Posts tagged crossfit
Posts tagged crossfit
Studies show that sleep can improve strength, speed, agility and reaction time… it also helps with muscle memory and can make people less prone to developing diabetes, obesity, hypertension… the list goes on and on… even the Huffington Post has an entire online section dedicated to Sleep.
Between books, the boardroom, box jumps and buying a house, as you can likely tell from my lack of blogging, I’ve had a hard time fitting everything in. My past few months of adventures have put an exclamation point on what I learned about myself during the nutrition challenge earlier this year. While strapped for time my diet and exercise might ebb and flow, but I cannot skimp on sleep. Mo sleep, Mo better Sarah… perhaps this has become clearer with age. My nights of all-nighters are over, with a good nights rest I am a high-functioning energetic superwoman, but without it, I’m a sluggish bump-on-a-log crabby pants. So, while attempting to catnap after my workout this morning, I jotted down a few sleep suggestions that seemed fitting given my recent adult-group house escapades. Yup, I’m a 30-something who lives in a group house right now… I’m attempting to reclaim my 9 hours of nightly shut-eye:
I may have been covered in hives, but along the way… I soaked up a whole bunch of inspiration at Aspen Crossfit… inspiration sometimes comes in the form of high-altitude double unders, a 1K row and bear complex.
"We cannot become what we need to be remaining what we are." - M. Dupree
For some reason my red lulu leggings make me feel invincible – like a shank-style super girl. I’m not really sure why… but they exude some air of confidence, an unexplainable energy. Wearing them for the past two days worth of workouts (yes, two days)… seems to have offered some sort of clarity among my moments of crazy.
It’s been a rough few weeks. Loads of life updates: I’ve moved. I’ve started graduate school. I’m trying to buy a house. And… all the while, I’m still attempting to balance work and workouts. As 32 draws closer, I find myself questioning where I fit in the world, reviewing and re-evaluating. DC is expensive. Time is a hot commodity. How do you balance everything and still remember to breath?
Going back to school has been stressful. Fear can be consuming. I feel like a ticking time bomb. Turning in my first assignment earlier this week was much harder than walking into any gym, running Murph alone, or battling through a Cold War. The sense of self-doubt was draining, suffocating, stifling… then it erupted into every other aspect of my world. Making me question my choices… life path… is this a good idea? what will it get me? will I succeed? Change is uncomfortable and daunting and awkward. It’s hard and scary. It pushes you into new places, but it also makes you want to retreat.
Carrying around bricks has proven to be much easier than books. I’d rather have sore abs or quads! The gym is my comfort zone. I’ve come to grips with my only hour-long sweat sessions, but I already feel lonely on the path less traveled – reading, writing, scratching my brain. I miss my 6:30 “happy hour.” Between battling Annie yesterday (with my best time yet) and standing in a deep warrior two this afternoon, something clicked. I am strong. I can find comfort in the current. My perspective will dictate my performance. I have the opportunity to choose my own outlook and outcome.
What I work through now, will ultimately lead to something bigger and better and brighter. Self-construction is positive, be it in the classroom or in a gym. Life works out as planned. It pieces itself together. Instead of staring down the next three years, I have to take a step back, breathe, and then fight through one day at a time. Like pushing through a plateau – the mindset is the same – it’s about self-awareness and mental fortitude. Turn of the brain. Believe in yourself. Trust. Do. I’m tougher than I think I am and I have to recognize that.
As I kicked up into my first hand-stand during a lunch time power-hour with the yoga mat, the instructor taped me on the back and whispered, “nice work.” Perhaps it was the validation I needed to regain my super-powers.
Or maybe it was the fact that today is my Friday.
Or maybe it’s last night’s liquid sangria courage still talking.
Or maybe, it really does have something to do with the red pants.
Success is the sum of small efforts… repeated day in and day out… I’ve learned that…
I did my first pistol!! Okay, well technically two pistols. I didn’t have on lifting shoes and they sure weren’t pretty… but they happened. At 6AM. After a brutal 20min AMRAP practicing some much needed skillz!
It’s sometimes hard to remember that the deeper you delve into the well of CrossFit, the further apart the big wins become. Trust me. There are many days, as I see the people around me PRing, when I need that reminder. It isn’t always about giant jumps in weight or topping the leader board - it’s the day in and the day out, adopting the mantra that this is where I am now, but if I keep pushing, eventually, the next piece will fall into place. I have more than a book of evidence - descriptors of the daily grind - pages of tiny celebrations. Sometimes that mental happy place isn’t as easy to find as it sounds.
It’s the small successes that mean the most. Regardless of the size of the accomplishment, today I am better than I was yesterday. I have to take a step back and remember that it isn’t about the person next to me or the people in the afternoon class - it isn’t about judging myself against them or putting pressure on myself for an imagined image of what I should accomplish or where I should be - it’s my own journey and today, I did something that I never thought I’d ever do.
A 1:36 400m run. Light bulbs about HSPUs. Friday. Pistols!!!
What more can a girl ask for? Hells yeah!
There are days when I am an eat-o-saurus. Today is one of those days. Thank you back squats.
The faded sharpie-written number 2003 peeks out from my sweater sleeve along my forearm and an outline from the dark black stripe of K-tape is barely noticeable through the bright orange on my back. My turfed arena playground isn’t understood by most of my colleagues – so I’d have a hard time explaining my weekend of competitive combat… a Cold War team-reunited, battling against our own gym frienemies.
The 2 days involved everything from yolk carries and sled pulls, to Husafell stone holds and long lasting inversions. Our cars made a mini fortress surrounding an indoor battle ground… we looked like a sort of super strong homeless contingent; rolling out on folded refrigerator boxes and catching cat naps under stolen spots of shade. We woke up way to early. We laughed. We strategized. We nearly won one. This time we may have known more of what to expect, but the butterflies were just the same. Here is a short list of some newly discovered lessons learned:
Maybe it was the return of the neon wrist band… or what we’d like to call the “dreamcatcher…” but consistent finishes landed us in second place on the podium in the scaled division. We didn’t cheat range of motion. We didn’t yell at judges. We inducted a competition newbie. And, our tradition of celebration post-comp pizza continued.
The weekend moved to fast. It feels slow in the moment – 30 seconds of thrusters feel like eternity, but the 6 WODs disappeared into thin air and you want to go back and do it again - but perhaps that’s just my post-comp energy and glow working. In a blink, it’s back to business black. As I made my way to CrossFit this week, I worked out the kinks, pulled off the K-tape… The weekend wasn’t just about a win, it was a kick-start to my motivation, another reason to keep pushing forward. Inspiration in observing others – watching friends struggle - digging within myself. The quest continues. Pull-ups… watch out, I’m coming for you.
Team Too Tall takes second in the scaled division at the Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Challenge this past weekend.
Boom! March 26, 2012: Rope climbs = impossible. December 10, 2012: Two assents to the top. April 25, 2013: 8 to the top, mixed in with snatches. Boom! Progress. Thank you 366 days of fit finding for that reminder. I needed it.
I’m coming up on two years of crossfit… between all the time and money invested, I think that on the whole, my moments of mayhem in the gym, on the race course and twisting in a room without mirrors has made me a better athlete and a better person. I’ve sort of grown into myself. If I were to look in the mirror, I’d see that behind the crazy hair and melty mascara, there is a more self-aware reflection… the mirrored image likely wouldn’t do the transformation justice. In all honesty, I’d never really dreamed of achieving even some of my successes or thought that in the process of finding strength, I’d also figure out food. I never anticipated that soul searching with the stars would teach me to quell fear or that I’d find inspiration in the folks that surround me daily at a gym. Over the last few years, I slowly figured myself out, trusted my gut and relied on my own intuition… life, in turn, pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Along the road, I’ve found that life is often fueled by change. Scary but true. As I look ahead toward new adventures, I’m excited at the world of possibilities… the promise of lots of laughs… the excitement of new experiences. But change isn’t always comfortable in the moment that it happens. It’s hard – perhaps that’s what makes it good. I believe that the quotes in the frames that are now boxed up on my living room floor talk about how things always happen for a reason and to just start somewhere. As life shifts, I’m closing the current chapter, taking a leap, and jumping into something new… starting somewhere.
Health and fitness is one of the most important things in my life. Yet, in the midst of a million exciting new changes, I find myself somehow triaging life duties… exercise being the first and biggest causality. Tending to the most needed items first – I’ve been picking sleep over strength. I’m proud of myself for managing to keep my diet in check, but not proud of the numbers on the board or my recent habit of self-judgment and comparison. It’s hard to see everyone PR and be happy for them while you struggle with the basics… while you yearn for the competition, camaraderie and available gym time that you watch them expend. As they get better, I feel more and more stalled. Stuck in a sort of in-between… unable to make workouts my world… but wanting to continue to excel. Instead, I’m caught balancing work and packing and soon school and life in general. I’m plagued by lack of sleep and super stress – each in itself is enough to destroy progress. A fact that I know well. It’s only been a week of irregularity, but I feel awkward and heavy… the loop around the building seems foreign and fierce. I’ve hit a plateau. I’m back at the beginning. The things that felt flawless a week ago now just feel broken and belabored.
In my non-gym life, I’m the luckiest girl in the world, but when it comes to my athleticism, I feel like everything is somehow cruelly unfair… and it bleeds over into the day-to-day. My confidence is faded. My realm feels rocked. I’ve come to the stark realization that I am not a super-hero; I am not genetically modified. The hour of the day that once set me free now feels suffocating; it leaves me breathless. But I know, it’s a double edged sword, a necessary evil.
So, how do I start over? Push past? Rekindle my romance with workouts? How do I remind myself that it really isn’t about how much I can deadlift or if I can touch my toes to the bar… Even if everyone else is focused on the former, how do I zero in on having it be about building a better me, one day at a time. Maybe even one step at a time.
Today, I started just somewhere. Coaxing myself into the box. Forcing myself to approach the bar. Gutting through the wod with tears in my eyes. End goal: finish. That alone is sometimes harder than ever imagined. I’m trying to erase all expectations. Wage war on my brain; quiet the voice inside my head. Stop thinking. Stop judging. I need make peace with falling and failure and unfairness. I need to remind myself of the small successes… that in the last two years I’ve gotten faster. I can do a pull-up. I can climb a rope. I bend deeper and twist further. I trust myself.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just have to convince myself to keep walking forward.
Don’t forget that at the end of the day it’s all meant to be fun!! Love this video!