Turning My Crossfit Injury Into Opportunity

My first box jump!!!

I havent updated this much because I plateaud for quite awhile and was quite discouraged

I have been crossfitting 4 days a week in my recovery, and at this point there is little outside of jumping rope and box jumps that I cant do to some extent.

However, 2 days ago I got my first box jump. And then I added about 40 more. It was only a 16 inch box,  but I overcame the fear. I’m pretty sure I could have conquered the 20 inch box but I didn’t want to push it too far. I was a little sore the next day, but it was muscular and not that burning tendon feeling. It only took 5 and a half months!

At this point I am confident in my plan to enter my first crossfit competition in July.

15 weeks and the Crossfit Open behind me, still feeling weak.

It’s been awhile since my last post.  Mostly because there is minimal progress. I suppose it’s just less noticable.

I can walk slowly without a limp, but I like to walk fast :) so it’s usually visible.

I made it through through Crossfit open, starting with a goal of finishing in the top half of my region.  I came close, finishing in the top 55%

Nearly every workout seemed to be effected by my lack of calf strength.

13.1 snatches are hard when you can’t get up to your toes.

13.2 Box jumps were subbed with step ups

13.3 Every try a one legged double under? I was only able to get 14.

13.4 This one actually wasnt too bad . Thrusters put a little strain on the achilles at the bottom, but not too much pain.

I’m please to have finished every workout, but of course I want to be further along.

At this point I still cant get even a millimeter off the ground without some assistance from the other leg. Is this typical for everyone?  Starting to slip back into the pity party now that I’ve plateaued.

3 Week Follow-up and Another Mod Wod

Yesterday was my 3 week post op follow up.

Everything looked great. There was a bit of a smell coming from under the steri strips which had concerned me for a couple of days, but the doctor ripped the rest of the strips off and thought it was more likely just from the shower. He cleaned it up with peroxide and  told me to keep it dry for a couple of days and then return to showering.

I am at neutral now and just have 2 more lifts left to remove in my boot, which he said I could speed up and remove them both in the next week.  Everything feels great, although my plantar flexion is pretty weak, which is to be expected. Another appointment in 2 weeks when we are likely looking at two shoes!

This is what the wound looks like now.
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Went to the box again and only had to modify 1 movement for the WOD.

WOD- Alyssa’s Special

15 minute AMRAP

20 Pull Ups- Be sure to pay attention when coming down from the bar.

30 Air Squats - I was able to do these without pain or problem, but they may not be for everyone. Listen to your body.

30 Supermans ( this was in place of 20 Deadlifts (225/165)

30 Push Ups

20 Sit Ups

Result 2 Rounds +46 reps

My coach told me I look sad when I come in there, and he knows I want to do the lifting. He’s right, but it does feel great just to be in that atmosphere. I know I’ve said that a million times already!

An ALL CORE WOD ” Old School”

This one was pretty brutal and my core is officially shot, in a good way!

I was able to do this workout without any need to modify.

“Old School”

2 Rounds for time of:
15 Reps Toes to Bar
15 Floor Wipers (95/65)
15 Reps V-Ups
15 Reps of Hollow Rocks
15 Good Mornings (45lb)
15 Slam Balls
15 second  hanging L-Sits
15 Reps of Weighted AbMat Sit Ups (25/15lb)
15 Reps Shoulder Lifts (95/65)
15 Reps Barbell Leg Lifts (95/65)
15 Reps Med Ball Sit Ups -against wall (20/15)
Result: 17:49

Modified Crossfit WOD #2

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Today was my second consecutive day at the box

Of course I’m modifying everything to accommodate the fact that I am PWB.

8 minute AMRAP

4 Hang Clean/Pushpress #105 ( I did this right in front of a rack so I didn’t have to go all the way to the ground my left leg was bent and up on a 20″ box. I started with a yoga mat for cushion but it was too unstable, so I got rid of it and just bit the bullet.

8 Toes to bar

Result 5 rounds + 2

90 second rest THEN…

6 minute AMRAP

5 Pistols

10 Kettlebell swings #53 ( this was slightly more difficult. Again I used the 20 inch box, but had to kind of lean off the box a bit to make room for the kettlebell between my legs.  After a couple of rounds I got the hang of it.

Result 6 rounds +6

90 seconds rest THEN.

2 minute Max pushups.


Wow, that was one heck of a workout.  Again it’s great to be back in the community of crossfit. Fortunately I don’t feel any soreness afterward, and I actually think the exercise aids my overall recovery. Second session of PT is tonight.

If there is enough interest I could make some videos to illustrate how I modify these workouts to fit our injury. Just let me know.

First PT Session

My first physical therapy session came on Friday, 2 weeks and 2 days post op.

I chose to stay in the sports medicine clinic linked with my doctor’s office. I did this mostly because the doctor or nurses would be just down the hall if there was any question about my protocol.

The first session was mostly evaluation. He said the goal would be to get to neutral in 6 weeks post op. After the evaluation he seemed optimistic and almost impressed saying I am just a few degrees from neutral already and it will be no problem to get to neutral in a few weeks.  I seem to be in good shape, but I could tell he didn’t want to get me to speed up recovery.

Tomorrow I will go back to the crossfit  box and get some coaching on what else I can be doing to maintain my strength and conditioning in the rest of my body. I’ve been working 0n my own, but honestly I think it will be a big boost in morale just to get back into the crossfit environment. I’ll post tomorrow with the results.

Week 1, Post Op Appointment


I now have a refurbished achilles tendon!

The surgery went well. I was in some pretty intense pain right after, but I’m a baby when it comes to needles, so I denied the offer of  a pain blocking shot in my leg. I was given a prescription for Norco and I certainly used them. It was taking 2 pills every 4 hours on the dot just to keep the pain down to a dull roar. Once I got through the weekend the pain had subsided and I didnt need any more pain killers. I just stuck with the anti inflammatory he prescribed.

In the post op appointment the following week  the doctor described my achilles as shredded once he saw it. He actually said it looked like a mop. that being said he had to cut away a little more on both ends to allow him to sew two solid pieces together. The big concern here was that it would be a little tighter and it would take more time to get it stretched out. Has anyone else had this issue? Any potential problems?

Given the tighter tendon,the fact that I am the youngest person he’s ever seen with this injury ( 29 yrs old) and my desire to get back to crossfit as quickly as possible, he told the physical therapist he wants me on a somewhat accelerated program.  ( I chose to go with the in house PT because I felt it was good to have my doctor in the same office in case there were questions and it’s also very close to my office) He apparently got a little blow back from the PT because of the concern for re-rupture, but the ortho pushed him on it because of his tremendous confidence in the sew job and the use of fiberwire.  This made me feel like he was actually on my side and progressive enough to want me back at crossfit as soon as I am able.

I was given a boot with 6 lifts in the heal. Every 5-7 days I am to remove one lift. It shouldn’t be painful to move to the next lift. He admited that the boot was ugly, but it was the one he believed would help me most. I could slowly add more weight bearing as I saw fit. If it swells, that’s an indicator I overdid it. I like this doctor!

Pic of my gnarly wound.  He commended me for keeping it elevated, which kept the swelling down. He said it showed how committed I was to getting it better.
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This is the ugly boot.
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Scene of the Crime

My rupture happened on Thursday December 20th at 815AM at my Crossfit box.

The WOD was as follows

4 Rounds for Time

5 Dead Lift #275
10 Spiderman Push Ups
15 Hollow Rocks
20 Box Jumps

This wasnt a particularly hard workout, beyond the fact that deadlifts are one of my least favorite lifts. I was killing it through 2 rounds I made my way over to the box jumps in the 3rd round and just started rattling them off. I was rebounding at the bottom and resting at the top. At about rep 10 I started thinking about how good I had become at rebounding, almost as if I had springs in my feet.

Then, rep 13 came, I got to the bottom and felt the infamous phantom kick to the back of my leg. It’s pretty crazy how real that seemed. I actually looked behind  me in anger thinking someone was paying a sick joke on me.

No one was there.

I sat there for a second and surveyed my left leg to understand what just happened. There was no pain in my ankle, I’ve sprained ankles and actually broken my right  before, I knew it wasn’t that. Actually there wasnt much pain in general.

I tried to stand up. It felt like I was standing on a decline, again no pain, just no strength or stability.

I sat right back down.

Then I got sick to my stomach as it dawned on me what happened. I touch the  depressed area where my achilles cord should be.


For the next 20 minutes I sat in a chair with an ice pack on my foot and sweat, trying with all of my might to keep from vomiting. I’m not sure if the nausea was caused by the trauma to my body or realizing the fact that I was going to be sidelined for an indefinite, and probably long, period of time.

This can’t be happening!

My first competition is in a month.

I’m really good at this


We went to the hospital, they did the Thompson test . I failed. They gave me some meds and a recommendation for an Orthopedic Surgeon and the rest is history and I slept the rest of the day.

I’m going to make multiple posts today to get the blog caught up to present day. I appreciate your following my story. Those blogs I’ve read on this site have been both inspirational and informational, So I hope that I can put the next guy at ease, or at least help them realize  they’re not alone. I didn’t see many Crossfit injuries on this site, so perhaps that will be my niche.