KYLEE - Senior Account Executive
8:00 a.m. Sunday morning, January 12, 2014:
Day two of the competition. My team of four anxiously gathered to hear the broad announcement of the day’s events.
“Event 1 of the day: Partner wod - divide reps however…
3 rounds for time:
15 deadlifts - 225 lbs / 315 lbs
20 chest-to-bar pull ups”
"It didn’t matter that our posterior chains were completely smoked from the day before and it took nearly an hour to feel a semblance of “warm” before the 9 a.m. start. - the workout on the board was the workout we had to complete.
I was at the top of my fifth deadlift in the second round when something in my back gave out. I collapsed as if I had just been shot.
I couldn’t walk - let alone move from the couch - for four days after that. It took me four weeks to feel good enough to get back in the gym. I’d decided that would be the last crossfit competition I’d partake in.
Then, upon speaking about my (seemingly) healed injury to a friend at my gym, she suggested I check out a chiropractor who came highly recommended - Dr. Heather Russell, owner of Unbroken Chiropractic. I had negative assumptions about chiropractors up until that point, but if intelligent, fellow athletes I respected and trusted the opinions of could rave about one, then I figured I should keep an open mind and check her out.
Heather is a miracle worker. I learned very quickly that she’s unlike many chiropractors in two ways: 1) She truly cares about the health of her patients. Their pain is her pain, and she’s not satisfied until she’s gotten to the root of an issue, treated it, and.. 2) She takes special care to provide preventative measures her patients need to be following in addressing their injuries and avoiding repeating injury in the future.
That was three years ago. The entire first year after I initially injured my pelvic region (turns out it probably wasn’t my back that I initially hurt, but my S.I. joint.) I didn’t experience any further injuries. However, the past two years I’ve “tweaked my back” within shorter and shorter periods of each preceding injury. Of course, I’ve seen Heather intermittently when these injuries have occurred, and I’m usually feeling great after one treatment. I mean, even after looking like this, standing straight up:
On February 20th of this year, I had a very different experience with one of these injuries. I walked out of the gym that day feeling terrible and immobile. I woke up the next morning and couldn’t sit down, put pants on, bend over, etc etc etc without excruciating pain. The inflammation in my back took a week to go down, after which I had strategically and knowingly booked an appointment with Heather.
Instead of feeling instantly better, like my past visits, I felt only slightly better. Not a good sign from my body. I continued to see Heather twice a week for the next two weeks. She worked diligently with me to determine the source of my agony, seeing as the inflammation in my back had gone away, but the pain hadn’t. I was in *constant* pain. Sitting too long, standing too long, getting in and out of the car… I dreaded simple, everyday movements. The only time I didn’t feel pain was when I was laying flat in bed.
On my second visit, Heather determined that my hip had severe restriction and tightness, which didn’t allow her to adjust my sacrum. I mobilized furiously and attentively until my third visit. During my third visit, I had a bit more mobility in my hip, but not much.
“Oh my god” Heather gasped, as I was laying on my back on her table.
“What? What is it!?” I anxiously breathed.
“It’s… um.. It’s your pubic bone. Your pubic bone is out of alignment.”
First of all, I didn’t know that was even possible. Second of all, HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?!
As soon as Heather adjusted my pubic bone, my hip “melted,” as she put it, and the restriction I had there that didn’t allow her to adjust my sacrum was gone. Heather had untangled me like a Rubik’s Cube.
I’ve had three more sessions with Heather since then, each continually working towards straightening me out and addressing my imbalances. Heather has identified my asymmetrical movement patterns and the muscle imbalances that have built up (likely over the course of years) as a result.
My focus, now, is relearning how to move (properly). I was out of the gym for six whole weeks. SIX WEEKS. I underestimated the severity of my injury and it certainly tested the resiliency of my attitude. I haven’t taken that much time off from the gym or sports… ever. I had to freeze my crossfit membership. Instead of moping and feeling sorry for myself… I chose to rise. I’ve taken up hot yoga on my active recovery days. I have joined a “regular” gym, in which I can tailor my workouts to my needs and ability level at the moment. Bonus: it has mirrors. So I check myself to be sure I’m moving properly.
I’d be lying if I said the past two months have been a “hard journey.” I’ve certainly faced things in life that have been far more adverse and trying. Actually, I didn’t even think of this situation as more than an inconvenience until a close friend complimented my attitude and outlook on it all. I was too busy focused on the things I’ve needed to do to succeed in getting healthy and moving on with my life.
Of course, that focus would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of the people who’ve helped and continue to help on this adventure - namely, Dr. Heather Russell. Cheers to you, Heather! I know my story is only one of so many that sing your praises. You deserve every single kind word and expression of gratitude that comes your way."