CrossFitting with Friedreich’s Ataxia – Kyle Bryant

Kyle Bryant joined CrossFit King of Prussia in early April this year and right away caught my attention. Not because he came in supported by a walker, nor subsequent times when he rolled in on his wheelchair, but because of his good-natured smile and incredible work ethic. As a coach, I always hope that people coming through our doors will be the positive, upbeat personalities that CrossFit typically attracts. Kyle fit this role to a T. Although I was not his coach for the intro workout he did, I remember Kyle introducing himself to me after he was done working out and I was finishing up coaching a class. A strong handshake and quick smile later, I knew Kyle would be a valuable asset to the KoP community. 

Mike Donofrio of CrossFit Generation documented Kyle’s journey with Friedreich’s Ataxia in the below video. As you’ll learn in the video, FA is a fairly rare disease that breaks down muscle mass, including the heart. Kyle is a spokesperson for the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) and has biked across the country to raise awareness. The hope is that this video will also continue to raise awareness of FA and how it affects people. As an example of Kyle’s positive nature, after he was finished with the CrossFit for Hope workout, he exclaimed, “That was definitely the gnarliest workout I’ve ever done!” 
Kyle, post CF for Hope workout – GNARLY!
The video is featured on the CrossFit Journal website, but it can also be found on CrossFit’s Youtube channel. I love the fact that OG Miranda Oldroyd (who recently went through a severe car crash) left this comment on the CF Journal:
“I am just sitting here bawling! This is so inspirational! Kyle, thank you SO MUCH for being so fearless and refusing to give up in your own life. This needs to be shown A LOT…there are too many people out there making excuses!” – Miranda O.


Kindle Books in Amazon Store

I just got a really nice email from a reader (who had a paleo-related question which I will answer on the blog) and one of the things he mentioned was that I needed to update my Amazon Store and asked if I could include a Kindle version. When I first added books, I thought the Kindle version was automatically linked to the hard copy…not so. 

So now I have Kindle versions of most of the books in there. If you happen to buy something through my Amazon store, it’s the same price to you as if you had searched for it on you’re own, but I get a small percent of the sale for the referral. I’m not making a living off this by any means, but hey, I’m also not getting paid to write this blog either, ha!

For T-shirts, “BOOM TIME” or “I eat 100% Paleo, 80% of the Time” head to my Spreadshirt Shop
If you have any ideas for T-shirts or things to add to the Amazon store, post to comments

Shoulder Update

As some of you may know, I hurt my shoulder back in June at the CrossFit ACT Garage Games doing a weighted sit up. See my recap if you want to know more. 

Most people would think a weighted sit up would involve holding a plate across the chest and doing sit ups. Not there. There, we held 45# plates at an arm’s length, touching in front of us and then laying back and touching above our head. However, on one of the reps, I felt something *crunch* in my right shoulder as I tried to bring the plate up from the ground. I ended up finishing the workout, but there was clearly something wrong. 

I spent the next month icing and not using the shoulder. I know, I know, recent important people in CrossFit land have now come public with their aversion to icing. But I digress. Even if I wanted to do pull ups or presses overhead, I couldn’t. Range of motion was ok overhead (not so much reaching behind my back), but supporting any load, especially hanging from a pull up bar, was awful. 

I finally broke down and saw a doctor after a month of no progress. I wasn’t in denial that I was hurt, but I had hurt my other shoulder two years ago and figured that rest would have been the first thing ordered. Anyway, the doc ordered an X-ray, but it showed nothing, so we went with an MRI. The voicemail he left me said, “when you had that injury, it looks like you tried to dislocate your shoulder, it tried to slide out of your socket. Looks like there is a cartilage defect in there and there’s a tiny tear in your sub scapula. Best bet is to see a surgeon and get your shoulder scoped, get an arthroscopy so they can clean up whatever they can in there.” 

So that’s it. I basically tried to rip my shoulder out of it’s socket. That’s what’s going to happen when you have 45# at the end of a 2ft. lever a.k.a. my arm. The former engineer in me remembers moment arms and torque and how this should not be tested on humans. Instead of that movement testing abdominal strength, it found the weak point of my shoulder socket and tried to rip it out like you would take the leg off a rotisserie chicken. 

If you’ve ever been injured before, you know that it can take you out of commission not only for that particular area, but even take you out mentally from wanting to work out. This is definitely the case for me, as even back squatting with a regular bar is impossible b/c of the shoulder ROM needed. (Yes, I’ve used the safety bar and it’s worked, it’s just not the same) It’s amazing how many movements depend on the shoulder. 

So my appointment is middle of September. Unfortunately I don’t have any cool X-rays or MRI images to share (at least not yet), but I will update you on how things are going. I’ve never been to the hospital for myself; no broken bones, no stitches, no major illnesses. (I did get a cortisone shot for my other shoulder for some bursitis) So I guess I’m making up for lost time by most likely needing a minimally invasive surgical procedure done. 

If anyone has any experience with this kind of thing, I’d love to hear from you. One of our members at KoP already sent me a blog that I need to take a closer look at. Either way, you can be pretty sure that I won’t be icing the dang thing!