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Eleven years ago, I tore my ACL and meniscus attempting to run a Tough Mudder. And I say attempted because I didn’t even make it beyond the starting point. 

They had a 6 foot wooden fence as the entry point – I guess as a right to passage. And while I was running with a team that included guys, I wanted to see if I could do it myself. I remember jumping up and being able to pull myself up and over without any help. 

I was so excited that I flung myself over the other side and landed in a puddle of mud. My foot went one way and my knee went the other. 

I remember landing on my butt, howling in pain, and hoping nobody came up and over the fence on top of me. I looked up at one of my teammates and barely got out, “I can’t stand up.” 

As they helped me up, I went to take a step and almost collapsed again. I spent the rest of the race in the medic tent and along the sidelines watching everyone else run the race. And as the day wore on, the bruising and swelling in my leg went from my knee all the way down to my ankle. 

An ER visit, a couple visits to a surgeon, and all the medical tests revealed a torn ACL and meniscus. And the doctor said I didn’t just tear my ACL, I absolutely shredded it. 

So that was fun. 

They used my hamstring tendon to repair my ACL and while the plan was to trim up my meniscus, they ended up repairing it as it had started healing itself. 

I wasn’t able to walk or put any pressure on it for a month. And when it was time to start putting pressure on it, I had to relearn to recruit the muscles and to trust myself. Just to stand! 

It was crazy. 

Now – here we are, 11 years later, and my knee occasionally gives me trouble. This year, it started with the second Open workout with the double unders and deadlifts. I don’t remember doing anything in particular, but it has bothered me ever since. 

And it’s progressively gotten worse. 

But I kept putting bandaids on it, so to speak. Wearing a knee brace, using Deep Blue and my massage gun, stretching, rolling out. 

But now it’s time for me to take a step back and let it actually heal. Not just continue putting bandaids on it. And hope I didn’t actually screw it up even more. 

How often do we do that tho? Put bandaids on things, hoping that will fix the underlying problem? Things will get better eventually, right? 

But it’s important to stop, take a step back, and really, truly let your body or mind or whatever the case may be, to heal. It’s not always fun – shoot, sometimes it’s downright scary – but it is always necessary and worth it. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m going to still workout, but I’m going to ease back on the things that put a lot of pressure and tension on my knee. I’ve been here before. I know time and rest will help. And I also know patience will be key. 

But we all know how I am with patience. Ha! 

So just know, there’s nothing wrong with taking a step back. Absolutely nothing. It doesn’t make you weak or less than or any of that nonsense. If anything, I think it makes you stronger! 

I truly hope you listen to your body, your mind, your emotions. Because YOU are important. YOU matter. Take the time to fully heal and no longer put bandaids over it… whatever it is. 

Have a blessed week, y’all! 


PS – this happened BEFORE I started CrossFit. I wish I would have been doing CrossFit first, because I would have approached that dang fence so much differently. 

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