"My Workout Landed Me in the Hospital with Rhabdo"

BlogHer Original Post

Over the last few weeks, I keep seeing CrossFit pop up on social media. News stations are warning of its dangers. CrossFit lovers are lashing out at those who get hurt doing CrossFit and blame the workout. As someone who has never seen CrossFit in action or participated in a workout, it's hard to know what to believe, though I have to admit that hearing that the logo requested by CrossFit's creator is a vomiting clown named Uncle Pukie, it doesn't sound like something this runner and yoga practitioner would enjoy.  I'm not looking to push my body until I vomit when I exercise.

CrossFit is the way I first heard about rhabdo, a condition that seems to keep getting mentioned every time I hear about the workout.  While rare, it is the breakdown of muscle fibers which are released into the bloodstream.  It taxes the kidneys and can cause kidney failure.  Molly Talevi wrote about her experience with rhabdo in a recent blog post titled "Rhabdo What?"

We, as a culture, are pushing ourselves past our physical limits. We are starting to believe that we aren’t getting a good workout unless we finish feeling completely exhausted. We aren’t giving ourselves enough time to rest and recover. We are doing more harm than good.

Molly is careful in her article not to blame CrossFit itself, and rhabdo is an important topic for any athlete since, as she says, it can happen to people even not doing CrossFit. It's a compelling topic we all should think about: how hard should we push ourselves with exercise? When I read this post, especially the part about her having young children at home, it hit home that our choices could impact a lot more than just our own bodies.

Molly Taveli

Molly in the hospital

People can get hurt doing any workout, and all exercise requires the participant to be mindful of their body.  You can break your neck doing yoga wrong in the same way that you can get rhabdo for pushing your body too far with CrossFit.  But what disturbs me is that when someone speaks up and says, "this happened to me doing CrossFit," and I see the people come out and grill or ridicule the person on their blog or via Twitter.  Yelling may be part of the workout routine, but it should never be part of discourse.

What do you think of the CrossFit coverage?  Have you ever tried the workout -- why or why not?

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