Injured but not down and out!

IMG_3325So, about 10 years ago I had a debilitating back injury, L2-L4 herniated disc. I went through some of my own care, had some treatment and eventually improved it with some prolonged permanent symptoms. Recently, Oct 2012, during a competition, I injured it again and had a significant increase in new symptoms, back pain, leg pain, numbness/tingling, the whole gamut. I self treated for a while, modified my training, but still maintained a high level of fitness. It taught me a lot about how to maintain my fitness level to some level of proficiency and promote healing. In Jan 2014, I had an epidural and since that time my symptoms are approx. 50-60% improved but still present.


Committing to Fitness as a Sustainable Endeavor!

Why do I share this?

I think we all have a time in our lives when we struggle with something that interrupts our journey to maintain health and fitness. It is imperative that we recognize our limitations but not be controlled solely by them. If we’re not careful we develop a mindset of being “the injured” and lose our “positive mindset.” There will be things that interrupt our health, and some may have long term residual affects. But, we must stay focused on where we are going, not only where we are. I’ll admit that I base some of my value in my ability to “do”, typical male. So, during this time, I have been frustrated, discouraged, angry and motivated. No matter what, I knew I had to move forward. To stay where I was at was not an option. If we understand the nature of all organic creatures, they are either moving forward or backwards, there is no stationary existence.

Humans are very all or nothing. This can be a strength but also a significant weakness. Just because we are injured doesn’t mean we can’t continue to progress forward. the difficulty is usually figuring out how? This is where your PT, doctor, and/or coach can assist with that process. Most importantly, I think individuals should develop their own knowledge base of basic skills and interventional techniques to alter or change their training and program. To this I say, read, read, read! There is a ton of information out there. Just make sure it comes from trusted sources.

So, here we are, the first day of the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Open. I don’t know how I’ll do this year. It really doesn’t matter if I give my all. Let’s enjoy our fitness and get out there and use what we have developed over the course of this last year. Make it a time of having fun, getting a sweat on and sharing with friends.

Best of Luck,




  1. Shannon Leska February 27, 2014 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Hi Darin! Why didn’t you tell me you had herniated disc issues??;) This is Shannon Leska, I saw you and continued to see Matt prior to my discectomy in November. Recently, am finishing up w/ Matt in Southlake. I really really tried to avoid surgery. Often, I feel like a fat failure having had to succumb to surgery in the end. Knowing you avoided surgery and are still competing, makes me feel worse;), just kidding, maybe a little! I know I am not at your level competitively, but your resolve to push through your injuries and lingering symptoms gives me hope. I am thinking about attending your Master Athlete Symposium, but wasn’t sure if it would be mostly actively competing masters attending. Wish I could have had your success in avoiding surgery! Hard to get over the ‘Oh, you had back surgery’? looks from those I used to compete with at the box;) Matt has been helpful, and I hope his wrist lets him compete this year in the Opens. Best of luck to you, too! Thanks, Shannon

    • ddeaton1 February 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm - Reply

      You’re great Shannon. Sometimes surgery is the only option, not a failure. keep up the good work and gradually work your way back. FORTIFY is for anyone who is a masters athlete and wants to improve knowledge, practical understanding and training success. You will learn lots!


  2. Booker Daniels June 25, 2014 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    Finally- my life over the last few months spelled out in the pages of a blog. I suffered a L5/S1 herniation and while I’m much better (no surgery or ESI — yet) I still feel discomfort in my low back and diffuse pain from the inflamed nerve root. You nailed it. The mental part is at least as tough as the Px stuff. I was out for 4-5 months. Then bike and headphones (while watching a crop of folks come in behind me). Still limited to the DIY workout or heavily MOD group WOD. I’m actually taking 2 weeks off just to re-group, mobilize and swim. I love my box – the coaches are great guys – but they don’t know the first thing about programming around this stuff. I finally found a Dr of PT on Kelly Slater’s mobility WOD team who is going to help with mobility and maybe programming. I’m pretty tired of being the “guy who used to be in the Sport Class — until he was injured”. Finally getting my mind right and getting ready to refocus on diet, met-con and then strength. Would welcome any insights, programming suggestions — I am all ears and truly grateful to you for sharing this. Booker Daniels (

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