Retro Post: Never Stop Trying


I originally wrote this post on August 2, 2011 but I never finished editing it. (See? I told you I had some unfinished business.)

Never stop trying. That’s a phrase you will often hear within the CrossFit community. And, honestly, it’s a great rule to live by…most of the time.

For instance, I watched one of the trial videos for the CrossFit games. The workout was:

AMRAP 5 Minutes:
Squat Clean and Jerk (Men- 165#, Women- 110#)

I watched a video of the girl who was in very last place (wish I could find the video but they’ve either taken them down or I just can’t find it anymore). I watched her try, unsuccessfully, to get a clean & jerk at 110# for over 4 minutes. Finally, with less than 1 minute to go, she got one! She finally got ONE! Success!! I mean, yes, it was only one and it probably wasn’t going to qualify her for the games, but the point is, she never stopped trying. She kept going and posted her results for the world to see anyway. Good for her!

However, there are times when you really need to stop trying. I came across this video on the CrossFit website (I used to have it linked but they’ve since taken it down). It’s basically about a girl who separated her right shoulder doing muscle ups in an earlier workout. She continued the next workout (the same day) which involved dumbbell thrusters and toes to bar which are movements that rely heavily (in my opinion…I’m really no expert) on the shoulders. If you watch her in the video, she had to physically pick up her right arm with her left arm to get it up to the bar.

This is just something I cannot understand. It may say something about my level of dedication or my willingness to fight through the pain but continue to work out after such a serious injury is just not my idea of smart. A headache, mild stomach ache, soreness or certain pain due to inactivity (i.e. stiff joints, sciatic pain, certain elbow pain) I believe should be worked through. And in most of these cases, you’ll feel loads better after the workout than if you hadn’t done it.

So…got me thinking. What are my limits? What am I willing and not willing to do? Not that it really matters, but, after much thought, here are what I’ve decided are my limits.

Injuries worth stopping a workout for:

  • severe dizziness and/or spotty vision (it’s only happened to me once…and it was not fun)
  • back injury of any sort (mainly because my back is so prone to going out…I’d like to not push it…)
  • serious bodily injury such as a sprain, broken bone or dislocation. However, this is not to say that if I have a broken finger and the workout is primarily running that I won’t go out and do the running…But I certainly won’t be doing any lifting!
  • illness
Injuries NOT worth stopping a workout for:
  • soreness
  • mild dizziness
  • minor bodily injury (pulled muscle)
  • headache
  • mild illness
  • sleepy (unless it were severe sleep deprivation…ha!)

What are your limits?

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