story is amazing and inspiring, especially to anyone who's dealt with a back injury.
the Texas state weightlifting meet
First, I’d like to say that I’d had a cold for about 10 days and probably shouldn’t have been lifting in the first place. It was a freak accident. I caught the weight too far back in my stance, and instead of dropping it, I stupidly tried to stand it up and lost my footing. When I tried to drop the weight, I was stuck in a squat and couldn’t move out of the way.
For lack of a better explanation, it was the perfect storm of circumstances. I was on cold medicine, exhausted from being at the meet all day and pumped full of pre-workout supplements. It all happened in a few seconds. So it’s hard to think about what I could have done differently.
I was warming up to hit my opener and was snatching 85kg (187lb). I dropped it on my back, folded forward and the bar rolled down my back. I was immediately immobilized and taken to the ER. When the bar hit me, I heard a really loud crack, but it was a different sound from when you see the chiropractor. Imagine two pieces of 2×4 lumbar being slapped together, or maybe a branch breaking. The bar continued rolling down my back and fell, as did I. I’m not sure how I knew it, but I knew I was not paralyzed. I couldn’t move because the pain was so great. There were several doctors in attendance of the meet, and they checked me out while the paramedics came to haul me away.
The paramedics were pretty funny actually. One of the guys was my age, and I actually remember playing high school football against him (He went to Allen, and I went to Wylie). The paramedic of the year, seriously awarded and all, missed my vein. I don’t know if you’re familiar with me, but my veins are garden hoses. I’m fairly certain you could give me an IV in the dark. Anyways, the whole ride to the ER we gave him hell to keep my mind off the pain.
Allow me to segue into a mild rant about the pain level. I’ve broken bones, torn ligaments, had bites, falls, hits, concussions and just about everything on the list of things moms never want their kids to experience. Breaking your spine is quite painful. For the first three hours from being in the ambulance and in the ER, NOTHING worked on the pain level. The beauty is narcotics can only be given every four hours, and the meds they were giving me worked 30-45 minutes tops.
So after what seemed forever, they determined I have a Compression Fx, Compression of superior endplate of L2, horizontal involvement in posterior segment C/W Chance Fx. Aka- I fractured my L2 vertebrae in two places. Head of neurology said, as of right now, I do not need surgery. I don’t appear to have any nerve damage. So that’s good. I stayed overnight at the hospital because my pain was too high and they wanted to watch me. I ended up staying two nights and almost three full days.
I now have movement in all of my limbs and can walk,but I have to use a back brace and walker. No activity for two weeks. Then I’ll meet with the spinal surgeon again. The follow-up is this coming Thursday. He wants to look at it now that the swelling has gone down to determine if I need surgery. Either way, no lifting weight above 15 pounds, and no bending or flexing of my back for 10-15 weeks.
Remember that just like any sport you have to keep your head in the game. It’s so easy to slip up and make a mistake, and though accidents like mine are rare, they do happen. Just be smart and listen to your body AND coaches. This is why at the gym we focus so much on doing things properly, with proper mechanics. Learn and practice how to drop weight. This is a skill that will help protect you. I have been Crossfitting since the winter of 2009, and never had I dropped a weight on myself before. It takes thousands of reps to get a movement right and only once to get injured. Every rep counts.
A MOMENT TO REFLECT
I would like to use this opportunity to touch on a few things that have already surprised me. Things worth mentioning, and, for my own notes, things I want to remember feeling. I have been feeling a ridiculous amount of love and respect from so many.
1) My legs work.
If the picture does not make it clear, when the bar hit me, I folded in half. Yes, literally. L1 punched L2 in the face and won. The technical medical term is confusing and pointless really. A compression/chance fracture will suffice.
2) I’m healing faster than anyone my doctor has ever seen.
This photo was taken the week of my injury, and yes, that’s a 23 year old with a walker. After only six weeks of taking it easy, my first follow up CT scan showed that I was healing rapidly. After the doctor interrogated me about what I was doing to heal so quickly, he cleared me to start swimming. I simply explained to the doctor of medicine that I was not only healthy to begin with, but I am a follower of the Paleo Diet, and I had been going to CryoTherapy for pain. It took me the better part of 30 minutes to get the doc to understand what I was talking about. I talked nutrition 101, really simple stuff like don’t eat anything that has a mascot. I simply explained that I eat plants and animals. That’s it; no smoke and mirrors. He shrugged it off and said, “Well, whatever it is you’re doing, keep doing it”.
3) I have the greatest job in the world.
I not only have the greatest job in the world, I have the coolest group of people to work with and have been blessed with a workplace that didn’t fire me for taking weeks off out of the blue. (Rule number #1 in weightlifting: Learn to properly bail the weight.) It is my privilege to teach every day. Not only how to move a barbell in the most efficient and powerful way possible, but also how to overcome fears, set and achieve goals, set people up for success nutritionally, mentally and physically, and how to generally be a better human. Oh, and I get to work out all day every day. And eat nonstop if I so choose. And take naps.
4) The Community
I would not be where I am today without the amazing, inspiring, selfless people of this fair city. From people visiting me in the hospital all the way up in Frisco (might as well be Oklahoma for Dallasites) to every meal being provided for weeks to countless phone calls, emails, letters and text messages of encouragement and prayers, I am continually blown away by the people in my life. Not only people I see every day, but people that barely knowme from Adam. I am so very blessed to be where I am.
Workout of the Day
FREE CHOICE work on Personal Strength Goals! Pick Press, Push Press, Back squat, Front Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift and perform 5 sets of 2 reps, heavy as possible
Four sets for times of:
Wall Ball Shots x 20 reps
Toes to Bar x 10 reps
135/95 lb Power Clean x 5 reps
Rest 2 minutes