Dr. Tim Simanksy – the WOD DOC – comes at CrossFit as an athlete and a chiropractor. And I think he has some things to share with us…
Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a chiropractor by trade and I specialize in sports injuries. My additional training includes a Diplomate from the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (DACBSP), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), and various CrossFit Certifications. Beyond that, I am a master instructor for Rocktape and instruct for FAKTR and FST as well. Over the last year I became most known for my blog WODdoc. It’s a daily vlog that discusses technique, mobility, and nutritional as it pertains to the CrossFit community.
Q: What is your main focus or goal as a medical practitioner?
Honestly, my goal is just to help people do whatever they want to do. Too many people allow injury and disease to limit their lives. Before they know it they’re living in a bubble. I know people that haven’t crossed state lines or been on day trips for years because of physical limitations. My goal is to eliminate that.
Q: What brought you to CrossFit?
I was a wrestler pretty much my entire life. After college I went to grad school and dropped all competitive sports. I was actually exposed to CrossFit then. I remember doing my first WOD and was like nope, this is not for me. This is wrestling practice, just no mats.
Following grad school I moved to a new town away from everyone I knew. Somehow I wandered back into a CrossFit box. It still reminded me of wrestling, but wresting reminded me of home. I did my first competition shortly thereafter and the rest was history.
Q: As someone in the medical profession, what do you think is the most misunderstood part of the CrossFit experience? And how would you correct that misunderstanding?
By far it’s the notion that all CrossFit gyms are devilish cults where people perform dangerous activities mindless until they fall to the ground in their own sweat and vomit.
Like all stereotypes they come from somewhere so I am not about to jump on my soapbox and say that every box is perfect. But I will say CrossFit is no more dangerous than any other sport I know. What is dangerous is ignorance.
Ignorant boxes tend to hurt people. Educated boxes tend to improve people’s lives. Ignorance is not isolated to the CrossFit side either. Medical professionals are also expected to educate themselves to properly treat their patients. If your doctor tells you to watch your mouth when you say you hurt yourself in the bottom of a snatch, you’re probably in the wrong place.
Q: Where do you train? And where do you practice medicine?
It’s easiest to get in touch with me through the thewoddoc.com by clinking “contact”.
Q: If you could start over as a crossfitter, what would medical-you tell athlete-you?
Two words…. Graded exposure. You “only” have the rest of your life to get stronger.
Q: What’s your favorite piece of equipment at the box? And least favorite?
The sled. People can become so unbelievably fit by pushing and pulling that thing. It’s a real total body fitness device.
Rings are my least favorite; all boxes should have criteria for allowing athletes on rings… actually wait… with graded exposure they’re OK too.
Q: What do you think is the secret to CrossFit’s crazy success and growth?
It’s FUN… It made fitness cool again. People use the word cult. That’s derogative; CrossFit is no more a cult then a football team. The only difference is anyone can be a part of team CrossFit.
Q: What’s your favorite story from your time with CrossFit so far?
That’s a really tough one. There are so many great stories and I have made so many great friends that it’s hard to name just one. Recently I just worked the CrossFit Games in Carson California. During my time there I was fortunate enough to work with Stephanie Hammerman. Steph “The Hammer” is an adaptive CrossFit Athlete who suffers from cerebral palsy, a condition characterized by abnormal muscle tone, reflexes, and/or motor development and coordination. Steph uses to crutches to walk everywhere since she has limited control over her lower extremities… but, despite all this, she completed a 1 mile run in under 60 minutes. Being personally involved with that has to be one of my favorite CrossFit stories to date.
A huge thank you goes out to Dr. Simanksy for sharing his point of view! Learning more about Steph “The Hammer” Hammerman was fantastic and I definitely encourage you to check out www.thewoddoc.com when you get the opportunity!
Are you interested in being featured as a box owner, trainer/coach, or athlete? I’d love to hear from you! Click “Contact Us” at the top of the WOD Tales page (or in the right-hand column) and I’ll get in touch!