Patrick Vellner Talks Injuries From the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games

At the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games, few athletes experienced more of a roller coaster ride than Canadian athlete Patrick Vellner. To kick off the Games, Vellner was involved in a bike crash during Event 1 (Crit), which landed him with a 35th place finish and a mere 10 points to start the competition. Granted, Vellner is no stranger to a little first event adversity, if you recall last year’s 36th place finish after Event 1 (Run, Swim, Run).

To conclude day one, Vellner ended up finishing in 9th, 2nd, and 5th place in the following three events, and was heading in the right direction on the leaderboard. Moving into day two, Vellner headed to Event 5 (The Battleground), which entailed a Rescue Randy drag, rope climbs, and an obstacle course. After sustaining what looked like a pretty serious fall, Vellner ended up taking fourth in the event.

On his Instagram page, Vellner has been sharing his top five moments from the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games, and the fall comes in at number three. In his post, Vellner provides a ton of details about the moment and what happened — check it out below.

Favorite Moment #3: Battlegrounds Blunder.

Yes, I’ve seen all of the Internet remixes of our fall. I must admit, they are hilarious since @mathewfras and I are both ok. The internet is a magical place.

This is another moment that on the surface might not seem like a great one, but stick with me. I made A mistake on the cargo net, my hands ended up dangerously close to the black line (which means a no rep) and I had to scramble a bit coming over the top to stay in bounds. I ended up in an awkward position and i hooked my heel when I went to drop off the net. I fell really hard and winded myself pretty good. In the moment I was focused on just finishing the event and feeling sorry for myself later. I had some sand and blood in my mouth which made the run back delightful. When I hit the finish I rinsed my mouth to find out where the blood was coming from and found it was only there when i coughed. Bad sign.

I was swooped up by the medical team and spent the next hour being assessed and continued to cough up some blood so I was taken to the hospital for a CT scan. The results came back that I had bruised my left lung in the fall. Bummer.

I had a lengthy discussion with the medical staff. They are amazing and no one wants to cut our competition short but our safety is their concern. I was allowed to conditionally compete, a similar situation to 2016 after tearing my bicep. At best my lung capacity is a bit reduced and I’m sore, at worse the bleeding continues and high exertion causes more damage. Bottom line was if they saw any more blood I was out.

This made me really appreciate every bit of time I spent on the competition floor from then on. It’s a privilege to compete at the games and we often get caught up and forget to appreciate it for what it is. This event really changed my outlook on the competition and made me take it one event at a time. It was oddly calming.

In the end I survived, and I’m proud to be an example of resiliency if nothing else. No more blood, I’m still a little sore and haven’t exercised since the games. I’ll get to it. I’m gonna try to spend less time with the medical team next year. 

Feature image from @pvellner Instagram page. 

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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.