My Neck, My Back
Written by Invictus Member Savannah Cannon

Above is a comparison picture of my DEXA scan from early 2017 to this Saturday, almost three years later.

I had joined Invictus in 2016, after years of following y’all from across the world. I ran races and did the marathon thing and did triathlons and climbed mountains and surfed and coached CrossFit myself…all of it.

But as you can see from my 2017 scan…my back was severely messed up and every one of those events had me in excruciating pain.

I had fallen from a cliff in mid 2011…crushing my cervical spine and getting severe whiplash. I had tried so many things over the years to stop the pain…chiropractic care, needling, some sort of other needles that were electrified to stop my shoulder and neck spasms, physical therapy (at one point I just needed someone to punch me in the back near my shoulder so the nerves would deaden and the pain would abate)…the VA wanted to do exploratory surgery next. I didn’t want to sit on the couch and miss out on life so I just kept up through the pain.

When I joined Invictus, Coaches Holden and Kim and you all asked what was wrong with me and I would just say my shoulder…because I didn’t know exactly what was wrong (and the doctors were stumped), but my right scapula would swell and tighten and my right arm would go numb and I would be unable to move my neck.

The last three years have been a labor of love from all of y’all at Invictus to try and help me without really knowing what was wrong. And I firmly believe that the difference in my spine from those two images is largely because of what y’all do.

Everything from Coach Holden’s nightmare kettlebell work to Coach Kirsten’s shoulder burner robo dogs to Coach Bryce and Holden’s sandbag carries and getting exposed to ELDOAs with Coach Sarah’s hands all up in my gut, Coach TJ getting that shoulder mobility, doing myofascial stretching, and Coach Kim making me taller and giving me space in my spine to y’all not allowing me to stand with my hips cocked to the side…all of it has helped create the spine you see on the left. There’s even a difference in my shoulders not being so high and my head not getting yanked to the right.

Of course life is about maintaining our growth and pushing to greater heights; I know I still have a ways to go on convincing my body to work at baseline and to push past it safely. But LOOK AT THAT! The evidence of the difference in my pain is something only I can feel, and that picture is something you guys can see.

Thank you for all y’all do to help people who are hurt and just trying to live their lives. It works…and I want to thank each of you.

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