June 2016- JIMI WYNN
“Coping with injuries”
Hello everyone. My name is Jimi Wynn, I’m 32 years old, from Chattanooga, TN, and I am one of the trainers at South Mountain CrossFit.
My journey with CrossFit started back in 2012. Prior to joining my first CrossFit gym in Nashville, TN, I was very active in pick-up basketball, tennis, biking, swimming, and ultimate Frisbee. I slowed down on most of the recreational sports once I started CrossFit. I still played pick-up basketball here and there, but decided to hang it up once me and Sarah moved to Allentown in the fall of 2014. So what did I decide to do after taking a 3-year hiatus from basketball? I decided to go play at a random pick up game on a Sunday morning, and Sarah just happened to be out of town with our daughter Millie. I was feeling great the first game, and really excited to be doing something competitive and active outside of CrossFit again. That all changed at the start of the second game. I was running back on defense, when all of the sudden I felt like someone kicked me in the back of the right heel. I turned around, and the guy said “sorry man, my bad” (I later on found out that I was not kicked, and that was the feeling my tendon popping). The next step I took felt like my foot was melting into the ground. It was totally numb and I couldn’t come up on my toes if my life depended on it. I had no idea what just happened, but I hobbled off the court, and drove home to go ice it. I’ve sprained my ankles many times in my life, and always got right back in to full speed after a few weeks, so that is what my mind set was.
I decided to go the doctor the next morning, still feeling like this thing would go away. After about 8 seconds of examination, the doctor starting telling me “Well the surgical approach here is probably the best way to go.” I was like “uhh, wait, like surgery? Cutting in to me with a knife, where I’m asleep surgery?” I’ve only truly been shocked to where I couldn’t think straight twice in my life. First was when Sarah told me she was pregnant when we weren’t even trying, and then this was second. I would have much rather Sarah told me she was pregnant again instead of this news. I was diagnosed with a fully ruptured Achilles tendon. I opted for the surgery of course. They said I would have a full recovery and be able to do everything I could before. This gave me confidence again, until they said that the time frame is around 8-12 months. Pretty devastating news to hear. This was also my right foot, and my primary job function is driving around meeting with customers. So I was out of work for almost 45 days, and laid up at home not able to drive. Sarah was super sweet and caring, and she did a really great job handling me and Millie at the same time. Millie had just started crawling too, so I was unable to play with her, change diapers, or carry her from one place to another. This was probably the most depressing part of the injury. I was on crutches for about a month, and was able to put light weight on my ankle after about 2 and half weeks. I went to physical therapy a couple times a week, and slowly but surely started to see some progress.
I was finally able to get back into the gym after a few weeks, but only able to do really really light movements. I could do the rower with one leg strapped in, and the other on a skateboard. I could do pushups. I was still scared of pullups since I wasn’t supposed to put any weight on my ankle, and just too afraid that I would land on it. Of course Kurt was trying to get me to do muscle ups on my first day back at the gym. I opted not do those. I was truly just happy to be back in the gym being active again, and most importantly being around my friends. I came to grips with the fact that I would have a long recovery, and that doing anything at the speed and capacity of my previous accomplishments was probably over. I did the benchmark workout “Fran” a couple weeks ago and clocked in just at 6:00. I did this workout in 2:50 not too long before my injury, so going backwards in progress was something that was hard to take in. It wasn’t just this workout that got me down, it was seeing everyone smoke me on workouts that I would normally crush that got me down.
This whole experience really taught me a lot about being grateful for what I have. The things we do to our bodies in CrossFit is truly amazing. If you haven’t realized it yet, the body is an unbelievable tool, and there is so much untapped strength inside each individual. Take advantage of the tools God gave you, and don’t ever take them for granted.
There are plenty of ways to improve yourself doing CrossFit. Whether it be using your legs more on the rower, understanding the power of your hips on Olympic lifts, engaging your core, or just perfecting form on anything. All of that stuff is powerful and useful, but the strongest part of one’s body is the mind. There haven’t been many times that I can recall during an absolute brutal WOD where my body totally just shut off. It is typically the mind that breaks down and convinces your body that you can’t go anymore. Finding a way to increase your mental fortitude is where you will see the most improvements in CrossFit. I don’t quite know the secret to that yet, but I can tell you that I have had to battle my mental state of mind every time I walk in to the gym and see Dom and George H. destroying my times. I tell myself that it doesn’t matter what their times are, all that matters is that I’m healthy and I’ve been given the strength to participate in the workouts. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be in the gym and using my body to its full current capacity. If you are someone who gets down on yourself because others are getting stronger and faster than you at a quicker pace, don’t worry about that at all. Have fun with it, but don’t let it get you down. Just be grateful for what you can do, and thankful you’re not cooped up on a couch playing playstation 3 pretending to eat healthy (that was me for 2 weeks).
I’m 5 months post operation now, and the best part is that I can drive, run, do muscle ups, and most importantly be the dad to Millie that I’ve always wanted to be. South Mountain Crossfit has such an amazing community to keep me motivated during my healing process, and my recovery would have never been the same without another place to call home. My plan is to come back stronger than ever, and compete in Rally in the Valley 2016.