Friday, August 29, 2014

My life is like a chipper WOD

This is an old one from my archives.  I sent this out when I was coaching crossfit back in March.  I've been having a lot of moments this week wishing for a Groundhog Day and I needed to read this as a reminder to myself.  And oddly enough, we repeated this same workout I mention below yesterday, so it was fate.

Sometimes people ask me how I do it.  If you haven’t asked me, you may be thinking do what???  Live my life, that is what.  Honestly, sometimes I ask myself, “self, how do you do it?”, very rarely do I ask, “how are you going to do it?”.

To clarify, I don’t have a bad life, just a busy life- and I do a LOT of things.  I don’t like to be idle, and I like to learn as much as possible. I want to make sure when all is said and done that I made the most of my time on Earth.

A typical day for me consists of getting up at 4:25 AM and going to bed at 10:30 PM.  There are days when I literally don’t even have time to eat-(yes, Dave, I promised I will stop and eat lunch every day!)

People were asking me my advice for the 14.4 WOD (WOD is Workout of the Day).  In this chipper style WOD, are a myriad of things with a lot of reps- at first glance it can be downright daunting.  As I was in the first group from the box to tackle the WOD (go 5:30 AM!!!), I had no advice heading into it, but my own intuition- tackle one thing at a time, worry about nothing else until you finish what you are doing.

Then it dawned on me- I’m good at chipper WODs- partially because I have pretty good endurance, but partially because my life is like a chipper WOD.  Every day is filled with a myriad of activities, dishes, laundry, cooking, dishes, laundry, homework, getting kids ready, coaching, planning, posting, advising, shopping, cleaning, did I say dishes???  There have been days where I wake up and the day is so full, I blink and I’m back in bed again, without ever having sat down.

I cannot approach my days thinking, “how am I going to do this?”, I approach them like, “let’s do this”, I may not be all sunshine and rainbows when I say this (OK fine, I can’t rub the smile off my face when I see a full sink again), it’s true, I just LOVE doing dishes (insert sarcastic laugh), but the truth is, I have no choice but to do what I need to do. 

The same logic applies to a chipper WOD- if you are rowing 60 calories and all you’re thinking about is the inevitable fact that if you get off the rower, you have 50 TTB ahead of you, you are not really focusing like you need to (sometimes looking at the big picture can be pretty overwhelming).  When you are rowing, the only thing you should be thinking is, pull hard to the chest, 1, 2, 3 return—- that’s another calorie, yes, one pull closer to another one.  Not focusing completely on the task at hand can distract you from that task, make your performance drop, and simply weaken your mental edge.

“Slow and steady sets the pace.”

Have you ever seen the movie, GroundHog Day?  Bill Murray just keeps living the same day over and over.  How many times in life, have you wanted a groundhog day?  Some days before 8 AM, I’m ready for groundhog day- have you ever tried to make lunch for four kids, breakfast for five kids, all while trying to get said kids to eat that breakfast, get dressed, brush their teeth and pack their bags (while one is on task, the others will play)?  I’m pretty sure I could tame a pack of wolves now.  

Have you finished a WOD where you wanted a groundhog day?  Most of the times I have not- unless I performed extremely poorly at something I know I can do (double unders).  Here’s the thing, a WOD is something we train for by practicing skills and techniques, but looking at the big picture, what are you using the WOD to train for? Are you doing a competition, are you doing a race, are you just trying to stay in shape, are you challenging yourself?  What are you training for?

“Oh you want to know what I’m training for?  Life MotherF#$%er!”

And that sums it up, my life is a chipper, my WOD was a chipper, my performance in each helps me in the other.  

I have wanted a groundhog day, but honestly, they do not exist.  I cannot wind back time to try to start my day over, it’s just actually not possible.  

The same thing applies for a WOD, you cannot redo a WOD- you can do it again, but it will never be the same- how did you eat that day, what time of day did you do it, how much sleep did you get, did you wear the pink underwear instead of the blue, was it a full moon, did you use the same bar you used the last time, did you come in after a bout of road rage, did you have your protein 55 minutes before the WOD not 60?  All these things and more affect your performance.  Finishing a WOD and looking back, so many things could have happened, but what actually happened was the WOD and you did it.  

Most of the times, we think well if only this or only that- partial truth:  damn it if I didn’t do three sink fulls of dishes yesterday, my hands would be soft and supple and the TTB would have been faster, more truthful truth:  if I do extra TTB once a week after a grip intense WOD, I will train myself to tolerate them more, today was some damn good practice and a great reality check. The WOD is there for training, take from it what you may and move onto the next one.  We always do WODS again, I think we did Fran 4 times last year.  WODS are a dime a dozen, why waste your time and energy on one.  

Our weaknesses are being exposed.  Let’s take this next year to make them our strengths.  

I would love to be able to take away some arguments I’ve had with my kids or re do a day when I know they will be accidentally dropping a glass of milk right at a crucial moment, but it’s just not possible.  I take things away from each experience- kids don’t get glass, be more prepared, etc.  You learn something new every day.

You learn something new every WOD.  Stop focusing on the alignment of the stars during the WOD and start focusing on what you learned.  Own your WOD and your times because there is never going to be an exact redo!

Go into this week remembering that you only get one chance, make it a good one!

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