Respect Your Tools, Or, Don’t Jump Rope on a Broken Foot

In the world of athletics, every step and every move can make or break a career. Take Roman Khrennikov’s recent experience during the 2023 CrossFit Games as an example. Despite breaking his foot during the competition, he made the decision to keep competing until the end. This decision was widely perceived as heroic, and celebrated by CrossFit.

In a world where (major sport) pro athletes treat their bodies like the invaluable resources they are, Khrennikov’s actions raise a few eyebrows. Picture a mechanic recklessly tossing around their tools in a workshop or a painter neglecting their brushes until they’re ruined. An athlete’s body is their ultimate tool, and just like any other tool, it requires consistent care, replenishment, and upkeep to perform at its peak.

Professional athletes rarely take unnecessary risks when it comes to their physical well-being. Whether it’s basketball, soccer, or football, athletes understand that their bodies are their primary assets. They wouldn’t jeopardize their long-term potential for fleeting gains, nor would they place their careers on the line for anything less than the most pivotal moments. The story of American gymnast Kerri Strug comes to mind as well- this article is a must read.

CrossFit has long celebrated a “finish or die trying” ethos, but that mindset is not always conducive to lasting success – especially for everyday fitness enthusiasts. Unlike the professionals, our stakes are not as high. Our journeys are not defined by a single competition or a single workout. This is where the distinction between “amateur” fitness enthusiasts and elite athletes becomes apparent.

Imagine this: a casual gym-goer pushing through a workout despite feeling a strain or discomfort, just because they want to “tough it out.” The reality is that this attitude can do more harm than good. The potential consequences of not listening to your body can range from a short-term setback to long-term impairment. For professionals, it’s even more critical. Not taking adequate rest or neglecting recovery from an injury could potentially shatter a hard-earned career in an instant.

In the grand scheme of things, whether you’re an amateur or a pro, the message is the same: prioritize your body’s well-being above all else. Understand that pushing through pain might have its time and place, but recklessness is never a virtue. If a professional athlete wouldn’t risk their livelihood for anything less than the most vital occasions, why should we risk our well-being for one workout?

At Lumos Fitness Collective, we advocate for a balanced and holistic approach to fitness. Our goal is not just to get you through a workout, but to guide you towards a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. Just as you wouldn’t expect a mechanic to ignore a broken tool, or an artist to neglect their brushes, we encourage you to treat your body with the respect it deserves. In the end, the greatest victories come from taking care of your most valuable tool – your own body.