Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Deadlift PR & I Broke My Back

If you follow me on Instagram, you know something is up with my back. Well, here's the story.

Lalala, Tuesday morning. I'm tired. My back is tight (I've had back issues ever since I started biking 3 times a week), so I'm sitting in the sauna and doing some mobility stuff to loosen it up and work out the junk.

I finally get to my WOD, a brutal one involving a lot of hang cleans that were a little on the heavier side for me. My back is kind of tweaking out afterwards, I ignore it.

In the 2nd WOD I had planned, there were a few bodyweight deadlifts. So I though, hmm, let's test the strength waters, eh? I load up my bar with a few warm up sets at my body weight, 125. Feels comfy and light. I decide to work up a 2-2-2-2-2-ish kind of deal.

165 x 2
200 x 2
215 x 2
225 x 2
235 x 2! PR big time, baby!

I was so excited, I felt pretty damn comfortable getting 235 up twice. But, I knew it was my endorphins and my pride, because when I added another 10 pounds to the bar (dumbass! I should have gone up in increments of 5 at this point), I totally blew my back.

Everything was great up until I got the bar to about my knees, and I heard a loud POP in my L2. Dropped the bar faster than lighting, and rolled onto the ground and brought my knees up to my chest, terrified of what I'd just done.

Ruptured a disc?
Cracked a vertebrae?
Did I just break my back?

Of course, everyone starts pouring into the gym right at this moment. I'm laughing, smiling, giggling to myself as people walk up and ask me "what's up?" and "hey girl, you're WODing already, damn!" like they do every morning.

"Oh, no big deal, just popped my back a bit. Got a new PR though!"

I stand up in what I think to be the most normal way possible, but I'm pretty sure I look like someone standing up that has a broken back. I'm rubbing the spot with a hard knuckle, a fake smile plastered on my face to mask the pain. I'm saying hi to people, collecting my things, wiping sweat off my brow, turning off my watch, writing down in my WOD book, trying to hold back tears, trying to shut up the voice in my head that's screaming at me, "You're SCREWED!"

I imagine myself in a full body cast, fat, out of shape, pathetic ... 

I hurry up to get out of the gym.

This is one of the random and pleasant mornings my husband decides to come WOD with us, he's there and knows something is wrong. He puts my bar away quickly, cleans up, and mentions that we should get home because he has to be to work early. Everyone is sad, concerned, nice. I give them a big, toothy smile and a thumbs up!

Sitting in the car, I'm running through everything I could have done. Why I didn't get a belt. Why I didn't scale it. Why I didn't add weight in 5 lb increments. My damn pride. My damn ego. 

When we get home, I'm scrambling to find pain meds. When I get into the bathroom, I have to drop to my knees, and the pain is so unbearable, I begin to sob. My back hurts so badly, I can't take my shoes off or my clothes. My husband has to undress me.

Oh, look at little miss hardcore now - dead lifting 235, but can't take her own damn socks off? 

I feel pathetic, weak, humiliated and so angry.

After the shower and some words of encouragement from my husband, we set up a comfortable spot on the floor for me and started a regimen of heat and ice, round the clock.

Thank God it's better today. My husband stayed home from work and nursed me yesterday. Fed me soup, listened to my worst fears,

"I'll never Crossfit again."
"I'm going to get fat."
"Oh no, I'm going to have to ride the elliptical."

The medicine I was taking (stuff left over from when I hurt my back a few months ago and didn't use), made me incredibly ill. I was puking my brains out. The world was spinning. Cold sweats. Just imagine everything terrible and that was me, yesterday.

I was deep, deep, deep in the Pain Cave.

I went to bed last night sobbing, watching my life flash before my eyes, as surely it was over now that my husband was going to have to dress me every morning and I couldn't even bend over to pet the dog without screaming in pain.

Funny thing about sleep and time, things get better as time goes on and the body has a chance to gasp, heal! 

I feel a million times better today. I haven't been taking any pain medication. Yesterday I did 30 minute rounds of ice and heat almost all day, and this morning I did the same. But, I wasn't going to sit and wither away on the couch all day - so instead I decided to get up and walk around and find something to do that would motivate me on my way back to health.

I went shopping. :)

Lululemon at the Domain! 

Too cute, right? Since the last time I've been to Lulu, my shoulders have become so much broader, I had to jump up a size. Hurt my pride a little, but I have to accept that I'm getting stronger, and not fatter. Those are lats and not pockets of fat. Those are my back muscles, and not layers of fat. Getting stronger is amazing, but makes clothes shopping challenging, without a doubt.

I have an appointment to see my doctor in the morning. I will keep you guys updated. In the meantime, I'm laying low from the CF gym, and resting. I think I'll step into Gold's tomorrow if my Doc tells me it's nothing serious. 

Keep my broken back and I in your prayers, eh? 


  1. Oooph, that sounds painful! I hope it feels better and everything at the doc goes okay!

  2. Good Luck girly! and yes, a lil bit of LuLuLemon helps the pain ;)

  3. Yikes feel better! Nice loot at Lulu, shopping always makes me feel better too! :) Must hit up lulu!

    1. They have such cute spring clothes right now!

  4. Eeks! Sounds like you had a painful couple of days there! Definitely sending you good vibes and hoping the pain doesn't return. A little retail therapy makes everything better! :)

  5. Good luck! Hope everything is okay! & those tops are soo cute!

  6. Glad to hear that your back is feeling better with a little TLC :) Love the Lulu purchases!

  7. your reaction was completely normal and exactly what I would have done. Glad that its feeling better today. Good luck at the doctor!

  8. Yikes! Glad you're feeling better, back injures scare the crap out of me, as do well, most any other injures. I hope when you get to the doctor you find out it was just a minor injury that has or is almost healed!!

    Good to see that while you were deep, deep, into the pain cave you managed to keep your good blogger hat on and take photos of yourself in said cave ;)

    And I'm totally jealous of your scoop neck and push you limits tanks, and the paris pink one two. Lord I wanna go to Lululemon, lol. {p.s. I would be jealous of the menthol CRB too if I didn't already buy the aquamarine one back in the winter ;) }

  9. Im sorry about your back and I hope you feel 100% better soon. It's pretty scary when things like that happen. You are a very strong little lady. i like the new tanks you purchase and i thing its time for me to buy new tanks. Anyway, please be very careful and have a good weekend.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Kari! Hope you have a good weekend, too.

  10. SO I found this post via your cute scrunchy face on Pinterest!You look like someone I know. but anyway,its so funny in a weird way.I also do crossfit; and I also recently hurt my back.When I was reading your story ,omg,i totally understood your pain! unlike you though I kept going. you are so smart! my injury has been torturing me for 6+ months. and turns out to be a DEEP hamstring injury presenting itself in my entire lower back area. Sadly I have to modify everything and cant do any lower body exercises! I hope your outcome was way better. Im going to read more to find out. Im glad I stumbled upon your blog.I totally can relate to you! Thanks!

  11. Just dont be a fucking pussy and write a post over it. Your the dumb fuck for deadlifting.

  12. I know this post is old but since I'm on lunch break might as well comment. I'm nearly 50 and I deadlift 200 easily... and 215-220 range when I feel challenged and 225 - 230 when I feel herculean strength.

    The error this poor gal made (and I do hope a few years later now .... you are FULLY healed) is that crossfit does not promote (IMHO) slow and steady but GUSTO! I have never done a WOD and I will never join crossfit.

    I started DL 4 years ago (age 45) and took a LONG LONG LONG time to get to my 230 .... and I have never had a single injury. I ALWAYS increase my DL (deadlifts) in 5lb increments - period. Slow and steady always! No exceptions.

    I do hope you're better!!