When Beast Mode Goes Wrong: What to do if you injure yourself during the Open

By Marcherry Garnica
Feb 23 2017

When Beast Mode Goes Wrong: What to do if you injure yourself during the Open

Yay! the Open is here! Last year was my first CrossFit Open, and I scaled it like a BOSS. I spent four minutes to get 23 toes to bar because there was no way I was going to be able to clean even the scaled weights. And those deadlifts? Yeah, I came close to injuring myself.

What happens when you actually do injure yourself, either right before or during the Open?

First, my disclaimer: go see a doctor. Make sure you’re not seriously injured, like with a broken bone. (I sprained my ankle so severely while training for a marathon that I went to get an x-ray. I was positive it was fractured but thank goodness it was not.)

Then, consider your options.


Scaling might be necessary, depending on your injury. If you’re typically an RX athlete, this might be a hit to your pride. You might have to complete the scaled version of the WOD or do just a portion on the WOD, depending on what it is. For example, if you have a shoulder injury, and the WOD is deadlifts and pullups, you might have to skip the pullups.

Listen to your body 

Ego is a dangerous thing. (Says the person who wanted to run a full marathon on a sprained ankle and at the last minute opted for a half marathon instead.) But it’s more important to stay healthy. If you’re in pain that some ibuprofen can’t help, the very last thing you need is to ignore the pain, do a ridiculous thruster/burpee couplet, and spend the next three weeks with your shoulder out of commission. Scale or skip. The Open will be there next year.

Listen to your coach

At this point, hopefully you’ve built the kind of relationship with your coach where you trust their judgement. If you’ve injured yourself, talk to them about what you can and can’t do. They can help you decide what WODs to scale or sit out.

Do mobility work

Depending on your injury and your doctor’s advice, mobility work like yoga can help you heal faster and get back to your previous routine.

Have fun 

Above all else, remember that most of us are doing the Open workouts for fun! I know it might sound like a broken record but sometimes it needs to be a constant reminder otherwise we will beat ourselves up over the score we didn’t get! As long as you are giving 100% then you doing your best. Most of us aren’t going to Regionals or to the Games. (If you’re one of those athletes, hats off to you, and I’m really sorry you’re not going to make it this year.) We go to the box, do the WODs with our friends, complain about Dave Castro, and congratulate each other.  

Enjoy the camaraderie this year, and concentrate on healing and strengthening yourself for next year.

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