27 January 2013

Starting is the hardest part


The past week or so has been a bit of a revelation for me, a learning experience if you will. Two weeks ago I was on top of the world. I was feeling awesome. I was killing every single workout. I felt like there was no stopping me. Then I got a head cold. Then I stopped eating. And the wheels fell off the bus big time. Friday I didn't know how I was going to get moving again. Then yesterday happened.

Although I kind of didn't feel like it, I forced myself to head out to Crossfit yesterday morning. I hadn't gone in 3 days and needed to get back in the groove. I walked in and saw the Filthy Fifty on the board. Oh Crap!!!! The Filthy Fifty is:

  • 50 box jumps
  • 50 pull ups
  • 50 kettlebell swings
  • 50 walking lunges
  • 50 knees to elbows
  • 50 push presses
  • 50 good mornings
  • 50 wall balls
  • 50 burpees
  • 100 jump rope (this should be 50 double unders but I can't do 50 yet)
I saw that and thought, great, I've just taken 3 days off because I wasn't feeling well and I come back to this. CRAP!!! Oh, there is also a 30 minute time cap. But as I stood there something inside got excited. I can do this!!! I want to do this!!!! I am going to kill this workout!!!! I was actually looking forward to it.

Standing at the starting line looking at the distance you have to cover is always the scariest part. As I stood looking at the board I thought about the 500 total reps that have to be done in 30 minutes. I thought about the moves that I'm not good at. I thought how hard this was going to be. Then I started thinking about the moves I'm good at. I can rock 100 jump ropes in a minute, easy. I can swing a kettlebell like no one's business. Push presses?? Piece of cake. Box jumps? Psssh...I got that. As I stood there I not only focused on the things I was good at, also developed a strategy for the things I wasn't good at. Break each move down into smaller chunks. Don't think about the 50, think about the smaller chunks.

Once we got started, I went at it with a kind of laser determination. I took each move and focused on it. I broke each 50 down to 10 at a time. Got through 10, took a short break, and on to the next 10. Never once did not finishing cross my mind. Never once did I consider reducing the number of reps - though that was an option. I did 50 of each and I just kept going. As I neared the end I had burpees and jump rope left. I knew I could knock out the jump rope in a minute or so, so I did that first. I was left with burpees. I started cranking them out, in this case I focused on 5 at a time. I was tired and burpees are hard. 5. Then 5 more. Then 5 more. Then 5 more. Then 5 more. Time was running out. I started my next 5, only to get 1 done and hear TIME!!! Crap. I didn't finish the Filthy Fifty. I was 24 burpees short. I was upset.

I was a little bit bummed out as I jumped on my bike and headed home. As I rode, I thought about Crossfit. I started Crossfit almost exactly 5 months ago. I don't remember the details of that first workout, but I do remember it was 7 minutes and included wall balls. I also remember that I thought I was going to die. It was hard. Really, really, hard. But I was hooked. Over the course of that 5 months I have lost about 15 pounds, gained tons of strength, and more importantly found myself again.

I have come so far in the past 5 months, I can't even begin to catalog all the ways I've changed. I thought about that all the way home. I thought about the things I do now that I could never have done 5 months ago - like an ass almost on the ground squat. I thought of all the things that have changed; my weight, my appearance, my pants size, my self confidence, my attitude. I thought of that first 7 minute workout and the 30 minute one today. And I smiled. A. Lot. I am awesome proud of myself and I almost did the Filthy Fifty!! I almost completed it. Next time I will complete it. Next time I will completely kill it, because next time I'll be even better than I am now.

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