Work Smarter…

I don’t know if any of your grandparents dig CrossFit, heck, I’d say you’re way ahead of most if your grandparents even know what CrossFit is. My grandma, bless her soul, is trying to understand this sport and grasp what it is I’m throwing all of my life and energy into these days. Last week she asked me if I was training for the Olympics…close, Grandma, close. Anywho, Gram worries about me a lot. I guess doing this CrossFit stuff and putting more than my body weight over my head on a regular basis isn’t something she’s uber comfortable with. I just think she’s a worrisome ol’ lady. I usually brush her off, give her the eye rolling head shake and sigh in reply “Oh, don’t be like that. I’m strong and I practice it a lot. No need to worry!” And (knock on wood) I’ve held up that statement’s credibility thus far. I trust myself, maybe even a little too much, but I’ve realized I’m not invincible. I cannot deny that accidents, flukes, and one in a million chances do happen. Case and point: the recent and horrific story of Kevin Ogar.

For anyone that’s plugged into the CrossFit community on a national/global scale, you’ve surely heard of this story…unless you are living under a rock. For those not sure what I’m talking about, Kevin Ogar, an elite level athlete/coach out of CrossFit Unbroken of the Denver area suffered a significant spinal cord injury during the final day of the Orange County Throwdown. This event is one of high competitive stakes, touting participants that are amongst the fittest on Earth.  It was a snatch event on the final day of competition that went severely wrong, with the bar landing on his neck, Ogar suffered a separated T11/12 (fancy doctor talk for a severed his spinal cord) and at this stage it’s being reported he has no voluntary movement below his waist.

If that doesn’t scare you as a CrossFitter, I don’t know what will.

What’s worse about this situation is that the guy didn’t have any insurance. Last time I checked, multiple surgeries and extended hospital stays cost a handsome sum of money…most likely more than I’ve seen in my lifetime at the ripe age of 26. This dude is in a world of hurt, no pun intended. Aside from the very drastic effect this incident is going to have on him physically, the financial repercussions are going to be real “way to kick me when I’m down” –esque.

Luckily, the wonderful community that is CrossFit is rallying to generate financial support to help aid in fraying Kevin’s medical costs. That’s awesome. I’m really proud to belong to such an awesome crowd of exercisers. However, this is where I insert the punch line of this blog entry…

Not everyone that gets injured from CrossFit has this sort of luxury to fall back on. Not calling the man lucky by any means, but that this event should happen on a worldwide stage and that he is respected enough to generate that sort of reaction is a benefit to his situation. Participating avidly in CrossFit at THAT level with zero health insurance is a dumb move. Let’s be honest. If that was a beginner, who was in their hometown box throwing weight around they would end up totally screwed. No social media raising money efforts. No special events in their honor. They’d have to figure something out on their own. That would be freakin’ awful. So Ogar is blessed to have such a supportive following.

I do hope the best for Kevin Ogar, poor guy had no reason to believe this would happen to him…but just like all of us, we are not invincible. Heck, I literally drop heavy weight on my head on a regular basis….(cock your head to the left)

IMG_4558

My skull has a permanent knot on it I do it so much. Maybe I should just work on getting stronger in the catch position? However, there people out there that do stupid stuff, just asking for trouble like this (note: straps are not meant to be worn when snatching) and this (note: heels are not meant to be worn when dead lifting.) Granted, these idiot feats aren’t at the cost of paralysis, but you should know it’s not going to end well.

All I’m tryin’ to say here is be smart, people. If you’re lifting heavy weight, jumping over tall boxes, or swinging from gymnastics rings on a regular basis, please cover your ass. If you’re going to try some shenanigans and attempt to become a viral internet sensation, be prepared for the consequences.

My grandma is right for worrying, because even the best athletes can suffer freak accidents. Keep throwin’ up thoughts and prayers for K.O. and if you want to donate to his cause go here. Meanwhile, let’s all try and learn from this tragedy. When working to prove the “impossible” is indeed possible, remember, we are not invincible.

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