Progress is Nice

With one thing and another I went a full week without doing Crossfit.  I was out of town, then sick, so it was Wednesday this week when I got back into the swing of things.  Anytime I miss more than once in a week, I feel like I have backpedaled.  It is worse if I am out sick for a week or two, being sick is hard on the body, plus the time missed, so it always feels more challenging.  Technically, while I was sick, I only missed about two sessions, so that was good.

On Wednesday, my trainer let me pick between two equally arduous looking WoD’s and I chose the one with a bit more running because that is where I need work.  I try to choose what will be the harder option, however, this time I think the running was the easier option – if your choice is running or cleans, pick running.  WAY easier.  The WoD was run across the field, back pedal (run backwards) to where you started, 5 burpees, 10 sit-ups, 15 mountain climbers – 10 rounds.

The reason this is a pretty big deal is that I do not think I’ve done 10 rounds in a WoD before and it was one of the WoD’s on the board.  This means it was one that the rest of the gym was doing as well.  Our trainer has been creating WoD’s for us and sometimes it is the same as what the gym is doing, other times it is a modification of what they are doing, and usually it is something tailored to us or a psychotic creation we are guinea pigs for (those are my favorites).  But on Wednesday, I did the WoD the rest of the gym did, even though it was 10 rounds, and Scott did not scale it back.  Slowly but surely I am making way up to the big kids table in Crossfit.  One day I will RX these puppies from beginning to end….

After I finished – and I finished!  Hooray!  I did 10 rounds!!  Major accomplishment right there – Scott went over some of the WoD’s we did, or more correctly, failed to do, when we first started.  He even put notes in the margin on ones we were not able to finish, or when ones were too hard.  There was one where we were doing front squats with a PVC pipe that I apparently couldn’t complete, which I find quite amazing now, but this is the reason he tailored so many of the WoD’s to us specifically. There for a while simply finishing a WoD was huge accomplishment and I would grin like a fool if I did what he wrote on the board for us because I was just so happy to complete it.  Now, I kind of smile but mostly just try to breathe.  The WoD’s got harder…

Part of what kept me coming back was always being able to do a little bit more and the constant encouragement of our trainer.  He never disparaged us or made fun of us or embarrassed us in any way for being so completely out of shape.  Will was never as bad as I was, but I was abysmal.  I initially walked into Crossfit Simple feeling embarrassed and was pretty ready to take whatever hits came my way, but always walked out feeling pretty confident and happy with no one having put me down.  After many failed attempts other places (SIU Rec, I’m looking at you) I simply cannot be happier with how nice everyone at Crossfit Simple has been and continues to be.

Even though I have lost a significant amount of weight, I still have a ways to go.  Sometimes I focus more on what I have yet to accomplish and less on what I have already accomplished and this week has been like that. Progress happens, but it is slow, and I lack patience quite often.  Call me Veruca Salt, don’t care how, I want it now.

Today, the WoD was holding a 45 pound barbell in the rack position while stepping up on a 12″ box (I kind of wonder if these were supposed to be box jumps, but if you make me hold something and jump simultaneously, I just fall over) then dips, then dumbbell pushpress, 21-15-9 reps, while running a lap in between each set of reps.  I am still not really great at running, although I am practicing and have signed up for 2 different 5K’s over the next two months to motivate myself to practice running on my own more.  However, going from running to stepping up on a box (“It’s easy.  It’s just walking,” our trainer kept saying, mischievous evil glinting in his eyes) really winded me.  I managed to do it all in 13:07 minutes, which I was happy with, but want to try to beat it by several minutes next time.

My epiphany of the day was that doing step ups with a 45 pound bar was really hard.  The first 10 were easy, but the rest were not.  Then I thought, “I’ve lost 60 pounds so far.  I used to just carry this 45 pounds, plus an extra 15, around on my person.  No wonder I was slow and tired a lot.  This thing is heavy!”  The step ups continued to suck and be hard, but I was much happier about them.  It made a lot of sense that I did not start out jumping on a box, but rather jump a few inches on a weight instead.  I am now curious how high I will be able to jump when I lose another 40 pounds.  I bet it is higher than my current 12″ box jump.

People who love Crossfit, I think love it for a variety of reasons, but for me one of the most solid and pleasurable reasons for love of Crossfit is tangible results at pretty much every stage.

You get better.  You get faster.  You get stronger.

You can always work on getting better, faster, and stronger.

Sometimes simply finishing a WoD is a huge accomplishment, like the 10 rounds on Wednesday, and other times it is lifting a heavier weight (new Personal Record, or PR, today for cleans!  103!  Happy dance!), and still others it is seeing how far you’ve come since you started.  I think that sometimes the weeks where actually getting to the gym and getting in the mindset of working are the hardest, you feel the biggest sense of accomplishment.

That said, I am going to be running a lot more over the next few months and I hope next time I do this workout, I can get 10:00 minutes or under.

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