photo by Steve Penland

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Comes to Buttcamp

When I left the Long Track Life after updating on Wednesday, I was bummed.  Very bummed.  I had been on restricted lower-body activity--no rowing, no squats, no Burpees, no anything fun--for 10 days, and I had just gotten word that the restrictions would be extended until my right leg matched my left in mobility.  Which, when you're as inflexible as I am, could be a very long time.  I was afraid I was looking at a very, very long time of no skating, no CrossFit WODs, and no fun.

So after I whined extensively here on the blog, I called my surgeon. I wanted to know if my recovery was on track; if the pain I was feeling was expected, and if I truly needed to restrict my activity in order for my leg to heal properly.  It's not that I don't trust my PT; I do--he's the one who was finally able to cure the low back pain that I'd had for seven years, so I know he knows his stuff.  But I was desperate for a different opinion, and anyway he only put the restrictions in place in response to my complaints about the amount of pain I was experiencing, so I figured that if we found out that the pain was to be expected at this phase of healing, then maybe the restrictions were unnecessary.

So I got an appointment with my surgeon for Friday afternoon, and to cut to the chase, that's exactly what he said.  Healing is progressing fine, pain is as expected, no need to limit activity at this point

Let me repeat that: No need to limit activity at this point!!

Well, he still doesn't want me to try skating until I can run further, but other than that I can do pretty much anything I want. In fact, he even said--although he appeared somewhat baffled by my discussion of my hamstring being too tight to do things like deadlifts and cleans--"well, if you can't pick the bar up off the ground, pick it up off something higher."  Hmm, I think he just gave me clearance to do hang cleans and hang snatches!

So, elated with my newfound freedom, I went home and checked the SISU site for the Saturday morning workout.  Saturday is Büttcamp day at SISU--but of course everyone ignores the umlaut and calls it Buttcamp.  Buttcamp workouts generally have more people than weekday WODs so they're usually team or partner events, and they tend to be more cardio-oriented than strength.  I haven't gone to many Buttcamp workouts because Saturdays are either my day off of workouts, or race day.  But now I wanted to work out as soon as possible, and I particularly wanted to do some of the newly-approved lower body movements.  So when I checked the next day's Buttcamp workout and found Cindy, I felt like Christmas had come early.  That's right, Cindy, the same Cindy that I had been so delighted to do the day before Thanksgiving...and before my activity restrictions.  20 minutes of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 air squats.

Friday night I was as giddy as a girl getting ready for the prom (I imagine.  For the record, I never went to prom.  So I'm guessing).  I got my clothes all laid out for the morning, I signed in on the online checkin to reserve my spot, I prepped my protein shake and shaved my hands. (No, I don't have hairy Hobbit fingers; I have calluses from all the pullups I've been doing lately, and it's best to shave calluses down with a razor to help prevent hand rips.)  Then I made sure my spiffy new WODGrips hand protectors were packed, and went to bed with visions of squats dancing in my head.

There's that pink again.

And Saturday Buttcamp was everything I could have wanted. From the moment Coach Tyler introduced the workout with "Who here has done Cindy?" and one of the guys responded with the inevitable quip "Who's Cindy?," through the warmup that included rowing that--surprise surprise!--didn't hurt this time, to the 20 minutes of Cindy, it was a complete blast.  I was partnered with a woman who has only been doing CrossFit for a couple weeks, but she did an awesome job and in fact sometimes she did her reps so fast that I wasn't done resting yet when it was my turn.  Despite having to take turns doing the reps, which forced rest time, I ended up doing a few more reps this time than the last time I did Cindy--8 rounds 3 reps versus last time's 7 rounds 23 reps.  I'm crediting my speedier pullups for the extra reps--I actually did the first 3 sets of 5 pullups unbroken, which is a PR for me (kipping, of course; I still can't do more than 3 strict unbroken).  The only tiny fly in the ointment was breakfast; I'm so used to doing low-intensity workouts that I didn't worry about finishing breakfast less than an hour before Buttcamp.  Bad plan...even with my super-slow-and-careful squats, the WOD was intense enough that I spent several post-Cindy minutes lying on my back regretting breakfast and trying to make sure it didn't make a surprise reappearance.

But other than that it was fun, fun, fun. I tried to explain my joy to Hubby Jim when I returned home, but I could see he didn't get it.  Maybe it's weird that I find doing pullups, pushups and squats until I almost puke to be fun...but I do, and I'm thrilled to be able to do it again.  And I'm really hoping that, now that I have the surgeon's assurance that my healing is on track, I can finally get off the Recovery Rollercoaster that I've been riding for the past couple months and make steady progress towards full-on CrossFit and skating.

Which would truly be the best Christmas present ever.

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