At the Crossroads Between Yoga and CrossFit

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by MARK ALEWINE

At the Crossroads Between Yoga and CrossFit
My wife started to believe she wasn’t going to be able to be an active person.

Her back was in constant pain. Sometimes it was crippling while other times it was just a dull ache, but the pain never stopped. As a CrossFitter and yogi, she grew more and more discouraged she would have to give up her active lifestyle.

Living with Back Pain

It was like living in a suspense thriller and the enemy was waiting to lay her out again. Surgery was becoming a real possibility.
She’s dealt with chronic back pain for several years, going back to when she was pregnant with our now 12-year-old daughter. She would turn or bend a certain way, her back would hurt for a day or two, and then the pain would progressively go away. She occasionally visited a physical therapist, but it never progressed beyond a level she couldn’t manage.

That changed, however, in October of 2012, when she spent 16 hours on the floor of our daughter’s nursery. I was driving to visit a friend when I got a call from her screaming for me to come home. When I arrived, she was in complete agony. All she did was bend over to get our five-month-old baby out of the bath and the worst pain of her life leveled her. I was helpless and terrified there was permanent damage done.

Our ordeal ended with a trip to the ER, where she was given muscle relaxers, steroids, and morphine. Even after all that, she was still in pain.

Her back went out three more times over the next ten months. She tried addressing the problem by stopping forward folds in yoga, as well as kettlebell swings and deadlifts in CrossFit, but the fear of her back going out again hung over us all the time. It was like living in a suspense thriller and the enemy was waiting to lay her out again. Surgery was becoming a real possibility.

Chiropractic and CrossFit
It was around this time that a local chiropractor began attending my wife’s regular CrossFit class. We knew nothing about chiropractors at the time other than some people swore by them while others hated them, but we were ready to try anything. At her initial exam, he showed us she had bone degeneration along her spine and had lost disc height in her lower back. It was so bad that he showed me one of her legs was significantly longer than the other.

This was the culprit. This was the villain stealing her from our family.

Serendipitously, our chiropractor was also a CrossFit coach opening a box along with his new practice. At the same time, my wife began taking classes to become a yoga instructor at her local studio. Though seemingly polar opposites on the surface, her two loves in her active life began working together.

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