When I started CrossFit almost 5 months ago I signed up to the booty camp that Bel ran at Crossfit Contessa and after getting to know Bel a bit better over the weeks I noticed that she was supporting an injury on her knee and being the nosey person I am I openly asked Bel what had happened and my mind was blown. I couldn't believe that she was walking after such a hectic injury and surgery let alone working out daily and coaching as a personal trainer.
I just HAD to get Bel on my blog! I knew so many people would resonate with her story as I've had so many people come to me explaining that they can't exercise because of particular injuries and how depressing it can be.
So without further or do this is Bel.
How and why did you discover CrossFit before your injury?
A friend was going to Contessa and invited me to come and try. I didn’t really know what it was and thought it was a cult but I was curious so I watched the fittest on earth on Netflix and FELL IN LOVE.
I NEEDED to do what they did.
Legit - after we watched that documentary, my husband and I put together a “CrossFit workout” and did what we thought were cleans and burpees in the garage because we were so pumped.
I signed up at CrossFit Contessa in August 2016 and have made it my second home since that day.
What was your injury and what operation did you need?
In Nov 2017 completely tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL - the one that stops your leg from bending backwards) and damaged the cartilage in my left knee - for the second time
The operation was an ACL reconstruction using the patella tendon.
They cut out and use one third of my patella tendon (knee cap tendon) and thread it through my knee then screw it in. The cool thing is - that tendon TRANSFORMS into ligament over time.
8 weeks after the reconstruction I had to go in for an unplanned knee arthroscopy because my knee was only bending to about 40 degrees.
What was more painful, The pain physically from surgery or the mental pain of recovery knowing you couldn’t do the things you once could?
100% mental pain. I can deal with physical pain all day.
CrossFit is my life and that was taken from me. This injury put me in a really dark place but I am SO lucky that I have such a supportive husband, family and incredible friends that really helped me along the way. Can’t thank them enough 😍
What motivated you everyday to go to the gym and why is the gym so important for your recovery?
CrossFit Contessa is a really awesome place to be - especially when you’re injured. (Not a sales pitch haha)
There is ALWAYS something I can do to get a bit sweaty and the social aspect is really important as well. Connecting with people helps shifts my mind away from thinking about my injury.
Moving everyday is important. No matter what or how you do it - you just have to do it.
What kept me going was knowing that it will benefit me in the long run physically and mentally!
Also - I couldn’t drive so I had Mandi and friends picking me up in the morning and I had no excuses to get out of it.
How has your fitness routine changed?
It has changed but it hasn’t. My routine hasn’t changed at all, I still move everyday.
The movements that I can do have definitely changed and I have to stick to what I am able to do, but I will get back to where I was, I just have to be patient.
I definitely miss heavy lifting and running though!
If you could give one sentence of advice for anyone who is in the recovery process of major surgery and is in the mental strain of not being able to exercise like they once could what would you say?
I can’t do one sentence but this is what an amazing friend said to me -
Don’t give up. This is only a tiny part of your life in comparison to your whole life and things WILL get better.
Everyday I am inspired by Bel and I am so thankful that she opened up about her story with all of us.
If there was one thing that I hope you could take away from this, It would be that you are stronger than you realise. That goes for physically AND mentally.