Low Cortisol Cause of Sigmundsdottir’s Lackluster Performance

October 8, 2020 by
Photo courtesy of Sara Sigmundsdottir.

Nearly three weeks after fans were left baffled by Sara Sigmundsdottir’s performance during stage 1 of the CrossFit Games, it’s been revealed that a May 2020 box jump inury that later turned into an infection and emergency room visit were the cause of serious performance related issues, according to a series of Instagram posts by the five-time Games athlete.

What happened: “I have been dealing with an issue that originated in one clumsy box jump in May, where I split my shin wide open and ended up in the emergency room with 12 stitches,” Sigmundsdottir wrote in an Intagram post.

  • “This was just few weeks before the @rogueinvitational, so I was in a race against time and allowed a shorter time than I should have to let the wound heal. 8 weeks later, after the wound had totally closed, an infection emerged. The swelling progressed rapidly and within hours it looked like I had a second knee on my left leg. Again I had to rush to the emergency room, this time for a minimal surgery which was followed by a cycle of strong antibiotics. “
  • “Once I was passed fit to start training again, I just moved on and did not really think back on this. I never really made the connection between this and the discomfort I was experiencing until my nutrition coach pointed out that I might have developed a cortisol issue as a result of the infection. As he described all the symptoms of ‘adrenal insufficiency’ I felt like he was describing my current life. ⁣

One big thing: A cortisol test conducted on Monday revealed that Sigmundsdottir’s cortisol levels were too low.

  • According to the Mayo Clinic, sustained low cortisol levels can cause adrenal fatigue and can take months to worsen to a point where it’s noticed.
  • Low cortisol levels can cause “muscle weakness and fatigue; muscle, joint or abdominal pains; and decreased appetite and weight loss.”
  • Many fans observing her opening workout performance on Friendly Fran noticed that she didn’t look like herself.

The big picture: After struggling the last few CrossFit Games, Sigmundsdottir seemed poised to reclaim the mantle as one of the top female Games athletes. She was heavily favored to take one of the final five spots to advance to the in-person competition later this month as she’s had a near stellar season so far.

  • She won the 2020 Open, her third career Open win and the only woman with three titles.
  • She won two Sanctionals and placed second at Wodapalooza and Rogue Invitational, both times behind Tia-Clair Toomey.