IF I DO THIS, WILL I BE ABLE TO MAKE IT INTO THE BOX TOMORROW?
As we have repeatedly warned, being PREPARED for Murph can be the difference between and great day, and well… a pretty awful one. We have talked about good hydration (everyone had BETTER be drinking a ton of water today!!) and proper training (doing regular Cove programming 3-4x per week including benchmark WODs like “Cindy” and our Friday Partner WOD) as key components to a successful day, but one we have been DRILLING you on is good form. We will review movement standards tomorrow but we will expect (rather, DEMAND) full extension on your pull ups and push ups and opened hips at the top of the air squat. “Shorting” these reps puts too much tension on a single muscle as you are not allowing it to elongate and “rest”. This can cause serious muscular damage. Here is our cautionary tale:
Last year two of our athletes fell ill after Murph with “Rhabdo”. Rhabdomyolysis is essentially muscle breakdown and the release of intracellular contents into the bloodstream. The liver and kidneys are not designed to process these contents and if left untreated, can cause significant bodily damage (or even death in the most extreme cases). Every sport has the risk of rhabdo. Rhabdo is not specific to CrossFit because it can happen to anyone doing any activity. Those at risk include military recruits, athletes training above their level of conditioning, crush victims, athletes with predominance of type II fast twitch muscle fibers (i.e. sprinters and weightlifters), and type I slow twitch group (i.e. marathon runners and cyclists). The net net is that it can happen to almost anyone.
While we are devastated that they experienced this, we took it as a huge learning opportunity. We’ve talked about hydration, nutrition, rest and performance training for big WODs like Murph, but there’s nothing better than hearing the perspective from someone who experienced it. Here is Larry’s own account of his personal experience and reflection on what happened. Please read this (it really is an incredible read) and thank him for sharing when you see him. Because you WILL see him tomorrow with his awesome Bullhead Pit Beef truck!
“If I do this, will I be able to make it into the box tomorrow?”
That’s the question I have asked myself on a regular basis since joining The Cove.
Like many of you, I enjoy a challenge. Just because I enjoy a challenge, it does not mean I need to accept it.
“Hey! McFly! What are you? Chicken?”
It’s easy to see that the consequences are going to be bad when you see it play out in a movie. You know Marty is going to pay for his decision. It’s not always so easy, when it’s you.
I started Crossfit to change my life. Not just get in shape, real change, life perspective stuff. For the most part I’ve managed to pull that off. I’m more patient, I appreciate the little things, I think things through a little better; a little less impulsive. That doesn’t mean I’ve got it all figured out though.
As you may have heard, Murph and I had a run in. As I write this, I am on my third day of RnR at the luxurious HoCo General Hospital and Resort. I checked in on Wednesday thinking there was a possibility that I might have Rhabdo. When my test results came in I had grossly underestimated the possibility.
Initially, I thought I would give you all a play by play of my week. In the end,the list of mistakes I made was too much for me to endure and hold your attention. What I will do is give you a little perspective and help you to understand how to be prepared and avoid following my path.
So you may think that I might be filled with dread and regret and embarrassment. Perhaps I should be running away from all things Crossfit and in particular, Murph. Well…nope. I look forward to being back at The Cove, and I look forward to hitting up Murph again.
Murph 2016 was my first attempt. I have been thinking about it for months. I know I can do a lot of pullups and a lot of pushups. Nothing about the workout seemed impossible. The piece that is difficult to judge, is the cumulative effects. That means before the workout, during the workout and afterwards. The challenge of the workout doesn’t end when you finish. The next day, days, week, will all be important to your success and your health.
I used to do triathlons. The week before a triathlon I would walk around with a water bottle. I would make sure I ate all the right food, get plenty of rest then show up for the race. I then always planned on a couple of down days to recover. I am sure that I pushed my body at least as hard during those races, but my body was fully equipped going in and had plenty of time to recover afterwards.
I didn’t give Murph the respect it deserves as an intense athletic event. It is a WOD, but needs to be treated like any other endurance event. None of us would run a 10k without preparing our bodies. An event like Murph should be treated the same way.
I think my motto above is the starting point, if I do this, will I be able to make it into the box tomorrow? It should be followed up with what other things do I need to do to keep my body healthy? Crossfit is not a weekend warrior sport. It is a sport that will change your life because you will think differently about life in order to participate. We don’t all have to go to the games, but we need to take all parts of our participation into consideration. Diet, rest, and our decisions in the box all affect our success.
The first time I heard about Rhabdomyolysis the prospect of getting it terrified me. I do wish I had been more careful, all of this could have been avoided. I’m grateful I went into the hospital when I did and will make a full recovery.
I think that you will see a lot more emphasis on health education, reminders to hydrate and rest in the future. Take it seriously. Crossfit is a great sport. One of the things that makes it great is that it self empowering. With that empowerment, comes personal responsibility.
I look forward to seeing you all back at The Cove. I miss you all and all that we do there.
Americans celebrate the lives and honor the memories of their fallen soldiers every Memorial Day. As CrossFitters, on this day (May 29th), Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Murphy is memorialized by thousands of people completing the CrossFit hero WOD (workout of the day), which is titled “Murph” in his honor.
1 Mile Run
100 Pull Ups
200 Push Ups
300 Air Squats
1 Mile Run
Coach’s Tip: Do not worry about what ANYONE else is doing. Stick to your plan. Scale the crap out of it. Just sit there and cheer. This is a day of remembrance and community, not competition! Let’s make it the perfect day.
And you’d never know what was to come. Larry was smiling during Murph…