Training Through Injury


From Ambassador Janice Ferguson…


Training Through Injury

Anyone who knows me, knows that I always have a lot to say when it comes to fitness, CrossFit, and obstacle racing. I mean, I can really corner someone and just drone on for hours about all things fitness. So as I’m trying to condense all the things I’m so passionate about into a short blog post for Dirt In Your Skirt, I’ve been posed quite a challenge. Silver lining? I like challenges. Another silver lining for you? I just broke my hand two Friday’s ago, and it takes me 10X as long to type. So, this one won’t be as long. I’ll break you in gently.



Breaking my hand was actually the last thing I had on the agenda. This is the worst possible time for this to happen. Like many of you, I am competing in the 2013 CrossFit Open. I’m not doing it just for fun, though. I was doing it because I intended to qualify for the South Central Regional. I have spent three hours of training, at least five days a week for the past 10 months trying to accomplish that goal. I’ve also got two years of training on top of that. I qualified last year, and had made some amazing progress this year. Having my hard work pay off and qualifying for Regionals for a second time was the “fun” for me.



So, when I was walking on my hands around my gym on Friday night, something I do routinely, and that I’m pretty darn good at, a super loud POP was the last thing I wanted to hear when I fell wrong. The x-ray a few hours later confirmed my fears. It wasn’t the pain that bothered me. I live for pain. It was the thought that all that time I’d spent training was “wasted.”



Although I was upset, I never let things like that keep me down. After all, CrossFit is not life-or-death. So many others have it so much worse than I do. So, I actually decided to continue with the workout, 13.2, as I had planned the next morning with my training partner, but I modified it for one hand. I thought to myself, what would Noah Galloway do? If you don’t know my friend, Noah, you need to catch up! He is an American hero who lost his leg and arm in Iraq. He is my inspiration for just about anything that seems hard. Anyway, I figured that Noah would use a dumbell for the shoulder to overhead, and that he would probably use a kettlebell for the deadlifts. Box jumps needed no modification, and I thought went well, other than the searing pain from flinging my hand for momentum and the time I slipped and used my broken hand to catch myself. What was I thinking?


31929_4264691510493_730153219_nWhy did I continue with the Open? There are many reasons. Most importantly, I’m not a quitter. Injuries are a huge inconvenience. But, they are no reason for you to sit on the couch and eat ice cream, or give up on yourself. There is always SOMETHING that you could be doing. Even if it’s only walking, or doing chair aerobics if you absolutely had to; if you want something badly enough, you don’t make excuses, you make it happen. I certainly don’t recommend anyone going to extremes. You must know your limitations, and train to them.  So, as for me, I will still be working out and doing whatever I can so I can keep making progress toward my new goals: Regionals 2014. I just got a head start on the competition! On the agenda today, one-arm burpees, one arm-sandbag cleans and sandbag runs.

Margaret Schlachter

About Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlachter is Founder of She has been part of the OCR Community since 2010. When not working on the next article she can be found running from race-to-race. She is Editor-in-Chief of She authored the book Obstacle Race Training.
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