Preparing for the Unknown and Unknowable

by Coach Lam

It’s been a full 11 weeks since I’ve injured my arm and 6 weeks since I’ve had surgery.  To say the least, it’s been an interesting journey to recovery.  I hadn’t realized the multiple facets of things that I would have to deal with regarding healing.  It started with the physical aspects.  The pain management and the limitations of using only one arm were the obvious focuses, but what you don’t realize is how utterly slow you end up moving through things.  Things like getting out of bed, walking down the steps or even sitting down on the couch made me feel like I was moving through molasses. 

What it did make me grateful for is the fact that my body was ready for this.  All the unilateral movements and core stabilizing movements that I’ve trained within CrossFit Kanna has been preparing me this.  Although my movements were slow, I was never contending with weakness and stability through the rest of my body.  It was used to enduring physical strains that were much tougher than this.  I had trained; maybe not for the CrossFit Games, maybe not for the some championship, but I had trained for my body to recover through some significant trauma….surgery and recovery.  I was prepared. 

I had confidence the rest of my body could endure throughout this journey, but what about my torn tricep tendon?  How long will it take for me to recover?  My last appointment was met with some excitement from my physical therapist.  I kind of thought it was mildly embarrassing that we were celebrating things like finally gaining the ability to feed myself, scratch my armpit or wash my hair, but it was things that I had to do without for about 5 weeks.  I was informed that it usually takes people much longer to regain that kind of mobility and strength after surgery.  I’m not a doctor, but I am firm in my beliefs that my non-inflammatory nutrition played a significant part in allowing my body to heal faster by focusing on healing the inflammation and swelling in my newly repaired tricep.  If I had been eating a Standard American Diet comprised of large amounts or cheese, processed carbs and sugar my body’s finite resources would have to contend with inflammation throughout my body.  That would have slowed down my healing.  Again, I had been training my body to prepare for this.  CrossFit has always been training me for the unknown and unknowable.  Whether it was getting to the box to do the hard workouts, the mobility sessions, or just choosing the right foods to put in my body, I had always been preparing.

There’s plenty of work left to do.  My goal is to regain 100% strength back in my tricep.  That will take more strength work at physical therapy and continuing to let my body heal properly by being a good patient.  It’s one step at a time, one rep at a time and enjoying the ride!

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