Sickness, Injuries and Pistols?

February 9, 2018

Thanks for joining me in my Follow Dave Journey, we are in week 27. This journey chronicles my attempt to be one of the Top 200 Fittest 50 – 54 year old males as measured by the CrossFit Open, which begins the end of February 2018. You can read more about the CrossFit Open here and here.

Exercising through Sickness & Injuries

Exercising during the flu season can be troublesome. At Veneta CrossFit we always want to encourage people to be consistent and exercise regularly, but what about when you are sick?

In a lot of ways I equate this to going to work even when you are sick. For most people their job is a responsibility. Weather it is true or not there is a feeling that if we don’t go to our job the work place will fall apart. Or, on a more fundamental level if we miss a day of work we might get fired and won’t be able to eat (If this is true go find a better job…smile).

The fact is, if you are sick you need to rest. This is true for work and for play. It’s not always easy but the best option when you are sick is to lay low for a few days and get better.

It is a similar thing with injuries. Resting the injured body part seems obvious but I often have a hard time forcing myself to rest. So how do I approach exercising when I am injured?

Before I go further on this subject I often have people tell me that they will never do CrossFit because they “heard” that the risk of injury is greater in CrossFit. I realize that I am a CrossFit enthusiast and have a bias, but there have been many independent studies done that show CrossFit is no more dangerous than other forms of exercise. Here is a link to a random study that I found with a quick google search. This study found that CrossFit has no more risk of injury than other forms of exercise, including running, playing soccer, playing basketball, etc.

The above study is consistent with my personal experience of playing sports and exercising throughout my life.

With that being said injuries do happen. In fact earlier this week during a running workout I felt tightness in my inner thigh. I was near the end of the workout so I decided to cut the workout short. Then on Wednesday night during a workout that included weighted squats I felt the same tightness. Once again I decided to cut the workout short before anything more serious occurred.

But what do I do now…….the Open starts in less than two weeks.

Thankfully, I think this injury is minor. It only hurts when I run or do squats. Although doing these two things are important to my goal of making the Top 200, I think I can work around it.

I have chosen to consider this small injury a blessing. I will now be able (forced) to focus more on the movements that I have the most difficulty with, the holes in my fitness. Pull-ups, Chest to Bar Pull-ups, Toes to Bar, Hand Stand Push-ups, and the dreaded Bar Muscle-ups. These movements will require minimal involvement from my injured area and will allow me to give this area the rest it needs.

So what is the answer to exercising when you are sick or injured? Although similar, I think the answer is slightly different. When sick, rest is the best medicine. When injured, rest is still important but it is also imperative that you find alternative ways to stay active. There are so many ways and forms of exercise, the key is to just keep moving.


There is a specific movement, similar to an Air Squat, where you squat only using one leg. This movement is called a Pistol. If you asked me a few months ago if there was a specific movement that I thought I would never be able to do, I would have said Pistols.

I’ve never mentioned Pistols in my posts because I had relegated it to something that was just beyond my capabilities. Because of its difficulty it has never been included in the Open and there is no reason to think it will show up this year.

But……Last week, out of the blue, I was able to complete my first Pistol. I then proceeded to do 60 more Pistols in a workout. It blew my mind.

After the workout I took the above video. My form may not be perfect but I did it and I’m still 51 years old. If I accomplish nothing else on this journey this is a major accomplishment for me. I can do Pistols, thanks for following me on my journey.

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