I Loved CrossFit, But…

I absolutely loved CrossFit, especially the competition. Digging deep every day, to hit a new PR on a Clean or fighting through the pain cave to finish a metcon faster than I thought possible.

And then it happened – excruciating pain, lightning bolts shooting from my lower back to both my right foot and my head simultaneously!

My lower back was hurt!

Honestly back then I did not know why, I was lifting weights with the form that we’ve all been taught was correct (that is a whole different story).

Either way, I was hurt… picking up anything from the floor entailed excruciating pain.

At this time I was coaching around 100 people. 100 people that were entrusting me to improve their fitness, and yet I was by any measure or definition UNFIT!

Barely able to slip on socks and shoes (I wore socks & shoes back then), and had to warm up & stretch to be able to lead a class through a warm up & stretching…

In a nutshell, my workouts were not conducive to long-term strength, capabilities, & health.

Everything was designed to see how far I could push my body INSIDE the gym each day, not about using my efforts inside the gym to be able to better enjoy time and activities OUTSIDE the gym.

It took me 3-4 months of working on the deep issues that were manifesting as my back pain. I refer to this as my “Hydra” – every problem I fixed, 3 more popped up in its place.

I went back to the drawing board. I started reaching out & learning from coaches that knew more than I. Coaches that were working on exactly what I was hoping to build – for myself and for the people that have entrusted me.

It has been a consistent evolution within Penance Gym for the last 2 years and it’s not done as I’ll always be trying to improve the training and service that we offer.

I am now training much smarter – I know this because:

~ I spend much less time working out (previously 6-8 hours a week down to now about 3 hours a week)

~ I have much more energy to be the best husband, father, coach, etc… (as I’m not leaving the gym absolutely wrecked 5-6 days each week and my body is given time to recover and heal)

~ My strength is as good as it ever was, if not better

~ I am as lean now as I was at my peak of competing

Although I wouldn’t wish the pain that I felt on anyone, I am glad that I went through it as it completely changed the trajectory of Penance Gym for the better.

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