Meet Olivia Gutierrez, or as we know her: Liv. Liv has been CrossFitting for about a year and a half. Earlier this year, she participated in the CrossFit Games Open workouts and even in a few competitions in the Austin area. To step up her game, she reads CrossFit journal articles, watches mobility WOD videos, and drops in at boxes in other cities while travelling for work. In doing those things, Liv extends her practice beyond time spent in the box. She brings her newfound knowledge back to the coaches and engages in conversations with them, learning new things as a result.
In July, however, she got in a car accident resulting in a c-spine sprain and damaged tissue in and around the rotator cuff of her left shoulder. Liv could not work out for about three months after her injury. She slowly started to get back into working out again but still occasionally struggles with “overhead movements, ring dips, push ups, pull-ups because I have to use my shoulders.” Not long after starting to work out again, Liv said, “I knew coming back I wanted to get back to pull-ups and stringing them together well. I feel like I’ve gotten to stringing them again.”
Despite a significant shoulder injury, Liv consistently works to get back to where she was before the accident. Over the past few months, “coaches started helping me tailor the WODs to my current ability level. All of the coaches were good about making sure I was scaled properly so I wouldn’t hurt my shoulder more. Coach Aaron suggested that I use lighter weight to rebuild neuromuscular paths—in other words, re-training my form so I wouldn’t be favoring one side over the other due to my injury.”
To those who are still hesitant about injuries and CrossFit, Liv says, “CrossFit is for everyone. It can be scaled for every ability or disability. To get the attention from the coaches, you have to show up regularly so they know your limitations. You have to be willing to ask for and accept advice, and adjust to the modifications they tell you to do. They’re professionals, but they’re not mind-readers.”
Liv Gutierrez is Fit and Fearless.