Once the leaderboard from Stage 1 of the 2020 CrossFit Games was published, one name stood out by its absence from the top: Sara Sigmundsdottir.
After an impressive start to the 2020 competitive season, where the Icelandic athlete won the CrossFit Open and both the Filthy 150 and Dubai CrossFit Championship Sanctionals, as well as second places at Wodapalooza and the virtual Rogue Invitational, it seemed like “this could be Sara’s year.”
Yet Sigmundsdottir finished in 21st place at the 2020 CrossFit Games, not far off from her 19th place in 2019, where the new CrossFit Games format meant she was cut from the field after six events.
In three honest and heartfelt posts on Instagram, the two-time CrossFit Games podium finisher opened up about her recent struggles and about exactly what happened.
Text from Sara Sigmundsdottir:
All of us who are chasing the Crossfit dream are dealing with some nags, soreness, stiffness and inflammation. It’s all a part of being an athlete and pushing yourself to the limit. We signed up for this and it is up to ourselves, and our team, to determine if we are fit to compete or not. Therefore, I will not offer any excuses for my performance at the @crossfitgames but I will admit it was way below the standards that I have set for myself.
I came up short and that is on me. You girls who finished in the top 5 earned it and I can’t wait to watch you crush it in 2 weeks.
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 ??♀
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.
A little too late I underwent a cortisol test and on this past Monday I finally received a firm diagnosis confirming that my cortisol levels were way too low. It is a huge relief to have these results and thankful to have figured out one of the reasons why I have not been fully myself in recent months.
I will admit it is hard to start off season on the back of recent events but I now have a path forward. I am going to embrace the challenge and take the time I need to fully recover and calculate my next moves while spending time with my people, and of course spoiling Moli A LOT?
School has started again so a part of my focus is now back on my studies. I am also actively conversing with pioneers in their field on topics such as the mental side of being a competitive athlete, modifications to my nutrition and how to set up training for the next season. I feel good about this process and come February when the new season starts my promise to myself is to be fully recharged, lazer focused and ready to rock.
To finish this off I want to say how grateful I am for my supporters, my team and my closest circle. I may be competing as an individual but none of this would work if I did not have you with me and believing in me. In recent days I have been reading through the messages and letters I have received and my heart has melted over and over again. I struggle to find the words to explain how much this means to me and how much this reinforces my will to come back stronger.
From the bottom of my heart – thank you❤️
- Sara-sigmundsdottir-2020-crossfit-games: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.