Wednesday, May 29, 2013

First not Last

I experienced my First time of not being Last for completing my WOD! I know it isn’t a race, but it felt good! I got to cheer on a classmate – I’m usually the one being cheered and encouraged to finish. In that moment – I celebrated! Sometimes victories may seem so small on the outside – but they are huge on the inside.

But that wasn’t my only First! Last night was my First time to run pain free in 3 weeks! So for a few weeks now – this has been my fashion accessory.

Sexy right? It’s Rock Tape. I was introduced to it two weeks ago. And while mildly skeptical – I watched very respectable athletes get taped up a few weekends ago while at Capital City CrossFit – so I figured it couldn’t hurt.

In addition to the tape, Dr. Bill Richie worked his chiropractic magic on my ankle through two different sessions. That with two weeks of the coaches tailoring portions of the WODs for me, have allowed my ankle time to heal and resulted in one happy right ankle. I’m so grateful because 3 weeks from today I’m on a plane bound for Arizona for a Rim to Rim to Rim 46 mile trek of the Grand Canyon.

Other Firsts for me recently include 123# Back Squat and learning that I can lift a dead Romanian assuming he only weighs 103# (why is it called a Romanian Deadlift anyway?) and in a very ungraceful balance pose – learned how to do a Bulgarian Split Squat (seriously who names these things?). Another significant First for me - is Today is the First time I was able to fit back into a pair of pants from last summer! And while I'm still resisting the urge to weigh in on the scale - I am increasingly trusting the process clean(er) eating and CrossFit.

While my ankle was mending – I probably rowed enough meters to cross the English Channel. I’m more than relieved to have my ankle back as a properly functioning part of my body, but I’m also grateful for the experience. I learned to trust others around me that knew how to help me heal while still training for my upcoming trek. I'm sure there are many more Lasts for my WODs, but I'm most excited about how many more Firsts are ahead of me.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hell is no Place for a Gimpy Ankle

So I mentioned the other day that I was a dufus about not properly stretching before and after a long (for me) run. A week later I’m still paying for it. I’ve been completely gimpy since running the Fatass 5k on Saturday. For those that know my love of hooker shoes – sadly they haven’t been out of my closet in 10 days… But gladly my workouts haven’t suffered. This week I’ve experienced first-hand how the coaches at Capital City CrossFit work with individuals to build workouts that enable success while still accommodating injury or physical capabilities. Brian and Zack have been great about customizing WODs for me, but that doesn’t mean they are easier. In 32 days I’m literally hiking into the bowels of hell (better known as the Grand Canyon). I can’t slack off my training – yet my ankle has to heal. The only thing that is keeping me from hitting the panic button is the realization that I can keep strength training under their direction while my ankle and I get back on speaking terms.

I share this for anyone that thinks they can’t do CrossFit because of an ailment or a particular weakness. Working with the coaches – it is amazing what they can do to get you going.

Realizations this week:
  • Leave my pride in the car and hobble my gimpy ankle into the box and talk to the coaches about the injury.
  • The Grand Canyon will never hire me to write their marketing brochure if I keep referring to it as the Bowels of Hell. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

I’ve been quietly struggling for a few weeks – and then a friend came across Fat Chick does CrossFit blog post – saw similarities to my experience and shared the post with me. From the first sentence I related with her. I was completely entertained by her perspective and experience. But then she struck a nerve – and it is still zinging. In a short statement she completely summed up my frustration and articulated what I’ve been unable to pinpoint. “…living a fit-person lifestyle inside a fat-person body is uncomfortable and sucky. It was much easier to be living a fat-person lifestyle inside a fat-person body, and at least back then there were jellybeans.” Amen my fellow fat chick sister!

So why do I share this? Because this is reality for anyone transforming their lives through fitness. It isn’t a video-edited journey captured in one television season type of effort. It is a daily decision to make better choices, and to do more than you were capable of doing yesterday. But there are the sucky days, the days you are tired of being sore. The days you want to binge eat. The days you want to hide in your car and pretend you went and worked out. But hopefully you don’t. There are dark days on your fitness journey. I want to confess that right here and now. Because I want anyone reading this to feel okay about the day they realize they’ve arrived in their dark place. The trick is to get the hell out of there. But how?

I know I am stronger than ever. I can run further than I’ve ever been able to run. But still… In the mirror every day I see her. The fat chick is still there lurking, haunting and teasing me. So I’m always seeking the lesson to be learned. This morning I had a brief “Come to Jesus” meeting with myself. Nutrition – it is the only aspect of my training that I haven’t dialed in completely. That changes for me this week. On Saturday I’m attending a nutrition workshop at Capital City CrossFit. I know how to eat clean – I did it successfully before during my initial weight loss. I’ve just never balanced disciplined nutrition with disciplined workouts. So while in my dark place this morning, I did what no one should ever do once they start strength training. I pulled out my scale. Maybe I did it so the fat chick could celebrate my fitness failure – if so – then she should be happy because the number was ugly. I know that muscle weighs more than fat, and I know I’m a lot more muscular than I was a few months ago. But that number sent me into a frantic spiral of looking up other numbers – I dug out my measurements. My waist is smaller. My arms are now lopsided - apparently i'm stronger on my right  – but they are more muscular then they used to be. I actually have biceps now. My legs are bigger – but they were always what I’ve now learned were considered a “skinny fat” now they are muscular. I can see my quads and hamstrings. This damn number on the scale had the potential of blowing up my progress. I picked two fights this morning – I believe in a misguided effort to blow off steam. But now that I’ve dusted off the measuring tape – I’m going to track a 30 day progress. Clean foods. Nothing processed. On June 14th – I’ll share my results.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Smack Talkn the Competition

Only the lonely…

I’m an extremely social person and solitude has never really been my thing. I’ve been preparing to run a local 5k with a few coworkers. This week has been an interesting week, because of schedules and project demands we’ve all had to run solo this week – and we’ve struggled during those runs. What I’ve learned about myself is that sometimes your greatest accomplishment isn’t determined by speed, distance, or WOD performance. For me this week it was that solo four mile run. I’m not a natural runner – and likely don’t do it very well compared to real runners. Running is a cardio necessity for me, but I really do enjoy a recreational 5k. So when I set out for a solo four miles, I realized that mentally I wasn’t ready. I also didn’t take the time to stretch enough which was painfully apparent at 3.5 miles. I get energy from people around me, so you take my energy source away, and I’m left with just myself, my thoughts and my pains. But perhaps those are the efforts that should be celebrated more – the tough runs, the WODs you don’t want to do, the squat-challenge you would like to bail on – but you don’t. The accomplishments during solitude when no one is looking, with nobody to cheer you on but yourself – I believe those may be the biggest accomplishments.