“If your gonna be stupid, you better be tough…”

The title of todays post couldn’t be truer, Coach Jeff told me this once before. I like to think he thinks my intensity is a good thing. That the times I’ve worked out around him and he’s just smiled and shook his head were a good thing. I like to think Coach can probably just see my love of the Iron game. It’s more likely that he can recognize that kamikaze look in my eye though.

Lets back track almost two months. I had just finished WOD 2 in the Crossfit Games online Open two days before, and I wanted to lift, you guys might remember the article I’m talking about. Well I had an ugly miss on a three wheel clean and felt lucky that I still had my left hand attached. I told myself it was just a nasty sprain and to MANUP and keep competing. Well as of 3 o’clock today come to find out I was very wrong.

I knew something was wrong, but I wasn’t gonna admit it to myself and certainly not to anyone around me. To steal a line from Jerry Macquire, “Heart!?! Motha Fucka I’m all Heart!!!”

Well sometimes being tough just makes you stupid. Come to find out from my doctor today that my wrist is and has been broken.

Let’s have a recap of what I’ve decide to do to myself since my injury more then two months ago.

I finished the Open.
During that competition I almost got 32 reps on the clean and jerk workout a week after the break and had a strong showing in the thruster, chest to bar pullup workout.
I was involved in a three week Olympic lifting Bulgarian style program.
I hit 230 or above on the snatch in 6 lifting session and hit more 200+ snatches then I care to think about.
I traveled to Russia and became a certified KettleBell sport Coach.
There were 5 long training days and I competed on a relay team at the camp where I long cycled 30 reps in two minutes.
I competed as a member of my affiliate team at the Crossfit Games Northwest Regional qualifier.
I hit 235 on the thruster ladder and was on a team that qualified for the third day of competition.

Cool huh?

No not really. Tough? Yes. Stupid? Very.

Lets talk about what I really did to myself in that time.

I finished the Open.
I willingly invited myself to further my injury to a point where I could need surgery.
I was involved in a three week Olympic lifting Bulgarian style program.
I made the choice that 3 weeks of training was more important than setting the example to “Rest.”
I traveled to Russia and became a certified KettleBell sport Coach.
I almost ruined a once in a lifetime opportunity to train abroad because I was too stupid to sit things out.
I competed as a member of my affiliate team at the Crossfit Games Northwest regional qualifier.
This one will stick with me for awhile. I forced my friends and family to watch me gut through 20 minutes of hell when my wrist went out on day three.

When I look at this in the right light I realize something. I was stupid. I’m tough, I have heart, I’m proud of that. But it’s not the example I want to set. Injuries are injuries, they happen and there isn’t anything we can do but accept them. I didn’t accept mine and that’s a bit selfish. I would NEVER allow one of my athletes to compete like that. I would have had them pull out of the Open in the beginning, but I gritted my teeth and kept moving. Tough? Yes. Stupid? Extremely.

We all learn from our mistakes and I have learned from this one. When something feels wrong, chances are, somethings wrong. I never want to put my friends or family through what I made them sit and watch. I could have thrown in the towel but I didn’t. That’s not who I am. But I should have never risked what I did. I’ll learn from this and it will make me a better Coach.

My Dad came up to me after the last event at Regionals (he was the first one to, more so he was the only one who felt comfortable enough to) and said something that will stay with me.

“You know Zach, your brain and heart can only tell your body to do so much before the muscles and tendons stop listening.”

I just nodded my head, this is how my Dad and I communicate. I never wanted to believe that, but he was right. Something was wrong and my body had enough of me being stupid.

Tough? Yes. Stupid? More then I even care to admit.

I can only imagine Coach’s expression when I email him about this. Thanks to all my friends and family who supported me when I was to stubborn to listen.

Posted by: Z

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14 Responses to ““If your gonna be stupid, you better be tough…””

  1. Shit Z! I told you, you would know if it was broken, but I didn’t think it would take 2 mon for you to admit it to yourself! Please take care, rest and heal:)

  2. Jesus, obviously your wrist isnt close to your heart.

  3. My dad keeps telling me the same sort of stuff. Warning me about how my body will break down and when I get older I’ll regret it and be fuct up. Nobody wants to live forever, your window to do badass shit is narrow, tape it up and roll until you absolutely can’t, kinda how I look at it. These old timers wouldn’t have the sage advise unless they’d done the same thing. Maybe it’s genetics, maybe it’s how some people are programmed, maybe it’s just part of the deal. Grip it and rip ity friend. When the grip fails or it rips off we’ll put you back together and carry on.

  4. Gutting it out/ HTFU would have been expected, for say the first week. It’s amazing what you accomplished with a broken wrist; even more amazing that you didn’t really mess it up. Let it heal.

  5. hey fucker. I really can’t say I told you so. but its good that you got some time to rest now. the only way to find out when your body, muscles, and tendons stop listening to your heart is to go until they stop. when that happens you find part of your soul. some times that’s what life is all about.

  6. michaelf Says:

    Take time to heal Z and keep the Iron Mind!.
    Sometime life lessons are a Bitch
    Here is a little insight from Henry Rollins that we all can draw from…..
    The Iron Mind…..
    Henry Rollins wrote for Details a piece entitled, Iron. The following is a portion:

    I have never met a truly strong person who didn’t have self-respect. I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone’s shoulders instead of doing it yourself. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity. Strength reveals itself through character. It is the difference between bouncers who get off strong-arming people and Mr. Pepperman.
    Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.
    Life is capable of driving you out of your mind. The way it all comes down these days, it’s some kind of miracle if you’re not insane. People have become separated from their bodies. They are no longer whole.
    I see them move from their offices to their cars and on to their suburban homes. They stress out constantly, they lose sleep, they eat badly. And they behave badly. Their egos run wild; they become motivated by that which will eventually give them a massive stroke. They need the Iron Mind.
    Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.
    The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.

  7. Just rub some dirt on it

  8. michelle b Says:

    You mean even Tiger Balm won’t fix it? You’re still a champion to us …. a reckless champion, but our champion.

  9. I’ve read this a couple of times now. I have to say, there were a lot of ways you might have responded to everything that went down, and this post really impresses me. Your heart and your strength are so abundant that you have enough left over to inspire and motivate the rest of us. Your willingness and ability to turn around and face yourself, though – well, it’s mature. Trust me, I know people twice your age who cannot do it. Now get better; there is much marauding still to be done.

  10. Bad or good, experience is experience. Going through these tough times only makes you a better coach because you have been through it all and you know the difference between man up pain and tap out pain. Seriously though, you need to tell the truth…you just broke it so you could be cool like me and share left handed splints and copious amounts of tape;)

  11. BuddhaHead Steve Says:

    Watching you struggle doing the muscle ups was hard to watch, looking into your eyes was inspiring. Maybe because I’m Japanese, all I could think was that when you see victories in battle, the warriors are crowned victorious. But it is nothing compared to watching a warrior in battle knowing that there are overwhelming odds, to fight valiantly and lose, at those moments that battles become legendary and the warrior in losing the battle, is nothing but…. magnificent. Domo Arigato, Sensei

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