I not only forgot to have fun, but I let some fears cloud my judgment as I ignored the warning signs of overtraining. I was quite literally sabotaging the fact that I was in the best shape of my life at 45 years old. Not purposely. But I became fearful that I would lose the gains I had been making. My "determination" became detrimental to my health. I lost balance... literally and figuratively.
I failed to give myself enough recovery time. I pushed harder wanting to attack all of my weaknesses and it became at the expense of my body. I also feared becoming that crippled person with MS again. I struggle even now seeing myself past that and I became my worst enemy. I used to think of all this as crushing MS... but this mental battle I was having was crushing me. Driving me to just push harder and harder as I was headed for a brick wall.
This was also a year that I experienced some very intense muscle cramps that I had never experienced before. Looking back, I know much of that was triggered by my overtraining as well. First time it happened, I was doing a ring muscle up and BAM! My calf muscle relentlessly sank in to the bone. It lasted for 10 minutes and finally after lots of water, supplements and massaging the cramped muscle, it subsided. I was seriously sore the next day in that calf.
That was very painful and I tried everything I could to stop that from happening again. But it happened again with the same intensity. And then again in both calves. I was on a strict Paleo diet. I found that significantly increasing my carbs, electrolytes and water intake was key. I thought I had it under control until I competed at the 2014 summer Oklahoma Games. It was super hot with no air flow and I was in the middle of pull-ups when I could feel my calf start to cramp. I finished the last 3 pull-ups with a full-on calf cramp, but I knew when I dropped from the bar, it would be bad. I just didn't know how bad. To my horror, almost every muscle in both of my legs cramped simultaneously. I can't even begin to tell you the extreme pain I was in. I thought a calf cramp was bad. This time, I personally failed to feed and hydrate my body sufficiently to handle the extreme heat.
I obviously learned a lot of hard lessons in 2014.
On top of doing the Crossfit workout of the day (WOD) at my box, I would daily practice my weaknesses. This isn't a bad thing until it becomes overly excessive. I also didn't give myself a break in intensity. As I pushed harder, my wrist got worse and then in August, I broke my foot. Tripped, lost my balance and tried to catch myself. I never fell, but I landed wrong on that foot. I didn't realize it was broken, though it sure didn't feel right. I thought it was another one of those muscle cramps so I finished running. I was thinking how thankful I was that it wasn't my calf or legs that were cramping. Just a little spot in my foot. My dear friend Rose even got me water and my electrolyte pills as I stretched my foot and pressed it hard up against a box-jump box. Problem was, it was broken.
The next morning, I texted my doctor.
"I might have possibly broken my foot, but it is probably nothing but a contusion."
He went ahead and had me come in to x-ray it.
His response, "You have broken it spectacularly! Not only is this a spiral fracture, but it is fragmented and splintered."
Hmmmm... do I get a trophy? LOL!
Lots of muscle cramps and two surgeries later, 2015 has become the year of recovery and balance for me. Yes, I did have surgery on my broken foot and my wrist. And I personally do believe God allowed all of this to stop me from continuing down this self-destructive spiral. My fear of being crippled by the MS was precisely where I was headed (that brick wall) ...had not the good Lord intervened. I still did balanced and modified crossfit through all of this and no, giving up is not an option.