And Time to Rest

Woke up Monday and felt awful.  I had dreams that I was smoking again and felt like I couldn’t breathe most of the night and woke up feeling congested and lethargic, with a sore throat.  Opted to stay home from Crossfit for the first time in a long time.  I hate to miss Crossfit, but I was exhausted.  Like, fall asleep while walking exhausted.  So I went back to sleep for two more hours.  Woke up for an hour and then took a two hour nap.

It is weird, and I am knocking on wood heavily right now, but the last two times I have felt like I was actively coming down with something, I have just ended up super sleepy.  I sleep for a couple of days and I am fine.  I still lose time on those days, but at least I do not feel like death warmed over.

The good news is with all of the sleep early on Monday I was still able to go and meet my mom at the Muny for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which neither Will nor I had seen before.  It was a great show and I was glad we were able to see it.  However, we didn’t get home until 1:00 am which is about 4-5 hours later than I like to be in bed.  I still had the sore throat on Tuesday and the lethargy, so I figured I would just stay home all day and baby myself so it didn’t turn into anything worse.

Today we had Crossfit again.  I am still sleepy all the time and I really didn’t feel like going but figured if I went I could always opt out of working out if I needed.  The running and warm up were KILLER.  I was totally sweaty and one of the other trainers asked me which workout we we doing and I said sheepishly, “Oh, um, yeah, still on the warm up.”

The workout was not as bad as it could have been.  75 Pullups.  Sounds easy, right?  Well, every time you rest in between sets you have to do a 100 meter farmer’s walk with over 20lb weights.  I figured even that would be easy as I did a farmer’s walk with 1 pood (roughly 36 pounds in each hand) on Friday.  I did not take into account that my arms would hate me by this point.  Also, the directions say ‘every time you take your hands off the bar’ so I figured I would just rest with my hands on the bar.  However, Scott is smarter than that (or possibly on to us) and said that any time we put our feet on the ground (or for me, the box because I am too short to reach the pull up bar, even the lowest one) we had to do the farmer’s walk.  It took me about 21 minutes.  I did roughly 5 sets of 15 each, so four Farmer’s Walks in the middle and my arms STILL hurt.

For the record, I prefer using kettlebells for farmer’s walk over dumbbells.  Dumbbells have the weight on either side, which tends to hurt my grip as I must not be grasping them evenly.  With kettlebells, all of the weight is in the middle, so it feels more balanced.  However, during the picking of weights I was in the rest room, so Scott picked out two 25 pound dumbbells for me.  I didn’t even realize until today that dumbbells were harder.

I’ve been doing ring rows instead of pullups for about year now, but over the past month or two switched to rubber band pullups.  I no longer need ALL of the rubber bands, just two of the thickest ones.  I still feel like the rubber bands are going to shoot me like Wiley Coyote over a bluff, but if it didn’t happen when I had all of the rubber bands, it probably isn’t going to happen now.

However, the downside is that someone has to pull the rubber bands down for me.  Again, I am short, and even though I try every single time to pull the rubber bands down low enough for my foot to be looped by them, I have yet to accomplish this.  Scott and Will both helped me at various points.  I have a constant fear of accidentally kicking one of them in the face.  Well, that is not true.  I fear kicking Scott in the face.  Will, not so much.  He once let go of the rubber bands in such a way that nearly knocked me off of the stool, then laughed because he’s evil.  So with him, I try to mainly not fall.  My priorities when dealing with rubber bands tend to be: 1. Don’t kick Scott (or Will, so ok, he’s evil, but I like his face) in the face
2.  Get foot in rubber band loop 3. Don’t fall 4. Don’t fall with foot in the loop as it will be not only painful, but quite the graceless sight of arms and legs akimbo.

Anyway, the thing I was excited about and the reason for this entire post is that I actually completed the workout today.  I woke up feeling like crap, pretty certain I would not be able to do the WoD.  The warmup made that more of a certainty instead of less of one, but I still did the WoD just fine.  Probably not my best score ever, but on days like today finishing was my primary goal.  Well, finishing and not falling off of my pullup box while my foot was still trapped in rubber bands.  I met those two goals splendidly and then sat, breathing heavily and grinning like a fool while Will finished his workout.

Oh, did I mention that I beat his time?  Today is totally full of nifty accomplishments.


Thank God for Crossfit Trainers

Yesterday at Crossfit, I was very much not in work out mode.  I felt like crap, still felt tired, slept poorly and my arm still hurt from yoga the day before. My fault, I overstretched when I knew better. When we did overhead barbell squats I was relieved that Scott, our trainer, felt the need to spot me (normally I am uncomfortable being hovered over – even though I understand the necessity – as it makes me self conscious) because I was seriously worried about braining myself with the bar.

I felt out of balance and wonky.

Prior to starting the workout, I told Will I didn’t want to do it. The workout didn’t look too bad and was a fairly straightforward and fun one, really, but I just had this ball of dread. It was just one of those days where everything felt harder than usual. I was almost, almost, in tears of dread before we got to the workout itself (except there is no crying in Crossfit, much like baseball) and wanted to not do it, but couldn’t justify that decision to myself. Dread is not a reason to not do something.

I remembered my father once telling me that one of the things he learned in boot camp was his physical limits. He said that most people never know what their physical limitations are because they are never pushed past them – they give up before they actually reach their limits. He said that in boot camp he learned exactly where his limits were, which is why he always seemed to be able to do more than most people. I think about this when I want to quit. I think about my dad running in boot camp, dropping and throwing up, then having to get up and keep running. What I am doing is not that hard in comparison.

Anyway, we rowed for 20 calories (about 2-3 minutes unless you row really hard), did 20 wall ball shots, 20 med ball situps, and 20 med ball walking lunges with the ball overhead.  Anyway, we did 3 rounds for time.  The VERY FIRST wall ball shot went askew and I got the ball in the face.  I caught most of it, but my nose and left eye caught the rest.  It hurt.  Like, I have taken wall balls in the face (there is a dirty joke there somewhere) before and just shook it off, but this one I actually had to stop and assess whether or not I was ok.  I felt like my brain sloshed around in my head and hit my skull a bit. Which would mean I have a small brain so clearly that is not what really happened, but it is how it felt at the time. However, as there was no blood and just a mild head pain, I went ahead and continued, but I will say it slowed me down right out of the gate.

Anyway, It took me over 6 minutes to do the first round and about 6 minutes for the second round.  Scott told me at the beginning of round 2 that he wanted me to get it in 18 minutes or under. I am not sure that I did not give him a look of “Are you effing kidding me?!”  Will kept distracting me during round two with questions I had no breath to answer.  Anyway, I was at over 12 minutes in the beginning of round 3 and tired as hell.  I did the row much faster than I did the first two rounds – 1:45 instead of 2:30, and I figured I would need those extra two seconds.  Anyway, I got to the wall balls and Scott is pretty much standing over me with the timer, and counting me through everything, including giving me some rests.  I really thought that I would throw up during the sit ups, but managed to get it in 17:36.

When I stopped wanting to cry or throw up, I managed to stretch for a bit.  Before he left I thanked him for pushing me so hard.  Sometimes I really need to be pushed in order to make it. My brain will tell me that I cannot do something.  I tend to believe my brain.  But I also believe Scott when he says I can do something, as he is rarely wrong.  I believe him over my brain because fundamentally, my brain wants to go watch a movie while eating snacks, so it cannot be trusted.  I also have that need to live up to expectations and a competitive streak, so I want to win, I want to hit the time he sets for me.  During the second round I felt like there was no way I would hit 18 minutes for this workout and I wanted to cry, but instead I turned that anxiety and anger into energy to put in the workout.

I hate to fail at Crossfit.  Hate it. I’ve even been told that failing is sometimes the point, as when lifting weights. You lift till failure, so failure is kind of the point. Still hate it, though.

Anyway, I thanked him for pushing me today and he said no problem and that he didn’t think I was going to make it – meaning 18 minutes or under.  I said that I didn’t think I would, either – although I didn’t think I was going to make it to the end of the workout the urge to quit was so strong.

A lot of my friends work out at home. Some of them do Nerd Fitness and things like that where the thing that motivates them is them. I am always really impressed by this because I need about 10 external factors to override the naysayer in my brain that wants me to quit and go home. As time goes on that naysaying voice gets quieter and further away, but on days with little sleep or some other mitigating factor, the naysayer is louder than normal.

To all of you out there motivating yourself and exercising by yourself – you have my respect and admiration. This shit is hard to do alone. You rock.

To all you Crossfit trainers out there – you rock, too.  Many of us couldn’t do this without you, including me.  You get attitude, you get people grumpy and short of breath, you may even get glares and sarcastic comments (I’ve called our trainer a sadist to his face many times, but luckily he knows I am joking & he chooses to take it as a compliment), but truly, you are awesome and necessary.  Thank you for pushing us and inspiring us.  Thank you for telling us we can do it when we think we can’t.  Thank you.

Chaos, Order, Muppets, and Marriage

My friend Mary recently linked to this article on Facebook about Chaos Muppets and Order Muppets.  I found it to be a very interesting article – I love muppets and ways of categorizing people – and thought initially that I must be the order muppet while Will is the chaos muppet.  After all, I keep track of the bills, appointments, deadlines to various things, and I usually know what day it is (both day of the week and date, something Will finds to be a challenge).  I also know where everything is unless I happen to need my car keys or my sunglasses – those two items constantly elude me.

Then I went outside to water the plants.  In the process of watering the plants I broke the hose we were using because unlike Will I just fold the hose in half to take the attachments off instead of turning off the water, messing with attachments, then turning the water back on.  Well, if you fold a soaker hose in half in the same place over and over again, it just rips in two.  I know.  It happened to me.  I was also soaking wet at this point from the soaker hose, the attachments, and various mishaps in handling the sprayer attachment.

Will takes the hose, fixes it so that the attachment can be attached, finishes watering things in a very orderly manner and somehow manages to stay completely dry throughout the entire process.  It was like some weird sort of magic or possibly deflector shields (I am betting on deflector shields).

It was then that I realized – I am the Chaos Muppet.

A flood of memories from our marriage then consumed me.  When we were 22, just married and living in the trailer Will could never find the dishes because I put them away randomly, wherever there was space.  I always remembered where I put them so it didn’t bother me, but Will never had a clue where anything was.  The very next place we lived in he labeled all of the shelves in the kitchen (why oh why did I let him get a label maker?!) so that I would put things away in the same place over and over again.  I still find having to put dishes away i the same over and over again a bit restrictive and confining.

On occasion, sleeping is boring, so I will sleep upside down on the bed.  Changes the perspective of the room and is slightly disorienting when you wake up, something I enjoy.  Will does not enjoy this.  I often wonder if he has wall to wall crap in the house simply because otherwise I would re-organize the furniture every month.

There was the time when I was still petrified of spiders where I tried to kill one using a lighter plus a can of hairspray (which Will managed without incident all of the time) and managed to burn over half of a blanket instead while the spider seemed just fine until flaming blanket fell on it.  The chaos part of this is that I let the blanket burn until the spider was dead.  Then I dealt with the fire part of things.

Blanket fringe is apparently very flammable, you’ve been warned.  In my defense, it was one of those jumping spiders and when I moved it tracked me, on its back four legs, the front four being raised in scary Attack Jay’s Face position.  That spider was the aggressor and needed to be destroyed.

That said, I do keep our DVD’s in alphabetical order and I keep our mass market paperbacks in alphabetical order by author’s last name, but we have so many of those things that this is really specialized laziness.  I do not want to take five years finding that one book in a sea of a thousand books.  The other books are shelved seemingly randomly, but in actuality they are shelved according to size.  Will this book fit on this shelf?  Yes?  Hooray!  No?  Find a bigger shelf!  Will has complained about this method of shelving to me, but without building me new shelves where all books fit and can be placed alphabetically, there is no hope for it.

Will is also really good about going along with my various whims.  We’re vegan!  We’re doing Weight Watchers!  We’re counting calories!  I am going to run a 5K – hooray for couch to 5K!  I am going to walk every day!

Crossfit has been one that actually stuck longer than my usually 7-8 month window of interest.  Probably because every day there is something different to do and that appeals to my chaos muppet brain.

When I told Will of the theory of chaos muppet and order muppet, he already knew which muppets were which and he also knew that he was the Order Muppet.  He actually laughed when I said that I initially thought I was the Order Muppet and said, “Oh, honey.  No.”

I’d take offense, but yesterday when I went to water the plants he told me that the new nozzle he put on “sprays back a bit” which I took to mean was slightly leaky.  I came in drenched, water dripping off my nose and hair and said that I needed a bit more explanation than “sprays back a bit” should such a situation arise in the future.  Order Muppets know this means “don’t use that nozzle” whereas Chaos Muppets think, “hey, how bad could it really be?”