Last week I made the case that injuries aren’t excuses to to quit training. This week I am going to prove that injuries are actually just an opportunity to get better in specific area. To validate my point I am going to use the case study of my friend and patient Mike Cotter.

Mike is a 50 year old CrossFitting, distance running MACHINE. He’s training extra to get his mile time under 5:00 before 55 (it’s currently under 6:00) and does pretty much all the things required (sleep, nutrition & stress management) to be recovered to take on this level of training. Essentially Mike is pretty close to being a model athlete.

Then one day nature gets him. His LES (lower esophageal sphincter — the valve between your stomach and esophagus gives out) craps out and he starts getting heartburn like crazy. He goes to the doc and finds out that he’s going to need to have a supplemental valve popped in. The procedure is no big deal, but the healing timeline is 6-8 weeks. During that time he can have no external load, no bouncing up while running and no serious intra-abdominal pressure. Basically no CrossFit and no running.

Given this situation most folks would probably get depressed, give up and probably hit the ice cream and beers a little extra to fill the hole left by training. Not my man Mike though. He came to me and said “how can I still improve my fitness while I am injured?” After pondering it for a day I came up with  the world’s greatest assault bike metabolic engine building program. It allowed him to work on something he needed to all while following his MD’s order. Fast forward to 6 weeks later and Mike had actually decreased his body fat, increased his v02 max and lactate threshold by a pretty substantial margin.

The moral of story here is that being the hurt kid SUCKS, but it’s not a game ender. If you keep an open mind and you will find that an injury can be an opportunity to focus on area. I like to call this concept CrutchFit. If you need some CrutchFit help make sure to reach out, I’d love to help you figure out how to take advantage of your injury.

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