Fear and Ankles

Today’s WoD:

  • 50-40-30-20-10 Double Unders
  • 20-15-10-5 burpees

We started the hour with some barbell snatch work.  Moved our way through it and then went into snatch drops.  I’ve really got to overcome my fear of snatch drops.  Even with the 45# bar, they are a psychological block for me.  As we were doing them as a class, my pal Leila didn’t complete her snatch drop and the bar fell on her head.  This freaked me out and I was paralyzed.  Jarrod would yell “Drop!” and the whole class would drop under the bar and I just stood there with the bar on my shoulders unable to move.  Logically, I know that this is something that should be no problem to me.  I just need to move through the fear.  Not sure how to do that yet.  Leila, to her credit, jumped right back on it and did her remaining snatch drops.  I need to find a way to get over this.  I know that I could snatch 100+ if I could just get under the damn bar.

After the barbell work we started the WoD.  I went into it knowing that I would scale the double unders to 1/2 of the amount. The DUs started out strong, I actually PR’d with 22 unbroken.  I finished my last three and my ankle got a lovely sharp pain on the side.  I moved on and did my 20 burpees, which actually weren’t too terrible.  Then I started the DUs again and my ankle was in a pain.  I didn’t want to DNF the WoD, so I went over, grabbed an abmat and did sit-ups in place of DUs.  So, my workout looked like this:

  • 25 double unders, 20 burpees
  • 20 sit-ups, 15 burpees
  • 15 sit-ups, 10 burpees
  • 10 sit-ups, 5 burpees
  • 5 sit-ups

Overall time: 9:11

So a note about my ankle.  I’ve struggled for over a decade with my right ankle.  After multiple severe sprains in college (soccer), the ligaments are all stretched out and essentially useless.  In the past five years, I have fractured my ankle twice and sprained my ankle severely 3 times.  The last doctor I spoke to indicated that I would likely have to have surgery in the next 10 years to fix it. It was so problematic that when I would walk and sometimes my ankle would just flop out and I would sprain it.  For example, in 2010, I was in Marrakech, Morocco (celebrating the wedding of my friend, Adam and his wife Wendy).  I had just spent a lovely time at the spa with some friends.  I was walking in flip flops and my ankle just collapsed and went out on me.  I did a full on Superman fall flat onto the street.  I spent the rest of the time in Marrakech and our time in Paris with a bum, swollen ankle.  As you can see from my lovely ankle accessory in the picture below.  

Crossfit has changed all this.  Since the rest of my body is now stronger, the muscles around my ankle are basically compensating now more effectively for my shitty ankle ligaments.  I’ve turned my ankle coming down on a box (from jumping pull-ups) and in the past, an event like this would cause a severe roll out and turn into a sprain.  Now it just rolls out and bounces back.  The only effect that I’m seeing is that high impact (jumping, running) tends to bother it.  The DU’s today were no exception, but the pain was more severe than normal.  I think that this stems from a small roll I had a couple of weeks ago.  I’m going to take these next couple of weeks working on mobility, stretching, etc. to see if I can get it to cooperate and not hate impact events so much.  


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