This week my facebook feed has been littered with articles about CrossFit’s “dirty little secret” and how everybody is getting injured from doing eighty kajillion push presses every day…for time…with no rest…ever… I also got diagnosed with exercise induced compartment syndrome this week. The irony is not lost on me. Anyhow, I’m not planning on talking about the half-truths and inaccuracies that were presented in these articles..or the fact that many people, like marathon runners, place similar stress on their bodies…but I want to talk about accountability.
My name is Gabi, I have compartment syndrome, and it is my fault. Not CrossFit. Backstory: my forearms and hands have been swelling when I work out ever since I got a muscle up….and then did them over and over again…and then attempted them over and over again when I failed. We suspect that that caused the initial injury/microtears to my muscles causing swelling (muscles swell, fascia does not) creating the perfect storm that is chronic exertional compartment syndrome. Did it happen while I was crossfitting? Yes. Is it CrossFit’s fault? No. This overuse injury is 100% my fault. I was the one that decided to get up on the rings and try a muscle up. I was the one that continued to work on them, past failure. I was the one that “pushed through the pain” and kept going even after multiple coaches told me to stop. Maybe crossfit creates an environment where an individual can push themselves too far, but have some accountability people. Nobody holds a gun to your head and makes you do anything….and in my case, I was actually told to pump the breaks and pull back a little bit. MAYBE CrossFit attracts the kind of people that push themselves to the extremes, it’s definitely taylor-made competitive, fit, individuals who often push themselves to their limits. But in the end, we do this because we want to. We pay the monthly membership fees, we voluntarily drive to the gym every day, and we choose to take part in the daily workout (and in my case, and then some), but we can stop or leave at any time. Never, EVER have I felt pressure to do anything in my gym from anyone other than myself. The coaches push you, but are aware that you have limits, and are pretty dang good at recognizing them…and the other people you’re working out with..? They are so busy busting their asses, that they don’t give a damn what you are doing.
So that’s it. We all have free will. Stop blaming crossfit, if you get hurt, it’s on you.