Back Pain and Burnout: The Explained (and Unexplained) Absences From The Open

Nov 18, 2019 by

300 days – talk about a tough slog!

But that’s the approximate length of the 2020 CrossFit Games Season from the start of the Open (October 10) to what’s likely to be the end (official dates pending) of the Games in Madison next August.

Playing smart: Four times individual Games Athlete Khan Porter said: “You can make it a long season, but you can also be smart about it.”

And that’s what Khan – along with a growing list of Games-level athletes – seem to be doing.

The Morning Chalk Up sat down with Khan Porter, who recently withdrew from a local competition in the Pacific Region – the Torian Pro – to get his season back on track.

“Obviously my goal is to make it back to the Games and to do that, I have to qualify through a sanctioned event … I want to prioritize taking care of my body.”

Citing an ongoing back injury – the 2019 Games athlete who competed on Project X said: “You’ve got to kind of pick your battles.”

Absent from the Open: The most public exit from the 2020 Open was arguably Lukas Hogberg who blamed the changing season and fatigue for his withdrawal.

We’ve compiled a list of other notable absences although it’s important to note that some athletes have a very good reason – injury, pregnancy, retirement – for not taking part.

  • Camille Leblanc-Bazinet: 2nd (Team) in 2019: Potential retirement, focusing on Olympic bid
  • Paul Castillo: 99th in 2019
  • Danni Jenny (Horan): 11th (Team) in 2019
  • Mekenzie Riley: 25th in 2019: She’s pregnant!
  • Synne Kroskstad: 8th (Team) in 2019
  • Carrie Beamer: 32nd in 2019
  • McKenzie Flinchum: 48th in 2019
  • Erin Vanenriessche: 50th in 2019
  • Alessia Joy Wälchli: 35th in 2019
  • Alex Anderson (retiring), Garrett Fisher did not qualify for the 2019 CrossFit Games and also didn’t take part in the Open.

DNF: The following athletes submitted a score for at least one workout (20.1) then didn’t complete the five-week competition for whatever reason (again, some have explained themselves, others have not)

  • Colleen Fotsch: 27th in 2019
  • Jacqueline Dahlstrom: 47th in 2019
  • Lauren Fisher: 3rd (Team) in 2019
  • Regan Huckaby: 3rd (Team) in 2019: Injury post 20.2
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What better way to end the CrossFit Open with such a crazy cool workout. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⚡️For Time: 40 Muscle Ups 80 Cal Row 120 Wall Balls *Partition as desired. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ I actually got to participate in this workout and it’s been the most fun to date. A couple days before 20.2 I was descending on a rope climb and came down on top of the rope, twisting my right foot internally and smacking it into the ground. Long story short, I’ve been controlling swelling and bruising for a couple weeks. X-Rays showed no fractures or breaks and Tuesday I will get an MRI to checkout my tendons. SWIPE TO SEE PHOTOS. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Although I am super bummed I didn’t get to complete the 2020 CrossFit Open, my goal has always been TEAM. My team and I plan to attend the @southfitchallenge for our first sanctional and it was a no brainer that I needed to take care of my ankle and get healthy for Argentina, December 6th. Shit happens! Good luck and congratulations to everyone finishing the 2020 CrossFit Open 🙋🏽‍♀️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #intheopen #crossfitopen #muscleups #gymnastics #crossfit #mom #teaminvictus #invictusathlete 📸: @trainingdaymedia

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Listening to the body: Khan Porter – who finished 58th worldwide in the 2020 CrossFit Open – admitted he didn’t take adequate rest between competitions.

“It’s just been a massive season for me,” he said.

“We got home from the Games on a Wednesday and I was back in the gym on Thursday, straight back into full training volume.”

Khan Porter revealed to the Morning Chalk Up, he still plans to compete at Pandaland CrossFit Challenge in China next month, pending recovery from his current injury.

“When that happened I was like, I think this is the universe saying, you need to slow down buddy and take a bit of time off.”


CrossFit Open

Khan Porter | Lukas Högberg | Camille Leblanc-Bazinet | Paul Castillo | Mekenzie Riley | Carrie Beamer | McKenzie Flinchum | Alessia Joy Wälchli | Alex Anderson | Colleen Fotsch | Jacqueline Dahlstrøm | Dean Linder-Leighton | Casper Gammelmark | James Newbury



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