ooo CrossFit how you kick my butt!

“Life only demands from you the strength you possess.  Only one feat is possible… not to have run away” – Dagg Hammarskjold

It’s been nearly a month since the CrossFit East Central Regionals and the life lesson that will always remain as a milestone along my life journey.  That may sound dramatic … and it is… but it’s also true.

In my mind I guess I figured I’d come off of competing and be at the top of my game… OH HOW WRONG AM I!!!

Logically I know this makes sense.  Several contributing factors are at play.

  • At the time of competition everything in my life focused on training and competing, not only is it unreasonable for me to imagine I could sustain this indefinitely, it’s also selfish of me to place training above family, friends, and work… without any goal or direction in mind.
  • I was also pretty beat up from the training and needed to back off a bit to recover and nurse some nagging injuries… they are still nagging… and nagging… so I need to pay better attention to healing
  • Once Regional WODs were announced training focused so hardcore around those particular movements… especially the 70# DB Snatch… very strength focused with less than 3 weeks after the WODs were announced it was a shotgun approach in many ways
  • My endurance, which had been my strongest assets, suffered from the itemized training as Regionals approached
  • AND… I was just flat out worn down

SO… it’s time… it’s time to get a plan and get back at it… Why is this time different than any others?

NOW I expect a lot more from myself and I know I’m capable of a lot more.  Now, almost a month later, I’m getting my ass handed to me day in and out.  And I don’t like it very much.  BUT It’s a good thing. (remind me of that when I come home all pissed off from a bad workout!)

This time it’s different

This time the plan is a little different… my plan includes long term goals and a long term plan.  This plan involves creating a solid foundation of strength, hammer on technique and skill, build back in endurance and met-cons which are my comfort zones.

So right now I am learning to become comfortable in an incredibly uncomfortable zone.  Right now… I’m working on strength which is a weakness… and my endurance is turning into a weakness… and I’m getting beat… a lot.. often! Yikes right?

This time it’s different

This time it’s different because instead of a quick – inch deep mile wide plan of attack I have the time, goal, direction, and road-map to execute a plan of attack that takes each a mile high (I changed deep to high because I see it as a huge advantage, addition, and success rather than the image of a mile deep of empty space!)

Patience is not my best attribute and as I’ve said… I DO NOT like being beat… but it’s ok to be beat now… because all that matters is the end goal and the plan.  My plan takes the time needed to fully develop and improve in a way that sets me and those around me up for true success… I am building the foundation now, not only to show up… but to take my competition to the next level.  Patience, patience…and humility…

Truth be told in the last week, I’ve had two dreams about CrossFit… both I was being beat at a WOD… I have a feeling this will happen more than I will like over the course of this whole journey… I may not like it, but I can tell you, I will learn from every single WOD, I will NOT give up, and in the end… I will be better because of it.

This time it’s different

This time it’s different because I understand and respect the process, I understand and respect the need to have a solid foundation and build upon that, I understand and respect the need to spend a LONG time in the uncomfortable zone.

TRUE Strength

 

the STRENGTH in starting

“The start is what stops most people.” – Don Shula, Former NFL Coach

“Halfway through, 10 seconds left… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 done!”

A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to start training two co-workers and it’s been an experience I am so proud of, honored to do, and excited about!  I am not a personal trainer… however… am learning more and more and studying how our bodies work, function and react.  I’ve also been able to utilize personal experience and insight from the coaches I respect to create ideas for our workouts.

These two women are so inspirational to me because they STARTED.  There were no serious health issues, nothing that made them do it… no… simply, it was time to start. And we did. The time together in the small office gym is a treasured time as we laugh, learn, sweat, and try together.

Although I’m pretty sure as we’re in the middle of the wods (CF talk = Workout of the Day) they want to punch me in the face… they’ve never given up… 

Starting anything new is hard… heck starting something old is hard! BUT it always feels good after you’re done.  Many people talk about how bad habits can snow ball … but so can good habits. KEEP in mind… I have a tendency to go over-board in the name of “but it’s healthy” <— which is unhealthy… but I do feel strongly that each positive step can help you get to the next positive step.  Try to not sell yourself short!  I used to work for a running company and would hear people say… well I’m JUST walking the half marathon.  Umm… whether you are setting a world record half marathon time, or walking it… it’s still the same distance. YOU DID IT!  Maybe you didn’t do a CF Wod RX’ed… but you didn’t quit and you gave it your all.  THAT’S the key! You STARTED!

I heard a study several years ago that was conducted by Fila about the differences in running habits of men and women.  The study found that women are more likely to quit during their run in the first 10 minutes, but once past that 10 minute haul they are more likely to go farther and longer than they intended.  Men on the other hand easily get through that first 10 mins, but after start mentally breaking down faster and feel the run is more daunting the farther they go. Very interesting bit of information!  Interpret that as you will… the key is… START… DO IT…

FACTA, NON VERBA = DEEDS, NOT WORDS

Remember… TRUE Strength: Strength of body, mind, heart, spirit, and faith


the STRENGTH in insecurities

“Don’t doubt your power or you give power to your doubt.”

I cannot explain why, I can’t provide reason, facts nor a solid argument for the week and half long journey of insecurity I’ve been traveling… but it is real… and valid.

The few people I’ve share it with (and now… the many) have shown great amounts of support and expressed confusion in the root of the feeling… and like I said… I cannot explain it.  AND in no way is the point of sharing these insecurities an attempt of getting more “awe feel better!” well wishes.

Instead, I’m hoping to provide a reminder that it’s OK to feel insecure sometimes, it’s ok to not be on the top of your game… or to feel like you’re not. Your feelings are “right” no matter what they are… you have the right to feel however you want. Sometimes I get bent out of shape feeling as if I shouldn’t feel a certain way when I have to check myself and give some allowance to feel however I feel.

Your feelings are your feelings… own up to them… they are real, even if logically you can explain them away. Just remember emotions and feelings are like the waves… they come and go, go up and down…

just don’t wallow in them… ride the wave and try to not get too much sand in your face as you go.  

My ever source of insight, my mom, shared a movie quote/message with me last night… “Everything ends up being good… if it’s not good… it’s not the end.”

Ride On…

TRUE Strength 

the STRENGTH in many forms

“Your day, your choice, your life.”

The “antsy” level in the air is palatable… kids are beyond antsy for school to end, parents are edging on antsy at the thought of school ending, the high temperatures have put some people on antsy notice (I’m just the opposite and am loving every hot second!), and as we approach the long holiday weekend offices are antsy to leave early – hit the road-begin family or drinking time. Even the drive into work this week was extra antsy with added traffic accidents and aggressive drivers.

Perhaps this perfect storm of sorts is why this week has been a tad bit (… ie VERY) stressful at work. I believe I’ve heard a collective sigh of relief this morning as people have been filling their coffee cups… everyone has felt the stress.

Upon reflection on the week I realized, not only has it been stressful and filled with that uneasy antsy feel… it’s also been a lesson that TRUE Strength comes in many, many forms. This week for multiple reasons I was an oobserver, a participant, a leader, and a listening ear to stressful and uncomfortable situations.

I’ve learned… witness…felt…experienced…and breathed in that…

there is …

TRUE Strength in patience

TRUE Strength in solidarity

TRUE Strength in professionalism

TRUE Strength in anger

TRUE Strength in controlling your anger

TRUE Strength in friendship

TRUE Strength in being brave enough to start something new and perhaps scary

TRUE Strength in facing down disease with a smile

TRUE Strength in venting

TRUE Strength in laughing

TRUE Strength in forgiving

The list could go on and on… I hope you find your TRUE Strength in many forms and continue to keep your eyes open to finding it in unexpected places!

the STRENGTH in muscles

“That’s a lot of weight to throw around for a girl”

… FOR A GIRL??!!! 

This is a real quote from a very well intending guy at my office gym as I was bench pressing… my warm-up weight. I smiled, thanked him, then added weight. After my fourth set of bench press and strict pull ups he followed with… “if you need me to spot you, let me know… and I’ve never seen a girl do pull-ups unassisted.”

I had to laugh when I answered… REALLY?? NEVER??

Since this exchange we’ve seen each other multiple times and I always enjoy when I pick up a dumbbell or weight that makes him do a double take. His response was honest and unfiltered… and to be honest and unfiltered… I should have probably been offended but I wasn’t really, I was kinda proud.

Proud because I am strong and I like challenging the idea people have about women and strength… in no way am I a super strength – super woman and strength and heavy weights are my biggest weaknesses.  BUT when I think about the not so distant past I like the change in myself and in my muscles. 

Only two and a half short years ago I was anything but strong. I was a weakling, running mile after mile, beating myself up and down. When I first started CrossFitting I was underweight, sick, and more focused on fitting into a size 0 pair of jeans than anything else.

The first few months of CrossFit was unlike anything I have ever experienced… I was terrible (and I DO NOT LIKE NOT BEING GOOD AT SOMETHING!!)! I struggled to even move the 45# bar. BUT my work ethic was excited by the challenge and a spark to turn myself around was ignited.

Here is a video of me after five months of CrossFitting: CrossFit New Albany 2010 Winter Challenge … still struggling with a 45# bar… and yes to all my CF friends… this is not full range of motion and bad technique 🙂

The road to where we are today has been long, challenging, and exciting…

AND it’s no where near to finished.

Today I start a strength cycle with my strength coach, Andy Katzenmoyer… OSU and NFL Football great. I started working with Andy to compliment my CrossFit training and it’s been an amazing experience. With him we are able to focus on imbalances and weaknesses which enhance CF training and expose areas of opportunity for improvements. Working with Andy has also allowed me to expand the coaching and expertise I receive. This has proven invaluable as I have become more serious about treating CrossFit as a sport, not just a workout. I fully believe it has been very important to my development as an athlete… and in maintaining sanity to have multiple outlets for development and coaching. At least for me, it has helped to have different environments to train and get after it. As I work with each coach and learn so many different things from each of them I’m learning more than I ever thought possible, reaching goals I didn’t even know could exist and am turning into a healthy, strong, powerful woman.

The change in myself… physically and mentally BCF and ACF (Before CrossFit and After CrossFit) is unbelievable. I love my curves… I finally have a butt!!  woo hoo! I am mentally and physically stronger and fully believe Strong is Sexy!  And I’m proud that I can shock a guy with how much I can lift… just watch out! I’m not stopping here!

I am still finding my TRUE Strength… may you too!

the STRENGTH in … not caring

“If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all” – Billie Holiday

the STRENGTH in NOT CARING?

Ouch… sounds harsh right?

I don’t mean that the way it may read… what I mean is… have (take?) strength in not caring so damn much whether or not you have someone else’s approval, take strength in being comfortable with your OWN approval, wants, and desires rather than caring so much about satisfying everyone else’s around you to the risk of jeopardizing yourself.

In no way am I proposing to go off all willy-nilly (yes I just said willy-nilly!)  and not care about anyone’s reactions or thoughts.  In contrast, wishing TRUE Strength to all of us who, so often put our own needs and wants to the back burner in hopes of keeping everyone else happy and approving.

A little story telling time?  Sure… growing up my father would ask my brother, sister and me what we wanted… it could be what we wanted for dinner, what we wanted to do that day, what we wanted to play (didn’t matter the question… nor our forthcoming answer) no matter what we answered, he’d say… no… that’s not ‘right’ we’ll eat/do/play this.  

My childhood was a constant guessing game –

trying to guess the right answer to the question asking what I wanted.

Am I holding back on purpose? No, not intentionally.  Am I afraid someone may think what I want or think is silly or unworthy… potentially. Do I seek certain people’s approval?  Yes… those who I respect and value the most I am, without intention, constantly checking in and checking back to see if they are approving and if they do approve I weigh the amount of approval and wonder if it’s matching how much importance I’m placing on the activity, goal, want, or desire.

Is this all an attempt to gain praise or attention?  NO… honestly it’s not.  I actually get embarrassed by praise or attention.  I do however, revel in the confirmation and affirmation that they approve of my choices and decisions.

 Each day is a struggle to even, truly know what I want, which explains why I look toward people I respect and value to get an assuring head nod (and maybe a nudge).  I’m working on this though.  I’m working hard to reduce my fear in speaking my mind, expressing my own goals, and share decisions without the sometimes paralyzing fear of “what will they think??”

As I let go of this fear, I’m gaining so much more… I’m gaining my own voice, self, wants, desires, and life.

I’m gaining my TRUE Strength

“You were born an original.  Don’t die a copy.” – John Mason

Daily Soundtack

What would be your soundtrack during the day?  Have you thought of an entrance song?

Sometimes all you need is a line from a song… After several conversations with friends over the weekend about the negative forces in our lives and negative influences that break people down I can’t get this one out of my head.

“I’d love to be the one who disappoints you when I don’t fall down.” – Limp Bizkit

Get after it… don’t let someone else put limitations on YOU. Be the one who disappoints them when you DON’T fall… and be strong enough and true enough to yourself to get back up when you do fall!

TRUE Strength