While there are many difficulties that come with clubfoot there is only one shared by almost all of us clubbies: a serious lack of balance. I’ve learned that most of us have different severities, different looking feet, different pain levels, different treatments, different remedies, etc even though we have the same common birth defect. One thing we all share for sure is the innate ability to fall up stairs, trip over nothing, and only be able to count in nanoseconds when balancing on our clubfoot.
Even before I got the incredible IDEO/Exosym I really tried to improve my balance on my right foot, but I just couldn’t seem to make any progress. I needed to tap down my toe, hold onto a wall, or practically fall over whenever I attempted the dreaded balance exercises. When I got my IDEO/Exosym I knew my pain would be eliminated and I would be able to regain strength… but I wasn’t so sure about this whole “balance” thing but continued to practice and increase my nanosecond count bit by bit.
Fast forward a few months and my progress shifted from nanoseconds to seconds with many thanks to the challenges and training at my Crossfit gym. Every time I “graduate” on an exercise I feel inspired to keep going, to push myself a little further and remove the idea from my brain that I cannot do something. I no longer need to use a support/balance stick when doing Bulgarian Split Squats (that took MONTHS to get to that point but it feels amazing!) and will eventually be able to add some weight… it’s all about being patient with my progression. Another move that was incredibly challenging for me was the Snatch. My balance was way too shaky when I first started to (a) add weight and (b) go for a full squat. I’d have flashbacks to gym class when you’re told to stand on one leg, hold your foot, and stretch your quad… cue stumbling, falling over Lisa trying to find something or someONE to hold on to haha. This past week I was able to feel confident and strong enough to add some decent weight to my snatch and go for the full squat. Attempt 1: bailed onto my knee and let out a quiet but heartfelt “ah shit”. Attempt 2: a little wobbly, but no bail out and no weights falling on my head (phew!). A few attempts later and voila! it happened. I’ve still got some work to do but I’m happy to add this move to my repertoire!
So what’s next? A few months ago I heard about an annual event called the “Working Wounded Games” from a fellow IDEO user. It’s a Crossfit-style competition held exclusively for Adaptive Athletes. I watched a short video about the WWG and was so inspired, humbled, and excited to learn more about it. At the time I was relatively new to the Crossfit world and thought maybe I’ll participate next year… or maybe wait until 2017. But now that I’m feeling more confident in my abilities I’ve decided why not!? 100% SIGN ME UP 2016 LET’S DO THIS! 🙂 I can’t imagine what it would be like to be surrounded by the positivity and inspiration that seems to radiate at this event. So that’s the current goal… and in the meantime I’ll continue to focus on my progress: big and small, because all progress is important and all of it deserves to be celebrated.
A little slo-mo snatch action:
Working Wounded Games: a MUST watch: