Chiropractic Care

A Personal Testimony

One of the biggest thing’s that attracted me to Crossfit is the “constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity.” Since it is constantly varied, it has the ability to keep someone like me interested. Then, once you combine that with community competition within the gym then it is workout gold in my opinion. However, every once and a while, we need to evaluate our goals and analyze our performance to come up with ways to meet those goals.

About 3, maybe 4 months ago I began having some problems with my back while running. I found that any time I ran for any sort of distance (greater than 400m) my back would lock up and drastically cut my ability to perform at the most optimum level during my daily workouts. There came a point where I said enough was enough and did some research. Granted, it was as simple as typing “Crossfit” and “Back Problems.” That’s what opened my eyes to the world of chiropractic medicine. I decided to give it a whirl and thought, “what could happen?”

Image Property of the Merrimack Valley Wellness Center

That same Google search led me to the Merrimack Valley Wellness Center. It is a small practice, owned and operated by Dr. Ryan Hewitt D.C. and his wife Kendra. They work effortlessly to improve the wellness of all that walk into their doors. Dr. Ryan is a Crossfit coach at Crossfit Rt 1  in Melrose, MA and is also a Crossfit Games competitor. I felt confident in knowing that Dr. Ryan would be able to provide the best care and insight as it related to my back, and the fitness regimen that I have come to love.

I called up, and spoke with Evelyn. Evelyn is one of two of the MVWC’s lovely assistants. She was extremely courteous, knowledgeable, and accommodating. She was even able to get me seen same day for an assessment. All I needed to do was print off some forms online and bring them with me when I came in.

Once I arrived at the office in North Andover, MA. I was shown to a little seating area that had an informational video playing. Today’s video was of Dr. Ryan & his wife Kendra lecturing to a local box about what Paleo is, and how it can benefit the individual athlete. I actually wished I had to wait longer because it was interesting & informative. However, I did not wait long and Dr. Ryan brought me in to an examination room for evaluation. We were able to find several problem areas with my posture that led to a corrective care plan to bring my spine back to optimum health. I was sold, I was willing to make the time and financial investment in returning my back to shape.

It was not cheap, I did a small cost/benefit analysis to price out if it would be better to use my insurance or to pay out of pocket. I found that with my high copay’s it would actually be more beneficial to pay out of pocket. Thankfully, due to my profession and Crossfit affiliation there were discounts available to use which made the care actually affordable.

I started out going 3 times a week for adjustments and after the 4th or 5th week, I had my first progress exam. I found that my posture was much more inline. The weight I carried on each foot was more equal. Most importantly, running wasn’t a problem with my back. I found that I would be able to run easier.

If you are remotely near the North Shore area, and are looking to improve your back health, I strongly recommend you check out Merrimack Valley Wellness Center. Dr. Ryan is a very knowledgeable professional and is able to get you back to your optimum health to get you performing the way you want to. If you want more detailed information, or have any specific questions about my experience with Dr. Ryan feel free to comment here and I will be glad to help you out!

 

 

“Well I go to Crossfit, and That’s My Therapy”

This video requires no introduction, you will understand why I shared it around the 3rd minute of the film. Thanks to Crossfit HQ for posting this one.

For more information on how Crossfit honor’s those who have died in either the field of battle or in Emergency Services, please visit here or here.

To any member of our Armed Forces out there today, that is reading this:

Thank You.

Why Crossfit Is Not Just a ‘Fad’

Here is some great food for thought on Crossfit. Check it out, write down your feelings. Either way, Crossfit isn’t going any where. The businesses will rise and fall, just like anything else in the economy. It is the community that will keep the mentality, and the vitality of Crossfit alive.

Crossroads of the Heart

One of my posts that receives the greatest number of hits each day is this piece on Rich Froning, both 2011 and 2012’s Fittest Man in the World.  Based on this information, the increasing number of commercials on TV, and friends / family members who have gotten involved with a ‘box,’ I’ve determined that crossfit is officially “IN.”

However, as with all things that undergo a drastic surge in attention, crossfit has also received a boatload of criticism.  To the outsider (or unaddicted-er), the community resembles a meat market for egotistical jocks, an inflated workout routine and even criticized for injury-prone movements.

Yet, perhaps the most insulting comment of all comes from the people who call crossfit a FAD.

I will probably still crossfit while I’m pregnant and beyond the age of 70

Ok, before you start freaking out.. are you a crossfitter?

No?

Ok, let me explain something.

I…

View original post 519 more words

The Forgotten Supplement

Sleep

We all live really busy lives. I know for most of us, myself included, that is why Crossfit appealed to us in the first place. High Efficiency workouts in a scheduled block of time. It gave us no excuse really, to block off 5-7 hours a week dedicated to our own betterment. Then most of us caught on with paleo nutrition. It appealed to me because it wasn’t a crash diet. It didn’t require me to spend ungodly amounts of money to learn about it. It was just there. For all to explore, experiment with, and reap the benefits of.

Good sleep is one of the most important elements of health maintenance, as well as athletic performance and improvement. (Rawls-Meehan 2012)

(c) Fitbomb: Check in Post

(c) Fitbomb: Check in Post

Sleep needs to be viewed as the missing capstone to your fitness. We all have changed with the addition of Crossfit into our workout routines. I can think back (8 months ago) and think of the frustrating fitness routines I was doing and getting zero results, and I look at where I am now: 25lbs lighter and two inches off my waist. I wonder why I didn’t find it sooner. Anyway, I am getting a bit off track here. Let’s focus.

We changed our excercise levels, and have become more active individuals. Our eating habits have changed as well, we spend more time at the grocery store looking for natural products with no sugar, grains, etc. Now we see our performance plateauing, maybe even becoming frustrating. Well, if you’re doing everything right nutritionally then there might be a key piece on information you are forgetting.

Sleep

Crossfit Journal actually did a great article about sleep and how it relates to our over all fitness. This is going to be my main source of information that I am trying to relay onto you.
You can find a link below in the “References” section.

Here’s the excerpt from that article that I found to be the most useful:

  • Studies have shown that athletes who consistently get around 10 (ten) hours of sleep per night show marked improvement in strength, speed, agility, and reaction time.
  • Athletes who get around 10 (ten) hours of sleep demonstrate significantly better muscle memory for movements they have learned for the day before.
  • People who don’t get enough sleep are more prone to diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and other various cardiometabolic and endocrine disorders (Rawls-Meehan 2012).
    • Wait a second, isn’t that we started exercising in the first place? So…if we don’t get enough sleep that implies that we are essentially shooting ourselves in the foot!!

That is some pretty interesting stuff huh?

Now here is my dilemma. I am a Paramedic, because of such I work two 24 hour shifts. From 7am-7am the following day. That’s two days a week that I cannot guarantee proper sleep. Those days I am at the mercy of the general public, the EMS Gods, and my overall tendency of bad-luck. Sometimes I get to bury my face in that pillow for a solid 6(ish) hours, and sometimes I can only day-dream about it at 3 in the morning. There is no rhyme or reason to it at all. So…that being said, short of a major schedule change or career change I cannot have any control over the sleep I get on those two days. I have accepted it, I will still complain about it, but there is nothing that I can do about it.

I do, however, have control over the sleep I get on my days off. I have selected not to pick up overtime on the overnight tours (11pm to 7am) unless it is absolutely necessary. I encourage all of you out there to really take a look at what you are getting for sleep, or not getting in many cases.

I plan on being much more aware of my sleeping patterns in order to truly reach my health goals.

For more information, check out this article that I used for most of the information in this post:

Rawls-Meehan, Martin (June 2012). Sleeping For Performance. Retrieved from: journal.crossfit.com/2012/06/sleeping-for-performance.tpl

May the Force Be With You…

I was aimlessly wasting time today, like it was my fucking job. (If I figure out a way to not do anything and get paid for it, I will certainly capitalize on it let me tell you).

I came across some pretty scary, annoying, stupid, and overall obnoxious stuff while surfing various Crossfit resources on the internet. Frankly, it scares me to see what it might do to the sport that we have come to love so much. A post popped up in my Facebook feed from the site “Crossfit and Paleo Resources.” The site talks about how Greg Glassman (if you don’t know who he is, you can find the Google Search bar in the upper right corner of most web browsers) is dealing with some problems with his board members (who is also his ex…hehehe):

The following quote was taken from the Crossfit New England (Natick, MA) Website:

One of the board members of this firm [Anthos Capitol], Bryan Kelly, approached us months ago with schemes and offers to turn each and every one of our 4000 affiliates into a franchise location designed to pimp supplements, clothing, and fitness industry garbage we all rejected when we first turned to this program. When we told him we weren’t interested, he went behind our backs, deceived us, and is now making a move to take what we wouldn’t give him.

We all know that we already pay a premium for our experiences at Crossfit. Some of us, are lucky enough to have worked out some sort of indentured servant arrangement for membership prices, but for the most part all of us pay premiums. This is a topic that we, as a community, definitely need to stay on top of us or the world that we love could be turned into everything that we hate about the fitness industry.

This information just started popping up on the social media networks, and this thread appeared on the CF HQ Message boards. I have to admit, the conversations on this thread are inquisitive, and very professional on both parts of the Crossfit Staff and the affiliate managers tuning in for information. It is definitely worth the read.  On Crossfit New England’s website Russell Berger goes on to talk about how we need to ” spread the word, but we are dealing with a threat that must also be understood. We want you all taking a hard look at the Affiliate system and asking important questions about why it is so successful, and what we have to lose. Enough of you now know the basic facts of the issue to start forming opinions and coming to conclusions on what an Anthos purchase of CrossFit could mean for you and your Affiliate, and for many of you this is scary.”

Change, or even the thought of it, is scary. I am looking into forming my opinion about Anthos, and currently it is not a positive one.

I feel like this is a test.

It’s a test to deal as a community. Think about “normal life” when someone threatens a neighbor, or if there is a fire, or (a little less dramatic) if someone needs help watching their children who do we turn to? Each other, right? Well…this is the kind of situation where our neighbor needs us to watch over his kids. (bare with me I promise this analogy will make sense). We need to be there to support the Crossfit Community, if we can support the brand name then that is awesome. However, it is not the brand name that brought us all together. It is the desire to evolve from the fatness that brought us down in the first place. It is the desire to see each other pack on the plates for dead-lifts and see our PR’s shatter. It is the desire to succeed, and we as a community will do that with out Athos Capital.  We need to branch out and explain to people why this would be a bad thing. If they want to throw away $20 Million, then you know what…let em. Our community won’t change, just the name above our door.

Please keep in mind, I am a simple, bottom-level crossfitter. I am NOT a CF L1 Trainer, I am NOT an affiliate owner. My opinions of this potential change are that of a participant. That being said, franchising will ruin everything the Crossfit Movement was founded upon. If this allowed to happen, there will be a black hole in the “account’s receivable” office at Crossfit HQ. Affiliation agreements will flee faster than you can say…WTF?!

All I have to say is this:

To Lauren Glassmen, and Athos Capitol: You are NOT welcomed by the Crossfit Community. You are not embraced, nor will you be when you enter a box. Take your greed, and selfish desires elsewhere.

To all the Crossfitter’s out there: This is the time to show Athos just how strong a community is. Let’s make them understand, that their business is not welcomed here and affiliations across the world will loose the “Crossfit” name.

Until then, I am going to keep getting my WOD on like nothing’s wrong. You can bet, however, that I will be watching the evolution of this story like a hawk.
Take care everyone!

 

 

A Breath of Fresh Air

When you hear “Crossfit,” what is your first thought that comes to mind?

For me, its the intense WOD’s, weight loss, improved self-esteem, and most importantly camaraderie. I’m here today, to share a some blog space and offer some publicity for a program that my former coaches are launching at the end of this month.

Photo Credit: Patrick Maquire (EastonPatch)

My former coaches, William Lexner and Karen Bosader opened their own box in Brockton, MA about a month ago now. They didn’t open it to ride to coattails of the current Crossfit revolution, and make some good money. They opened the box so that they can start a non-profit organization to increase fitness and decrease obesity in low-income youths. They want to be able to “increase self-confidence, and promote only the best physical fitness that only Crossfit can provide.” The coaching styles, and knowledge base that these two will bring to the area is amazing.

So you are probably wondering why I call it a breath of fresh air…huh? Well, with the recent explosion of Crossfit across the country boxes gym’s have been poping up all over the place, and people are willing to pay the money to do it because they know it’s worth the investment. Karen & Will are taking the mission of Crossfit and making it accessable to youths in the Brockton area that wouldn’t have otherwise been able to enjoy the benefits of the programming. That’s what the breath of fresh air is. Providing the coaching and nutritional advice to empower teens.

For those of you from the Massachusetts area, you know that Brockton is a pretty low income city. This information was taken straight from the Project Boost Website:

The percentage of low income youth in Brockton, MA is more than twice that of the state average at nearly 71%. Even the high school graduation rate is lower at 69.4%. Compounding this problem is the fact that nearly 40% of the youth are overweight or obese.

Will & Karen: Congratulations on making dreams a reality. I look forward to following your programming and seeing all the good that you guys will do for the youth of that city. I can only hope that more box’s around the country will see the value in this type of programming and you guys will become trend setters!

Good News/Bad News

So I was thinking about what I needed to talk about, for once I actually do not have much to say…go figure. I started my MBA program this week, and since it is all online it has chewed up a lot of free time that I used to reserve for blogging. So if I drop off the face of the WordPress earth, please forgive me and know I will be back soon.

Alright, lets get down to business here. Good News: We are coming up on the 6th month anniversary of me joining Crossfit. With that, I have some exciting facts to report. First, I am down 25 pounds since I started Crossfit. Secondly I am down 1 shirt size and 2 pant sizes. I am able to fit into clothes that I haven’t fit in for years. It is a very exciting thing when you are able to quantify the results of hard work and dedication.

What’s that you say? You wonder what the bad news could be? Well here it is: Bad News, I have fallen victim to one of the oldest overuse injuries in the book. Tendonitis, of the internal hand/thumb area. Well, technically speaking it would be more tendonosis. Seriously, a thumb. I had been feeling pain for about a week in my right hand and started to notice a very large decrease in my ability to support heavier weights that involve front rack, ie Front Squats, Clean, Snatch etc. I ignored it at first because I figured I was just working thru already established mobility issues in the same hand/wrist.

This is my brace, that I am supposed to wear “most of the time, but not continuously”

I got seen by a Phyician’s Assistant at my PCP’s office because my regular MD was not available. Want to know what was entertaining? Trying to explain to her, what Crossfit actually was, I was trying to gauge how much alteration to my routine I would need if any, and I am quoting what she said back: “Aerobics should be fine but I would caution you getting too worked, just make sure you get plenty of rest and hydration.” I almost had to laugh, well…I did laugh but that is neither here nor there. She wanted me to completely stop all physical activity and get occupational therapy for my hand. Well…I will go to OT/PT whatever it ends up being, but I am just going to modify the workouts so I don’t blow out my hand.

As you can see I am cursed to a semi-permanent brace for the time being. I did find it funny when they told me to wear it while at work and such but not to wear it 100% of the time. Me, being the wise ass that I am asked the PA what I should actually do at work with lifting. It was then that she asked me what my career was and I told her how I worked in Emergency Medical Services as a Paramedic. I explained how I had to lift, move, and potentially compress patients all day long. She then had a this brief pause, where I actually debated if she was having a stroke by the odd sideways glance she gave me. Then she asked me the question that really proved to me my copay money was well spent…”Well do as much as you think you can do.” Isn’t our healthcare system great? Her perfessional medical opinion was passed along to my judgement and telling me to do what I felt comfortable doing. Let’s be honest folks, that was going to happen anyway, but at least make it look like you care.

Most of the next week will be spent catching up on school work, and figuring out how to scale WOD’s so I don’t cause more injury. Until next time people, take care!