How I Learned about Longevity from 17.1


Now Dave Castro’s Hunchback of Notre Dame clue makes sense.

When 17.1 was announced on February 23, there were a few cheers throughout my Box by athletes who thought they would crush it. But I don’t think anyone fully understood what the workout entailed until they tried it. Then most of those cheers turned to groans.

Personally, when I heard 17.1 announced I was bummed. Not because I dreaded the back pain that would ensue or the long 20 minutes I’d have to endure Dave Castro’s torture. Instead, it was the box jumps that I dreaded.

About a week and a half ago, I did something to my foot. It might be a pulled tendon or a stress fracture; but whatever it is, I’m grounded for several weeks. No high-impact exercise for me. In fact, even heavy Cleans can start to bother it.

So when the workout was announced, I realized I’d be doing it scaled. That was a hard decision because I could have done it RX’d. I could have struggled through the 35-pound Snatches and flew over the box like a gazelle – OK, definitely not like a gazelle. More like a three-legged horse. But the point being, I wouldn’t get to test my mettle against the other RX’d athletes in my gym.

At first, I was disappointed. But, I knew I had to be smart about it. And I encourage you to strike up that same mentality with your athletes.

Yes, Lucy might be strong enough to do a 35-pound dumbbell Snatch, but can she do 150 reps at that weight? Greg says he can land those box jump overs safely, but you know he’s getting over a sprained ankle.

Affiliates and Coaches, I urge you to stop and think about your athletes’ longevity this season. Help them make smart decisions by erring on the side of safety. Just because you can do a weight doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can do a movement doesn’t mean you should. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with the mindset of thinking long term versus just about the next WOD. But not every athlete does, and sometimes you have to do it for them.

In the end, I’m thankful I chose scaled versus making my foot worse. There is no shame in that, I remind myself. I’m still working hard, getting my heart rate up, doing my best. But I’m thinking about the future.

One of your biggest jobs is to keep your members safe, Affiliate. Remember that this Open season so they will be at your Box for years to come.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at