Here we are again…week 17. I swear I have never done anything this long and the fact that I’ve been able to stick with this CrossFit thing continually amazes me. Fun also includes being down a total of 14 pounds so far. If you read Hannah’s post yesterday about measuring gains and losses you’ll have a better understanding of why this is so cool. Yes, weight has been lost (and will keep on that that trajectory), but muscle has also been gained. Like, a lot of muscle. I can see definition in my biceps (I’m still shocked I actually have them!) and I have ABS (I mean, I can feel them under the weight I still have to shed but holy cow they are THERE). Last night, I walked into the house after work, clad in my business lady attire (ugh, I know!), and greeted my roommate who happened to be home. We chatted for a few minutes and she stopped, looked at me, and said, “Your pants are too big for you.”
She was right.
The way my clothes fit is probably the biggest way I can tell that my body is going through some big changes. That, and the fact that we did a 5k run on Saturday and I COMPLETED IT (walk/run style but STILL) while actually having a conversation. I talked and ran at the same time. You guys. A mere couple of months ago I couldn’t run 200m (1/8m) without dying of asthma, let alone talk my way through it. It’s these little nuances I need to celebrate. I will. I am. (Oh god I just re-read the last two sentences and immediately had a mental image of will.i.am and now you will, too.)
But they haven’t all been good days. Lately, I’ve been forgoing Wednesday night comedy open mic at the Joke Joint to make it to the 6:30pm class at Solcana with Coach Marijke. Honestly, this might be one of the only things really keeping me sane navigating through some challenges in life and at work. Old me would have immediately taken these frustrations out with food, alcohol, and cigarettes (not saying I don’t still occasionally, people. I am human, after all). It’s just now I find myself looking forward to taking out those frustrations in the gym. Last Wednesday being no exception. After a grueling eight hours of office bureaucracy, I could feel my bad attitude seeping through my pores. That’s not a good thing. When that end-of-work bell rang, you can bet that I bee-lined it to the gym. I needed to. Now, the kicker here is that Wednesdays are known for being a longer metcon (read: cardio) workout, which we all know I…uh…do not love. Yet, I look forward to it. I know, I’m confused, too. I think it’s just about how I feel afterwards. For years I’ve heard people talk about this feeling but I had never experienced that change in outlook post workout until I started with Solcana CrossFit. I don’t know, I guess a mundane 30 minutes on the treadmill at the big box gym I used to go to once or twice a year just didn’t do wonders for my mental state. Probably had something to do with the fluorescent lighting, bad TV, and lack of community. I don’t know. Hear me out…when I arrive for the 6:30 Solcana class, I really don’t even like being around myself. I’ve got a bad attitude, can feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, and am annoyed by everything. And, to top it off, Wednesdays mean gymnastics. I never took gymnastics as a kid FOR A REASON. It’s not my strong suit. So, Wednesdays also mean going even further outside my comfort zone. BUT WITH RINGS. For the last however many weeks, Coach Marijke has been patiently working with me to get me comfortable with RINGS…and while I can’t yet do ring dips, I’ve been trying to master the front support. In the front support, you just try to maintain this hold for as long as possible. To give you and idea I’ve been working up to 6x 20 second hangs. It’s SO HARD.
And then, after the rings, we do the metcon. This particular week, I was still feeling pretty ho-hum at this point. There were just two of us in class with Coach Marijke, and the other gal was a visiting coach/trainer from a Florida CrossFit gym. She was buff and was nailing ring dips so I (if I’m being honest) I wasn’t super excited to see how I ranked with her in the impending metcon. Especially when I saw we were going to do 4 rounds for time of:
- 400 m run
- 12 overhead squats (recommended weight for women was 65lbs, I did 55lbs as I’m still really getting used to this lift)
–rest 1 min between rounds–
Now, a 400m run is typically a length and back of the alley just next to Solcana. It’s pretty dreary and rather long from one end to the other, meaning my brain has a rather difficult time with it. After the first two rounds of painfully running the alley fighting self doubt, I made a switch. I changed to two 200m runs, which include a tiny loop on the sidewalk that just seems so much more manageable. Semantics. Running is just a mental game, isn’t it? It helped, a ton. And I shared that little insight with my visiting classmate who seemed ever grateful and we actually ran the last 400m (two 200m) together. Yes. TOGETHER. See, we were on par for time with each other. Me. On par with a CrossFit coach visiting from Florida. I’m not sure how that is a thing but it was and I didn’t even realize it until the next day when Coach Marijke pointed that very cool observation out to me. Additionally, I was laughing and smiling by the end of this class. That’s just how CrossFit works for me. Sure, I can’t yet do ring dips…and I lifted light on the overhead squats…and my 5k time was slow…but holy cow if you look back to 17 weeks ago none of those things were even part of my vocabulary, so you know what? I’ll take it.
It’s these little nuances I need to celebrate. I will. I am.
Thanks for your continued encouragement for which I continue to be sincerely grateful.