Not Just for Fitness
For the last two years CrossFit Iceni has been my way of keeping fit, learning new skills and has become my "happy place" where I can leave the worries of everyday life and spend a couple of hours with friends.
Recently however CrossFit Iceni has become so much more.
I have recently had open heart surgery and Iceni was a huge part of my pre-op preparation and even more so my post-op recovery.
I knew that my condition pre-op would dramatically affect my recovery post-op, the fitter I went in, the faster I would come out. After discussing any limitations with the hospital team I was able to discuss these with the Iceni coaching staff and not only maintain but ramp up my training whilst ensuring I didn't over train. This even included doing 21 hours of a 24 hour CrossFit marathon the week before surgery (that MAY have been over training....)
The benefits of this were immediately apparent after the operation, even with some minor complications I was more active and mobile than my peers in recovery, to the extent that the ward physiotherapists visited me only to say I was already past the advice they would normally give. Air squats next to my bed may have contributed to this.... I was discharged days before my new ward friends.
I am now six weeks into my post-op recovery, and have been back in the gym for four weeks. Training is frustrating at times of course, I'm unable to lift anything > 10 lbs for 6 more weeks, but we have worked on a list of exercises I am able to do whilst not straining my sternum. The benefits go much further than “just” fitness though. An unexpected issue I had was a loss of confidence, I was aware that I was suddenly very vulnerable, especially in crowds. Working on recovering leg strength and balance gave me back confidence and independence.
The most important part of CrossFit Iceni though remains the people. Coffee dates, lifts and encouraging words mean the world and above all are the difference between CrossFit Iceni and any gym I’ve used.