PR During Rehab

*More about women’s health and pelvic floor stuff in this post. Dudes might want to skip this one too*

Let’s be honest here. I’ve been in a funk. I fairly certain that I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and the gloomy/rainy weather isn’t helping a ton. I was also having a little pity party regarding my sciatic pain and I was secretly afraid this would mean the end of me squatting, deadlifting, thruster-ing, clean & jerk-ing and snatching. It made me really sad that I was thinking about giving up, but the butt pain was annoying to no end. Ok, maybe I wasn’t really sad about never having to snatch ever again, but that’s a different story. I have a tendency to keep quiet when I feel this way because my Mom always said to keep your mouth shut if you have nothing nice to say…

So yeah, annoying funk. When I get in a funk, I eat. Not always good food choices. My new jeans are feeling snug and so are my scrub tops again. In order to snap myself out of the funk and emotional eating, I reached out to Kathleen and Courtney and we have embarked on a (second for me) Whole30 together. If one of us falls off the wagon, we ALL have to do 15 burpees… per cheat snack. We started last Thursday and so far, everyone has been on plan! Way to go ladies!

I have also had my 1st appointment with the pelvic floor physic. It was interesting and mildly uncomfortable at times. I mean, where else do you get little stickers (electrodes) put next to your bum hole and vagina, hooked up to an ultrasound and get to see the strength of your inner abdominal muscles and rectal muscles as well. Add to that the presence of an almost 3-year-old who was peeking under my gown and asked A LOT of questions and you have a pretty good picture of my appointment.

The findings were interesting though:

  • I have weak rectus abdominis (front abs)
  • My abdominal muscles remain contracted too tight, even at rest.
  • I can’t hold a deep abdominal contraction for 10s during kegels
  • I get better control of those contractions if I think more about contracting my anus than if I focus on my abdomen.
  • My internal obliques and transversus abdominis are working overtime in order to compensate

In terms of regular physic, here’s what’s wrong with me as well:

  • I have too much mobility and squat too low, curving my spine at the bottom of the squat, resulting in my obliques taking over and adding a toll onto my lower back
  • Too much mobility on the erg as well, resulting in the same outcome as in the squat

What I’m doing to fix this:

  • Lots of kegels (we’re talking 60 reps of 10s contractions with holding and 10s rest)
  • a weird contraction of the deep abs while lying on the floor and opening my legs sideways, then extending the leg out straight.
  • firing the small deep posterior chain before doing any squatting or any heavy lifting
  • contracting my pelvic floor muscles when lifting heavy, or even lifting the girls
  • one-legged step-ups in the stairs and focusing on not tilting my pelvis
  • Squatting down to a med ball to limit my squat depth and ensuring I don’t squat too low (still below parallel, but not ass-to-the-grass

It doesn’t sound like much and when I do my keels and pelvic floor exercises I pretty much look like I’m just standing or lying down and staring into nothing-ness, but it’s a lot of hard work. I also started these on last Thursday.

What I have noticed so far:

  • I haven’t had a flare up in my sciatic pain since Thursday.
  • The numbing I felt in my lower back has decreased tremendously. So much so that I recently sat down and was amazed to notice what it felt like to sit down and not have that low numbing pain in my back
  • I did thrusters today, PR’d my 1RM and there was no leakage
  • I sneezed twice today without crossing my legs and also without experiencing any leakage
  • I’m not feeling any discomfort in my sciatic or lower back at all after doing the thrusters today
  • The pelvic floor PT gave me the green light to start doing my ROMWOD again, now I just have to clear it with the regular PT!

This is huge people! After 5 + years of lower back pain/ butt pain/ sciatic pain, I’m walking almost pain-free and it feels awesome. It has brought back a little of positiveness in my life and it makes the world of a difference in my day-to-day life.

Ok, enough about my lady bits and let’s now focus on the WOD today:

1RM Thruster: I warmed up to 65# before the timer went off and I planned on doing those E2M with 5# increases on each rep. I was hoping to hit 90# on my last rep, which would have been a 5# PR. Here’s what I ended up doing

65#-70#-75# with the assist of a med ball behind me in order to know when to stop dropping. I almost tripped on it when I did 80#, so I decided to try without any assist on the last 2 reps. 85# went well and Coach AJ told me I had good speed. I failed 90#. I managed to squat it and get up with it, but I couldn’t press it overhead. I was slightly disappointed. I humm-ed and aww-ed for a little bit and then decided to try for a 2#-PR anyway and go for 87#. I went to get the fractional plates and added them onto my bar. I had about 20 seconds left before the 12 minutes were up and i took a deep breath and went for it! I was so happy to get it up and above my head! I didn’t have much expectations that I would PR while rehab-ing my sciatic, but this was a nice welcomed surprise! 🙂

Double Tabata Row: A Tabata is an interval workout. You do 8 rounds of 20s work / 10s rest. Because it was so intense for my sciatic, I chose to go for the Assault bike instead of the erg. I probably could have done a regular Tabata, but not a double one. I set myself up next to Marika (who was on the Airdyne) and off we went. For the 1st Tabata, I managed to keep my intervals at 4 cals for all but the 7th interval! I was disappointed, but kept going and managed to get 4 cals for the 8th round. As soon as we entered the second part of the Tabata, I was just trying my best to keep each interval at 3 cals. I surprised myself by getting 4 cals for a few rounds, but I mostly stayed at 3. I was glad when It was over and my quads were throbbing nicely and seizing up slowly. I got off the Assault bike, got on all fours and then slumped onto my belly on the floor. I caught my breath and went to write my score on the board. I was shocked when I saw that Marika’s lowest score was 6 cals! Holy crap! I thought I’d worked hard for all my rounds, but my score was a measly 3! Coach AJ told us that they don’t count calories the same way and after doing some research online, I found in some forums that people mentioned the Assault bike was scoring about 1/2 the cals and distance when compared to the Airdyne. Good to know I wasn’t so far behind then!

I’m just happy with how today’s session went. I know you can’t always have great workout days, but it sure start the day the right way when you do well on the Skill and WOD!


That moment, at the end of the day, when the girls are in bed and I finally sit on the couch with my feet up on the coffee table (why else have a coffee table, really, other than to put your feet on it?!?) and it comes, sneaking up on me. That dull ache in my legs, butt, arms, chest, shoulders, pick a body part (or all of them as it’s often the case). Just annoying enough to remind you that walking/ standing/ getting up/ breathing (pick one or all, once again) tomorrow might be a challenge, but not annoying to the point where you tell yourself “Why am I doing this to myself?”. I know why I crossfit: for my health (physical, mental and emotional), for myself, for my family, to get stronger, faster, leaner. To not be skinny fat (or in my case heavy fat). I have accepted that I may never see my “goal” number on the scale and I’m ok with that. I’d rather see my “goal” number at the box, lifting heavy stuff. If that means I’ll remain short and stumpy, then so be it. I’ll be the best short and stumpy me I can be. 

In 4 days, I will have another Crossfit update (4 months since I started). For the first time, I don’t care if I lost/gained inches/lbs. I don’t care because, last Friday, I did some running at the playground for the WOD and didn’t suffer from shin splints all weekend long. This morning, I did 200 single skips and still no shin splints. I will celebrate the small victories and forget the rest. Focus on what I have power over to change, the rest will come.

So tonight, I am celebrating from my couch as I muse on my progress since the beginning of this adventure. Let’s be honest here, it’s not like I can move anyway, I’m too sore! 😉

Not going anywhere fast! And yes, that foam roller lives in the living room because we use it daily! ;)

Not going anywhere fast! And yes, that foam roller lives in the living room because we use it daily! 😉

My Motivation

I’ve had a few conversations lately about my motivation for doing Crossfit and although my primary reason is to be a “better me”, I also do it for the benefit of my family. My husband always scolds me whenever I look at the WOD posted on the blog the night before I go in and my answer is always the same:

It doesn’t matter what the WOD is. It’s always hard and I’m still gonna show up for the 0600 class. I love the challenge, the time I can take for myself to focus on my own little person. Plus, I paid for the membership, so I might as well go! 😉

Coach Caleb was sick this morning (get well soon!) and Coach Cam (the BOX‘s owner) took over the class. We were also talking about motivation and how some people “cherry pick” their WODs. I just don’t see the point in “cherry picking”. My view on things is Crossfit is there to make you a better, well-rounded person/athlete. If you skip the WODs that look hard or, let’s say, include burpees because you hate them, then you’re not working on your weaknesses. Chances are, by skipping things that scare you or that you don’t like, they will always remain hard and therefore unpleasant. If you push yourself though, you WILL improve and maybe even learn to love (yeah right!) your obstacles!

I managed a new PR for the back squats at 85#! That really pumped me up for the WOD! 🙂

We did this one back in August and I had done the TG with 18# Russian KBS and knee push-ups, finishing with a combined time of 3:05

Today, I did the FG with 50 singles, 26# Russian KBS and full push-ups finishing with a time of combined time of 4:06. Yes, it did take me longer, but I’ve increased the difficulty of this WOD so I’m pretty happy about my time. The hardest part of this WOD was definitely the EVERYTHING! It was my 1st time doing them with the 26# KB instead of the 18# and 5 rounds of double crunches took its tool on me. Not to mention the push-ups. I did it though and there’s nothing like this sense of accomplishment!

I will leave you with a few pictures I took yesterday of my main 2 motivators. Love these girls more than words can say!

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Now wish me luck, I’m placing an add for a nanny to take care of those gorgeous girls when I go back to work. If you know anybody interested, send them my way! 🙂