Since I’ve registered for the open, I’ve recommitted to the daily WODs at Crossfit Durham. I figure I need to understand what I am and am not capable of. The process is both painful and confusing.

I substituted handstand holds for the heavy cleans during the strength portion of today’s WOD. I did four sets of holds :45, 1:00, 1:00 and :45 with 3 skin the cats between sets. Good fun. I sometimes tried to get my body off the wall during the handstand holds, but my primary goal as to accumulate as much time as possible upside down. So most of my time was spent with heels supported against the wall.

Coach Lindsay mentioned how she’s been working on parallette handstands lately. This inspired me to experiment with them. Turns out that with a ferocious kick up, I can do them against the wall. That was a fun discovery! My first two attempt were ugly and I had to abort them. Having my hands in a totally new position was so foreign that I got focused on that and both times I failed to truly lock out my arms and shoulders before kicking up. I had to bail out before I came crashing down and hurt myself. But once I taped my wrists and got a feel for things, I was able to kick up to the wall and hold the handstand for a good amount of time. Nice discovery to find a new skill. Very cool!

3 Rounds for Time
30 Box Jumps (24″)
15 Clean and Jerk (115#)

<14 Min

I completed this work scaled to various degrees in 11:50. If you’re interested in the blow by blow, read on.

I’m signed up for the Crossfit Open and very much looking forward to our gym’s intramural team competition. However, in order to be effective, I feel like I need to take the next few weeks to work out exactly what I am and am not capable of. I need to know which lifts/movements are prone to tweaking my knee and which are safe and pain free.

I’ve known for a while now that heavy cleans hurt. So I thought I’d play it safe today and drop the prescribed weight to 95#. The prescribed 115# is typically not that heavy, but I thought I’d be conservative. Very first set: first rep, power clean, push jerk; no problem. Second rep, power clean-POP! My knee tweaked, I dropped the bar and limped around the room a while. Back to the bar, second rep (redo): muscle clean, no pain; push jerk – POP! Dropped the bar limped around a bit. Cursed at my knee a while. Got back on the bar and continued the round doing just muscle cleans keeping my feet very still on the floor.

For the remaining two rounds each time I came back to the bar I did muscle cleans and push press and for those 30 reps I was pain free. This makes some semblance of sense. For whatever reason, the full extension/drop of the power clean and the dip-drive-dip of the push jerk jar my knee and it’s no good. But when my feet are still there’s no pain.

I would be willing to accept that, but then some one explain to me how I could get through 90 24″ box jumps pain free?! I just don’t see the pattern there. Muddling through all of this to get ready for the Open is going to be a trial by fire and it’s going to be painful experiment.

For those of you wondering how long I’m going to tolerate this, the answer is likely until April. The Open runs through March. And lest anyone think I’m just trying to gut that out unnecessarily, my general practitioner doesn’t advise surgery until I’m off the blood thinners and we’re certain the clot is truly resolved. I’m currently 5 months into this recovery. Last time I experienced something like this I was on the thinners for roughly 9 months. So basically, I’m just trying to do as much as I can and not let the challenges slow me down any more than necessary until I have permission to get things resolved fully. I’m not being stubborn and I’m not being reckless. I’m just trying to make the most of the situation and play the cards I’m holding to the best of my ability.