Saturday, February 14, 2015

The CrossFit Open Is Coming

So, there's some excitement in the air at the box. The CrossFit Open is coming in about two weeks. It's funny when someone asks me why I care or why I'm doing it. Friend: You pay $20 to do 5 mystery workouts and you know you're not going to make Regionals and you're going to put your body in extreme duress for anywhere from 5-15 minutes? Me: Didn't you pay $30 to run a 5K over and over again last summer, what's the difference? Here's one main difference: The CrossFit Open only shows up once a year, it's like Christmas for cross fitters.

Let me stress this again:  $20 for a 5 week fitness test/competition that you get ranked and scored.  I've done several team and one individual competition last year, you're talking $60-100 for each one.  This is bargain city!

Let me set up a scene that happened to me last year: I had a class Thursday night (WODs are posted at 7PM on Thursdays), and I secretly had my phone on my lap hidden under my notebook so I could keep hitting refresh because darn it all, it's 7PM according to my iPhone, and Apple doesn't lie, so where was the workout, what is it, why isn't it posted yet? My heart was pumping, was it going to be something I could do, please don't be overhead yet, I want to rest my shoulder one more week.  Finally, the actual workout popped up, I could do it,- there I was in class planning "how will I do it, how will I do my best,". That night, driving home, I'm running through a playlist, get in the house, don't even care if the kids ate, I've got a million things to do to prepare for this workout, like make a playlist-most importantly, also yes, choose an outfit because how will I be successful with snatch without my snatch shirt.  Then, Dave drops a bomb, "I have soccer"- buzz kill, now I am hustling to get my kids in bed so I can make a playlist with upbeat music that makes people want to rip a tree out from its roots and toss it across the street with one fell swoop- pick out my magical PR outfit and get to bed before 11. Now it's AMRAP search and download on iTunes!! I put all my WOD clothes on to save time in the morning, jump into bed, and I couldn't fall asleep, I kept thinking, how many snatch should I do at a time, I wonder if my double unders will be fluid, it literally felt like I was a kid so excited the night before Christmas and couldn't fall asleep- I literally resorted to counting sheep (and it worked).

Let's pause for a second. Rewind, Wednesday night, I worked, I came home, put the kids to bed, did dishes, switched the laundry, checked my email and Facebook, watched Cake Boss, and fell asleep. Compared to Thursday, my Wednesday was super boring. One thing I love about the open is it adds some excitement to our lives, gives us something to look forward to, something to get our heart rate up, something to keep us guessing. In life, as we get older, I feel like these moments become fewer and further between. I love the fact that even on a daily basis, CrossFit gives some excitement to my life, be it when I'm dropping in at another box and I don't know the WOD, or I'm repeating another WOD, looking for an improvement, testing one of my maxes, trying something new, attending a class with people I don't normally WOD with,  there's always something different and it keeps me coming back for more.

Forward to Friday: opened box, warmed up, drank pre WOD drink late- who cares if I pee my pants, not this girl, WOD's about to start, got my outfit on, wrist wraps tight, sneakers are tied tight twice, hair is secured, I set on my music nice and loud, walk up to the bar, my heart is pumping, I'm kind of sweating already, almost out of breath before the clock starts, this is it, the next ten minutes it's me, the bar, and the jumprope, nothing else matters... errach insert record scratch forward to the first 5 seconds of the WOD... I keep messing up my double unders, instead of focusing on my rope, I'm listening to all the other ropes moving still and I'm jammed up, I start, get two, jam it up again, my heart is in my stomach, in my head, for the first time in crossfit, I say to myself "just quit, do it again later". I kept going.

That's right, I kept going. The entire WOD I was out of breath, it was unbelievable to me, I have pushed through some 25 minute WODS and not felt like that, not even in the sprint ones like Grace or Fran had I ever felt like this. Honestly, I kept defeating myself in my mind, over and over again. I kept telling myself "who cares, just drop the bar, you aren't going to Regionals, just get ten double unders, who cares". 

I'll tell you who cares,.... I DO!!! I care, I realized I was trying to perform to meet someone else's expectations, when really do people have expectations for me?- NO, they don't. CrossFit isn't about you vs. me it's about me vs. me, it's about me being happy with me and me being the best I can be. Do I think I was the best I could be that day?-... heck no!!!!

“Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.”
― Mandy Hale,

I took a wrong turn, I kept beating myself up through the WOD. Normally during a WOD,  I keep repeating to myself that I'm not just a mom and that who says having kids has to set you back, or that I'm small and who says you can't be strong because of your size.  No, I'm not going to Regionals, but I want to end the WOD knowing I tried the best I could, I pushed as much and as hard as I could, and that I feel successful.  Having this opportunity to put yourself on the same level playing field as everyone else, it's exciting. It's eye opening, and puts things in perspective. 

Remember this: No one else cares how you do as much as you do, it's you against you.  If you leave feeling satisfied, everyone else will too. Leave your fears of what others might expect from you at the door, come in and give it your best shot.

"We are practicing not weightlifting but commitment. Commitment spawns success. Only by redoubling our efforts do we best succeed. Expecting success to motivate our efforts is the loser's gambit." -Greg Glassman

I am motivated this year to do the open by the things I could not achieve last year.  I am excited to approach each and every workout with my best foot forward, I'm not looking for Regional status, I'm looking for 1 rep, 1 second, 1 pound, 1 more positive thought, even 1 breath to show me that yes, all my hard work this year paid off and I am a stronger better version of ME!   I am motivated by what I struggle with to train hard for what I want to achieve.

This week, set your mind straight. Don't say "I can't do that." Instead, how about, "I'm going to find the strength."

Hey Crossfit Open 2015 I'm not afraid of you, but you should be afraid of me!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Celebrating PR's

PR- Personal Record

What do you consider to be a PR?  Is it a number, a value, a weight, an accomplishment that has a measurement, an ability, an action- I consider it to be all of these.

Today, at crossfit, one of my friends did something she had never done before.  When you enter your score in our system, if you achieve a higher weight, you get a gold medal next to your name.  This is nice for a coach to see to show that the programming is effective and that people are getting results.

I'm not going to lie, it is nice to see a gold medal by my name.

Back to my friend, she was upset because she had never done this movement before (PR right there) and so her entry was new and did not get a PR since there was no previous record to measure against.

The coach said "you don't need a fake yellow measure to tell you that you are doing great!"

I loved it so much.  Seriously, the little yellow medal only shows up for weight lifting numbers, and for benchmark wods.  It does not show up for the following:

- you committing to join.
- you signing up and showing up
- you showing up before the sun rises day after day
- you showing up when the thermometer doesn't even tip 0'
- you showing up the morning after a blizzard
- you sweating profusely through your clothes because you are working as hard as you can
-you willingly admitting and modifying movements you are not yet capable of, but still participating with 110%
-you never ever ever quitting
- you gasping for air, but still moving
- you completing a task you were not capable of before
- you reaching a range of motion once unattainable

The gold medal does not show up for lots of things, but here's what does.  Shouts, cheers, claps, jumping- that's what!  Sometimes we don't need a gold medal to be near our name, we can let everyone else know by our reactions.  I tend to do a cartwheel when I do something I once could not do before.  The gold medal is not watching you day in and day out, but I'll tell you who is, your coaches and your wod mates- we are there for you, we notice things and we recognize things the gold medal knows nothing of.

I can see the determination in your face when you are pushing hard, I can see your frustration when you are trying something that is difficult, I see your excitement when you surpass your own expectations, I see the glow in your skin, I see the confidence in your stride, I see the gains in the muscles you are starting to build, I see the progress in your movements, I see the sweat angels you leave on the floor- I do not let these things pass me by as the gold medal so often does.

The gold medal is cool and can make you feel special, but so can you.  When you get a PR, whatever it is, even if it's not quantifiable or measurable, I better find out about it by your reaction, I better hear you scream or see you do it.  I want to feel the vibes shooting through the room.

What you are doing every day you show up, you are working towards that numerical PR, you are striving for that gold medal.  That gold medal pales in comparison to the rewards you are getting every day.  You are being rewarded with a healthier longer life because of a better, stronger, more confident you.

Focus on the work, sweat, range of motion, and just the bigger picture.  The work you are doing is never unnoticed.  We see it all and we are damn proud.  One of the best parts of my job as a coach is being able to cheer someone on and to celebrate PR's, big, small, tiny, minuscule, it doesn't matter.  Show up, sweat, fight, grunt, breathe hard, push through, carry on, and you will always have a gold medal in my eyes.