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The Setback that Made Roxie Stronger

ver face a major challenge that ends up creating the life change you need? Instructor ROXIE JONES opens up about the injury that gave her strength, perspective and perseverance...

The summer of 2016 was unexpectedly one of the most fun, yet difficult summers I’ve ever had. I broke my arm in early July from a freak accident when my friend fell on me while doing handstands at the beach. No, we weren't intoxicated (yet), but we weren’t careful and my right ulna snapped in half when he collapsed on me, which put me out of commission from teaching at SOUL for two months. I couldn’t work, meaning I had no source of income, but I was luckily on medical leave. Medical leave was a saving grace but was barely enough to get me through the weeks, and I ended up using some of my savings. On top of that, I went through a break-up the following day of my accident, and my dog ended up being put to sleep mid-July after fighting through a long-term illness. It was a landslide of events for one month but I was determined to get through it.

This accident ended up being a wake-up call. I didn’t realize how thin I had become from training so much, approximately 18 to 20 times a week of riding and HIIT training. Cortisol, the stress hormone, was always elevated in my body, leading to poor sleeping patterns. I eventually lost my appetite, became fatigued, and I wasn’t drinking enough water. There was one point in June where I hit a wall and I didn’t know if I was going to make it to my 5:30 PM class because I was so physically and mentally exhausted. A professional would call it over-training syndrome, which is likely why my bone snapped from a calcium deficiency.

I took a week of rest immediately after breaking my arm: No training, only resting and eating a lot. I’m sure a lot of you are wondering how I kept myself busy?

One thing that helped me stay sane, other than rosé, was weight training and riding at SOUL. How did I train with one mobile arm? Let’s just say it was leg day for two months straight! It took me a week to hit the weights and two weeks to make my way into a SoulCycle class, although I spent most of my time sitting in the saddle until my arm felt safe enough to lift up into third position using the left arm. It was great core training and I learned some new choreography.

Not being able to use my arm forced me to get creative with workouts and how to modify exercises. I made use of the cable machine since attaching it to my ankle was easy enough with one hand, focused on glute bridges with the help of moving the Olympic plates from other trainers, and a lot of plyometrics with soft landing. There was one day that I grew tired of doing leg work and instead did an upper body workout by attaching the cable to the top of my arm above the elbow. There’s ways to train around anything if you really desire to do so. I also went to several of Akin and Yavuz’s bootcamp classes, since they’re both great at making modifications for anything. Leg day and abs were very approachable for me with a single arm!

I was also able to spend a lot of time with friends that I was just getting to know at the beginning of the summer. I had immersed myself in teaching in the first year and a half at Soul that I hadn’t been able to spend time with friends before. Teaching so many classes at SoulCycle between New York and Westchester and Connecticut required a lot of traveling back and forth, and on top of that I was also studying for my National Academy of Sports Medicine personal training certification. It was tough to set aside time to relax and hang out with friends.

Some have asked me if I was sad or if it had ‘sucked' to have an injury. My answer is no. I don’t regret having a broken arm because it was a learning experience and as I had mentioned before, a wake-up call. I learned more about myself, how strong-willed and persistent I am, that I need to rest and recover with more diligence, and that I am more resilient through struggles that I overcome.

You always manage to come out on top if you take the high road and a positive outlook in what you do.

As a side note: If I haven’t thanked you yet, to all of my friends that helped me get through this injury — from helping me put on pants, to carrying my bag, and hanging out— thank you from the bottom of my heart for getting me through one of the more difficult times that I’ve experienced.

Catch classes with ROXIE at Bronxville, FiDi and Greenwich. Want to ride? Grab a series HERE and book a bike!

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