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As Gravity Would Have It {Pull-Ups: 1. Kacie: 0.}

Posted Jan 01 2013 10:36pm

Momma always said, “You don’t learn your lesson until you learn it the hard way.”

Well, momma was right. Dangnabbit.

That seems to happen more often than not these days (a whole different situation in and of itself… and I know she is going to read this, so HEY MOM); but let’s discuss my last-day-of-2012-I-learned-the-hard-way-that-proper-form-and-being-smart-about-workouts-is-always-best Crossfit session.

Yesterday, I shared a brief and vague insight into a quite serious incident over in the Twittersphere .

Pull-ups: 1. Kacie: 0. Lost grip on high bar, band flipped me in the air, & slammed my spine directly onto the edge of a box. #happynewyear

— Kacie Phillips (@kacie_phillips) December 31, 2012


Hoping and praying I didn’t cause any serious damage in my spine. On the plus side, my #CrossFit trainer DID deem me “one tough chick.”

— Kacie Phillips (@kacie_phillips) December 31, 2012

Some followers merely noted that I am the queen of doing crazy stunts and suffering the consequences.  Fine, okay true.  But many of my followers were VERY concerned, so let me explain a bit further (140 characters just doesn’t do this justice).

Disclaimer: ANY form of exercise can be dangerous when you are not doing it properly.  Form and safety should ALWAYS be of upmost importance.  I love CrossFit for so many reasons, and injuries and accidents are par for the course.  Allow this post to be a reminder to TRAIN SMART (it’s NOT by any means a “CrossFit isn’t safe” post–so do NOT get that idea; please and thank you).

I have had my fair share of injuries elsewhere, including the stress fracture that took me out of half-marathon training and initially sparked my fitness focus from running to weight-training.  But that is neither here nor there; back to New Year’s Eve…

Allow me to set the scene: Evil Assisted Pull-Ups

Yesterday (in “celebration” — which is a term I use loosely to describe KILLER WODS), we did the “Pull-up Ladder”  :

With a continuously running clock do one pull-up the first minute, two pull-ups the second minute, three pull-ups the third minute… continuing as long as you are able. Use as many sets each minute as needed.

Note: You go up to 20 minutes (for a total of 210 pull-ups; in the last few sets, I was simply aiming to give it my all for the full time–whether I got the full amount or not).

We did this WOD following 30 minutes of our strength workout–consisting of max weight farmer’s carries , sit-ups, deadbugs , plank rotations, AND walking overhead lunges/squats.

Needless to say, by the time I got to the joyous (wow, using a lot of words loosely up in here) pull-up ladder, I was a bit… tired.

As in the picture above, I am still doing my pull-ups assisted with a band.  If you aren’t familiar with these bands, they are like an oversized rubber band.  And they pack a punch if you fail to keep them under control.  So that probably should have been my first cue that I should have… kept it under control.

I was going along with my dandy day, WOD-ing it up, and then I got to my LAST pull-up in the 20th minute

I was determined to get ONE last pull-up.  I had my gloves on and my hands were having a hard time staying dry.  As I was moving towards the end of the WOD, I found myself stepping down onto the Plyo box below to not only support myself, but also to wipe my hands/gloves on my pants.

My trainer was repeatedly commenting to “keep our hands dry”– hmm, maybe so we didn’t slip? UGH.



Yup.  I fell bass-ackwards from the pull-up bar and into the plyo box.

As I was going up for the final pull-up, I got to the top and my hands slipped, causing my feet to instantaneously spring up due to the oversized-evil-rubber-band (yeah, that thing rubber bands do).  This threw ME into the air and…as gravity would have it… straight into the plyo box many of feet below me.  I hit my back directly on the edge and my entire back arched over the box.

Cue: Panic. Insert Awkward New Year's Eve Selfie (Because this post needs broken up.. and maybe I wanted an excuse to put it on the blog).

Insert Awkward New Year’s Eve Selfie (Because this post needs broken up.. and maybe I wanted an excuse to put it on the blog).

I did encounter a brief blackout and a ridiculous few moments of what-the-heck-just-happened. 

My trainers were immediately by my side, as well as my Crossfit companions.  They checked to make sure my legs weren’t tingling, as well as how my back/spine/neck/entire body was following my epic fall.

UGH.  I began to gather my composure and realized that my neck was throbbing.


The moment I got home, I iced my back and took some Advil.  The tightening was rapidly spreading.  I applied a heat pack last night (as well as multiple times today).  I am on a steady dosage of Advil.

But the tightness and the pain?  It is not going anywhere.  And this SUCKS.  My neck… my back… this just sucks.  Interesting way to say goodbye 2012; and hello 2013.

I’m frustrated with myself, but accidents happen.

While I can craft a light-hearted post and essentially laugh at my mishaps, I don’t consider this a funny matter when it really comes down to it.  

I count my blessings that I am not paralyzed.  I count my blessings that I can WALK.  I just… count my blessings and thank the Lord I am okay.

For now, I will continue to alternate between ice/heat, take my meds, and get some much-needed rest.  I will closely monitor my back and my neck; if I need to see a doctor, I will.

On a happier note… my trainer did make note that I was “one tough chick,” so I have that going for me.  I’ll be back on that bar… and returning to my  CrossFit Badass-ery  mode soon enough.

I am not afraid… I’ve just learned firsthand: TRAIN HARD, but TRAIN SMART.

Seriously people.

I don’t care if you’re CrossFit-ing, running, on the elliptical, picking up heavy things and putting them down… BE MINDFUL AND BE SAFE.  Your life could depend on it.

And with that, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Now get out there and GET AFTER IT.

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