While trying to break up a dog fight, Cheryl Nasso fractured her left wrist and will not compete at the South East Regional.
CrossFit prepares its athletes for the unknowable.
South East Regional competitor Cheryl Nasso has spent the past year training with this in mind, preparing for the unknowable workouts in the Open and upcoming Regionals.
Nasso was not prepared, however, to end up in the middle of a dog fight Monday morning, only to wind up in the hospital hours later with a fractured left wrist, several bite wounds and her shot at a podium spot gone.
“I am completely devastated,” Nasso says.
Nasso, 27, says it’s difficult to admit, but she knows she will not be able to compete at the level she is capable of next weekend at the South East Regional. The incident happened at 4:30 a.m. on Monday morning as Nasso was getting ready to coach the 5 a.m. class at her affiliate, CrossFit Tuckpoint.
“I had just woken up, and was brushing my teeth. Both my dog and my brother’s dog were in the other room, and I typically separate them every morning. My brother’s dog is a Shepherd mix, and he’s got some behavioral issues,” she explains. “Well, for some reason, I forgot to keep them apart that morning, and I heard growling in the other room. I went to see what was going on and before I knew it, I was in the middle of a dog fight, trying to keep my brother’s dog, Brasco, from killing my little dog, Abby.”
Twenty minutes later, Nasso, who was home alone at the time, managed to get to her phone and call 911. The paramedics rushed her to the hospital where the doctor told her she had an open fracture and would need to have surgery to place rods and pins in her wrist.
At the time, Nasso says all she could think about was CrossFit and Regionals.
“I told him, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. It’s not that bad! I have a competition in about a week,’” she recalls. “Then he said, ‘Look, you can’t move your wrist,’ and I knew it was more serious.”
Nasso spent a few days in the hospital on IV antibiotics, healing and trying to make sense of it all.
“This has been the worst week of my life,” she admits. “I have worked so hard this year, and now it feels like it is all a wash.”
Nasso, who placed 42nd at the 2011 Games and missed the podium by seven spots at the 2012 South East Regional, has been on a mission since last May to make it back to the Games. After finishing third in this year’s Open, despite sustaining a neck injury four weeks earlier, Nasso says she was well on her way.
“I have worked so hard this year and am the best I’ve ever been. I hired a coach for the first time, and have really been working on improving my gymnastics skills, like my butterfly pull-ups and handstands,” she says. “I couldn’t hold a handstand six months ago, and just the other day, I was able to walk 20 meters.”
The reality that she won’t be competing in Carson, Calif., this summer has still not sunk in.
“It hasn’t hit me yet. I’ve seen all the workouts released, and all of them are workouts I think I would do really well on. They are in my wheelhouse. And it’s so hard. Several of my friends, who didn’t know what happened yet, were texting me about the workouts and encouraging me for Regionals,” she says. “It’s hard to say, ‘I won’t be able to do them all.’”
Following surgery, Nasso expects to have a four- to six-week recovery period, allowing her wrist to heal, and training around it the best she can. Above all, Nasso is trying to remain positive.
“I don’t understand. People say things happen for a reason, so maybe there’s a reason why I can’t compete this year. Maybe I was meant to sit out this year. Maybe this is going to be my year to train harder and come back even stronger. Maybe my box is going to grow and be awesome,” she says. “I don’t know what the purpose is, but I am not going to let this get me down.”