Monday, August 25, 2014

Never Finished

One year ago today, I stepped into a "box" for the first time to try CrossFit.  I have arrived early (most days before 5am) on close to 275 occasions since then.  I have stayed, longer than most, to attack my weaknesses.  I've lifted, run, pushed, pulled, jumped, planked, rowed, climbed, swung, stretched, rolled, flossed, slammed, flipped, kipped and dipped every week. I have NEVER, not even once, dreaded waking up at 4am to show up and work hard.  I sincerely have looked forward to each and every day I get to go in.

Some accomplishments and musings from the past year:
  1. I have learned about nutrition, supplements and body composition.  Most people don't eat nearly enough protein.  I do now - and it's not all bacon.   I try to make healthy choices 80% of the time and treat myself 20% of the time.  My weight has remained the same over the course of the past year but my body has changed significantly. I have gained lean muscle mass and lost fat for sure.
  2. I'm getting better at pushing my physical limitations without damaging my body.  A few WODs are not worth succumbing to a sidelining injury.  I almost always have a new area taped or compressed and people ask me what did I do now.  Luckily, my ailments have been minor and short-lived.  But the paraphernalia I've collected (mobility balls, elbow sleeves, knee sleeves, rock tape, etc.) is kind of impressive. I've never been out of the gym for more than a day or 2 because of a muscle strain.
  3. I'm really good at ignoring my mental limitations during a workout - Mind Over Matter.  There have been countless times I have looked at the board and secretly thought to myself, "Oh shit - no way can I do that!" and EVERY time - I've done it.  I may have scaled the weights or slowed the pace - but I've finished - every single time.
  4. I celebrate my accomplishments and let my failures fuel my next workout.  I'm not obnoxious with my PR postings on social media, but I've definitely given myself a shout out for a great workout, a heavy lift or a new skill.  Just not every time.  When I don't go as fast, or as heavy, or with the best form, I add it to my mental list of things to work on.  And with all the extra time I spend at the box, I get to run through this list quite often.
  5. I feel better at 41 than I did at 31 or even 21! I have stopped stressing over the scale and started to just enjoy what my body is capable of.  And for once in my life, I actually like the way I look. 
  6. I have fantasies about quitting my job and training full-time to become a Games athlete or a future NPGL draft pick.  I'm thinking 2016 or 2017.
  7. I have a bunch of new friends for whom I would do anything. That's pretty much everyone I WOD with on a regular basis, and those that I watch WOD when I am "recovering".  Basically, if we make eye contact anywhere close to the box - you're in this category.  There are 2 people in particular that I talk to everyday and consider to be close friends. One is my coach, and the other is a fellow athlete almost 20 years younger than me.  We overshare, geek out, support, and confide in one another constantly.  I cherish these friendships the most. 
  8. I am a living example to my kids. I know they are proud to have a strong mom.  The possibility  that they could be more fit because of me is invaluable.
  9. I have been first to finish and I have been last to finish.  I have been the girl with the most weight on her bar, and I've been the one with an empty bar.  I have learned that the only competition is with yourself.  Some days you make huge gains and other days it's back to the basics.  And that's all OK.  There's always more work to be done.  I'm never finished.
  10. I hope that I inspire people to follow their passions and "get it done".  For the past 10 months or so - I have posted a motivational quote on FB along with my morning check in to the box.  I find these quotes everywhere.  I rarely give credit to the one who said it (unless it's my own original of course).  Somedays they are timely and personally connected to something I'm dealing with, somedays they are just ones I think are cool.  Sometimes they are just stupid, tacky, or have nothing to do with working out.  They've sort of taken on a life of their own now, and even though I'm running out of material from my "library",  I will try to keep it up in some way.  Why?  because every once in a while I'll get a "thank you, I needed that" or a "love this one!" comment that will just make my day!
The coolest part about all of this is that I bet thousands of other people could write a blog post about their first year in CrossFit and it would look pretty similar to what I just wrote above.  So even though my experience is personal - for CrossFit - it's universal. While I like to feel unique and special, there's something about being part of a gigantic group of people passionate about the same thing that is insanely awesome.

So thank you CFKSQ and especially my coach, Everett, for every workout, cue, PR and chuckle. You have given me so many wonderful gifts this past year. I look forward to 300 WODS in my second year!

Special thanks to my husband, my partner in crime and life, for giving me the gift of time to dive into this new lifestyle.  I know he's my biggest fan. And while he may be a CrossFit widower - I'm quite certain he doesn't mind my new found confidence and muscles!!

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