Carleen Mathews Withdraws from the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games

It’s been a tumultuous twenty-four hours for some competitors in Madison, Wisconsin, with three female athletes withdrawing from the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games.

Most recently, three-time CrossFit Games athlete Carleen Mathews announced that she could no longer compete due to an unspecified back injury.

It appears that this was not a long-standing injury and that the first sign of trouble was when she woke up last Wednesday with what felt like “a knot” in her back. By Friday, she realized her left arm was feeling numb and wasn’t locking out. Fast forward to Thursday, and as she was warming up for the muscle-up clean ladder event, she found that she could kip just fine, but her arm would not lock out.

She posted to her Instagram,

I was telling my body to do something and it would not respond…. the minimum work requirement for the event was getting through the round of 11 mu… i did not complete one and with that, my 2017 games is over….. This is NOT the end of MY journey. I am mad, I am sad, I am disappointed… however this too shall pass. (…)

This is not the way I visualized my season ending, but this is not the end for me… this is just a stepping stone to making me a better athlete and person.
The rest of the weekend I plan to cheer as loud as I can for all the other athletes, be there for them if they need me, spend some time with my husband, and hang out!

This makes Mathews the third female athlete to withdraw since the Games began. Yesterday afternoon, 2014’s Games Champion Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet announced that a dislocated shoulder had put her out of commission and last night the individual rookie Chelsey Hughes also withdrew.

Hughes announced that she fell during the Cyclocross time trial on Wednesday, and when she was attempting muscle-ups on Thursday she experienced “pain in my neck and chest” that “was too excruciating to bear, much less cycle through 45, or even 24 reps.”

We wish Mathews, Hughes, and LeBlanc-Bazinet a speedy recovery.

Featured image via @teamcarleen on Instagram.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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