Crossfit for DBAs

I’m a Database Administrator (DBA)…which should be obvious since you are reading this on a site for Dallas DBAs 🙂

Being in IT very frequently means sitting at a desk for many hours at a time, managing things, fixing broken stuff, learning about Microsoft’s new shiny feature in the next SQL version that your boss wants to implement on release day…

I am also an avid cyclist.  I have been riding in one form or another all of my life…from BMX to road to mountain bike and even raced a few years at the local velodrome (think NASCAR on bikes).

In 2015, after a series of training crashes while prepping for a 24 hour road/mountain bike race I had such pain in my left hip that I finally went to the doctor.  I thought I was just pushing too hard, but the pain went from hip all the way down to the knee.   In March I was riding 100 mile solo road rides.  In April I crashed in a 60 mile MTB race.   In late April, I was 5 miles into a road training ride when the pain level literally brought me to tears.  That April crash was the final straw.

After X-rays, the doc told me that I have bone spurs and trashed cartilage in the left hip, and osteo-arthritis in both.  Most of my other joints were hurting as well, but to a lesser degree.   For reference, I was 47 at the time.

I stalk follow a lot of world class Data professionals on Twitter, including Pinal Dave (b|t) from India.  Pinal is known around the world for his teaching, presenting, his daily blog postings and his skill.   At some point in April 2017 (maybe March), he posted about becoming a Level 1 Crossfit trainer.   I was inspired.  I’ve met Pinal in person…he’s a good sized guy.   I figured if he can make the progress he has, I can at least try.   After all…if my hip gets worse, I’m looking at a replacement.  I’d really like to keep that at bay as long as possible.

On April 11, I showed up at my local gym and showed off how badly I suck at anything but endurance cycling.  I took it easy, and still couldn’t walk properly for 4 days.  I thought I was in good shape for my age.   I was wrong.  I could barely do an air squat without falling over.  Almost no range of movement in any joint.

5 months later, and this is a summary of the changes that I recently sent the gym owner:

Before: I couldn’t run 200m.
Now: I can run 2 miles non-stop at 10 min/mile pace

Before: 12″ box step-ups at best (not jumps)
Now: I can jump onto a 24″ box multiple times, 30″ at least once

Before: Air squats, barely. Back squats – no.
Now: Air squats are easy. Can do Front, Back and Overhead at various weights

Before: What is a deadlift?
Now: I can deadlift 205. Once. 185lbs in sets of 3-5

Before: ALL of my joints hurt
Now: None of my joints hurt, except the hip with the bone spurs, and that one hurts less. Much less

There is more.   Too much to list.  The thing that has worked for me is that if I get in the door on any given day, I am going to improve.  In a regular gym I would just be lazy and flounder around.  In a CF gym there are coaches leading a class through the same level of suffering.  Yes, I pay people to hurt me.   They respect my mobility issues and when I’m done, I’m done.  My goal is to finish every workout.  Most days I do, some days the clock beats me.  Or my legs.

This sounds like a “How I got healthy” post…but its really much more of a THANKS PINAL! than anything else.  If you are sitting at a desk all day, whether in IT or some other office job…please get up and walk around.   The office, the block, whatever.  Get a bike.  Or Roller Blades.  Make room in your schedule to take care of yourself!

Pinal is now a level 2 trainer: read it here

Thanks for reading!


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