Building a Gym (and a routine)

Oh man, what a crazy few months it has been.  I dropped out of my CrossFit gym, put our house on the real estate market, and bought a new house; all of this on top of the usual craziness which I think exists in everyone’s lives.

The biggest thing for me recently has been building a new routine.  With my new job, I don’t have to be out of the house until 0730 (before I had to be on the road by 0630).  Now, I thought I would just have a more relaxed morning but I forgot that I have two sides to my sleep switch…8 hours or less consistently and fine or more than 8 hours has to be 10 or more.  There is no happy medium.  So, I’m still working on this because I like to sleep but I also like to work out (best accomplished in the morning), help hubs with our dogs and tiny human, and have some breakfast.  But, honestly, since we have moved I’ve just been sleeping in and having useless mornings… I hope to change this soon and settle into a better, more helpful, routine.

The gym has been a challenge but I was thrilled that hubby and I have been keeping up our fitness enough that we killed a 4 mile run on thanksgiving!  We both recently joined the online CrossFit community of Street Parking.  SP offers multiple versions of the daily WOD that vary on the equipment you may have access to.   So, we we are slowly building our home arsenal.  I have noticed that many SP members are basically my age with tiny humans who make getting a workout in more difficult so the support in the community is great!

So we are working on building up just enough equipment to approach most of the SP workouts.  So far we have a set of adjustable db’s (already had),  a set of 25# db’s, two speed ropes, and a set of wall balls which, honestly, gets us through most of the WODs.   On Wednesday our joint Christmas present arrives on the form of an Assault bike so we have a means to do cardio once the snow starts to fly.  We also have access to a 24 hour gym where we can go row or run to mix it up.  The next item I’m working on is a plyo box.  Once we get all that in place I really think we will have a nice, diverse set up where we will be able to do most of the SP WODs at home but it is nice to have the option of the 24 hr gym.

So, that’s my update.  If you’re in my boat and need extra flexibility, I highly recommend the programming and community of Street Parking!

 

 

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Quitting Crossfit?

My son quit crossfit. My good friend quit crossfit. I’m dealing with an injury that still has me on the modification train. Should I quit?

I can come up with a million reasons to stop. Here are just a few:

1. After 3+ years there seem to be way too many moves I can’t do. 

2. I’m not fast, my cardio still sucks, I’m not coordinated (is that 3?).

3. So many newer athletes have greatly surpassed my skill set leaving me to wonder, what is wrong with me. 

4. It’s exhausting getting up at 4:30 every day. My natural inclination is toward night owl. 

5. I am injured and at some point this stupid injury will require a surgery. That seems like a darn good excuse in my mind!!

Etc etc etc

But I’m not going to quit for the one reason that really matters. I don’t want to. 

See you next week my fellow athletes!! 

WHINBTTGITW (why have I not been to the gym in two weeks wednesday)? 

So here is the low down – three weeks ago we ago we were pondering moving to a space that better fits our needs and were pretty apathetic about the whole thing since the housing market is ca-razy right now and there are just not a lot of houses for sale and if they do happen to be for sale they get snapped up super quickly.  So here we are casually browsing for a place and two weeks later we are in the process of buying a new house and prepping the heck out of our house to get it ready to be on the market starting next week (eep). 

So this whole process has certainly been testing our fitness with carrying heavy boxes up and down stairs and moving 150 pound doors around…. Yes, our “spare parts” doors weigh at least that much.   My legs are Jello and my arms are rubber but I’m very thankful that I do crossfit because I can’t imagine how I would feel if I didn’t! 

So as far as WHYNBTYW, I will go for a home improvement item which I am a huge fan of now.   We have some older outdoor decks that we stained a few years ago but they were looking rough.  I bought some new stain… Rustoleum 10x… It’s line painting with peanut butter.   This stuff is perfect for old wood!   I barely recognize my side deck and front stairs.  I opted to paint the stairs with the textured roller (so they wouldn’t be slippery) and I painted the vertical pieces with a paint brush (note:  the grit in this paint will ruin your paint brush just FYI).   So, if you have an older deck that is still solid but looking sad… Definitely check out the rustoleum line, highly recommend. 

If you know anyone that wants a very pretty Victorian house in Wooster, Ohio… Send them my way.. I happen to know one for sale 😛

Reality Check

Dear self, you are 49 years old. You are not 20. You are not even 30. You are probably closer to death than to birth and this means certain things for your body. 

1. You are under no obligation to “keep up” with the younger athletes in your box. Push yourself, yes. Keep going, yes. But please try to stop beating yourself up when the 20 and 30 somethings are faster/stronger. You do you. 

2. You are under no obligation to keep up with those in your age group. Yes, there are several mid to late-40’s women that you very much look up to. They are doing their own thing. You are doing yours. Push yourself, yes. Be happy for their accomplishments, yes. You do you.

3. You are under no contractual obligation to get: pull-ups, double unders, toes-to-bar, rope climbs nor any of the plethora of moves you don’t have. Work toward them, yes. Push yourself to try them, sure. Should you, one day get them, rejoice. But life isn’t over if you never get them. You do you. 

4. You don’t have to excel at all the crossfit things. You might want to, but you were given certain skills and certain strengths and some of those might not be exactly what you need to excel at crossfit. This is okay. Work on your weaknesses, yes. Push yourself to get better, sure. But not excelling isn’t failure. You do you. 

5. Learn to accept your journey. I keep telling myself this one. I’m not sure my brain fully buys in to this one, mostly because it’s not all all the journey I had initially dreamed of when I decided to get healthy several years ago. This is the hardest to accept. But again, you do you. 

If I keep repeating these, maybe one day I will believe in them. 

The Struggle

Okay guys…if you’ve been reading this for any length of time (or even if you simply scan our titles), you are aware that we are two crossfit athletes scaling our way through crossfit and have been doing so for close to three years.

For me, here is a recap of all the moves I don’t currently have in my crossfit arsenal: double unders (these were close before my calf injury), toes-to-bar, pull-ups, chest to bar, muscle-ups, rope climbs, box jumps (I HAD these until the box tried to eat me), hand stand pushups, handstand walk, pistols, PROPER GHD situps. Here is a list of moves that I still struggle with and really need to work on mobility/cardio: Olympic lifts, burpees, the blasted Assault bike, running, over head squats, v-ups, wall-climbs. Here is a list of moves that I either really like, or feel at least proficient in doing: dead lift, bench press, back and front squats, push press, strict press, Ski-erg, wall ball and thrusters.

I’m sure there are others that we do semi-regularly that could go on these various lists. The point of this isn’t to highlight all the things I can’t do, but to move into how I end up feeling when the WODs include several moves that I really struggle with.

This week, we had a WOD that was 40 Toes-to Bar, 10 wall climbs, 20 T2B, 8 wall climbs, 10 T2B and 6 wall climbs. This was followed by accessory work (single arm bench press, banded triceps pull downs and flutter kicks). I KNEW going into this workout that it would be rough. I don’t have T2B and wall climbs rank up there as one of my least favorite movements. I feel as if I get far more exhausted than I should get doing them, and my inability to breathe doing them only makes that worse, I’m sure.  But when I saw the workout, I thought to myself, “Well, I will really try and hopefully come close to getting ONE, just ONE.”

Three tries in, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. My hands (even chalked and wrapped) were slipping off the bar, I stopped trusting myself to even hold myself up there. I tried knees to elbow. Nope. So knee raises it was. I tried doing several in a row and lacked the ability to even control my legs and ended up basically feeling as if I was just swinging my legs wildly, slipping off the bar. The sets of 20 and 10 were worse because I was fatigued. But I was SO FRUSTRATED with my inability even to control knee raises! This frustration grew worse and worse and worse. So much so that 10 minutes in, I was ready to walk out of the gym. This feeling of wanting to quit hadn’t happened in nearly 2 years and was contributing even more to my frustrations. I didn’t walk out. I finished (badly) the workout, slower than everyone else, but I finished.

This frustration led me to questioning the accessory work. I KNOW the bench press is a strength of mine, but I lowered the weights anyhow. I didn’t push myself. That only added to what I was feeling; crossfit is supposed to be about pushing yourself. I mean, I understand that some days you just aren’t on point and other days you are on fire. This isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m taking about the conscious decision to not do a harder weight, not because of injury, not because of working on form (I did that today with the snatches so I could concentrate on trying to keep good form and my breathing), but because I was angry, frustrated with myself and riding the mental struggle bus.

Later, I posted that I really wanted to walk out of the gym on Facebook. Another member posted that I worked through it and folks look up to me as an athlete. What I WANTED to say was “you all should look up to someone who can actually DO crossfit”. I didn’t because the coaches would see and I would get burpess for having a negative attitude. But it was very hard to me to see why someone, anyone, would look up to me, especially at that very moment in time.

I’ve spoken about this to one of the coaches. Apparently I embody the spirit of crossfit: keeping coming back, going in even if I know the WOD will stuck, going in even if I know I can’t do the moves, if I have to scale everything. Going in even with injuries, cheering, encouraging and  embracing the community that has developed in the gym. I know we are supposed to be practicing having more positive attitude (PMA), but I simply cannot be all PMA 24-7. I know that little things will get in the way; they always have; this is just me. I bet all of us get frustrated at things from time to time. It’s part of being human. For me, it’s definitely part of the struggle of lack of confidence.

I might have upset a coach or two for thinking of walking out. I might have upset an athlete or two for it as well. I probably upset a few for voicing the thoughts. But here’s the thing about me, you can knock me down; I can knock myself down, but I showed up the next day and actually felt good about the workout (even with injury modifications). So I might have WANTED to quit, but I didn’t. I overcame the mental issues.

Conclusion? Push through. Show up the next day and the next. Do what you can do, when you can do it. One bad workout can’t define you.

WHYNBTYW

I walked off today with office supplies from one of the other research offices.  What was it, you ask? It was a staple remover that I was messing around with while waiting for a meeting because I’m ALWAYS fidgeting with something.  Whether it’s staple removers, beer bottle labels, phone cords…. If it keeps my fingers moving I’m happy.  

Recently, I saw am online add from our local specialty toy shop, Toyrifix (if you’re in the Smith ville, Ohio area and you’ve never been… Drop what you’re doing and go, right now).  The shop was advertising their new fidget cubes.  What’s a fidget cube?  Well, it is a cool little handheld that has all sorts of different fidget activities on each side.  I had to have one!  
So, I picked one up at Toyrifix and took it to work (let’s be honest, that’s where most of my fidgeting occurs during “thinking”) and I love it!  It really helps me get on the zone and focus.  I love all the different things you can do (roller ball, toggle, Clicky buttons) but my most favorite side is the switch.

If you’re a fidgeted or need a distraction from a different habit (like nail biting or lip chewing), I highly recommend checking one out.

So, how did I end up with the staple remover if I have my cool digit fidget now?  Well, I took it home because this is my last full week at my current job and I didn’t want to leave it behind.  #newadventuresonthehorizon

Rest Dayz

Ever since having my son, I feel like it’s only a rare occasion that I make it to the gym three times a week.  I celebrate those weeks.  In between those weeks I’m inevitably under the weather (daycare germs) though I will definitely say this year was much better than last year…. There may be hope for us yet!).  I miss getting to the gym but I also recognize the importance of resting (see: get back to gym sooner) and not getting everyone else at the gym sick (see: don’t get sick again later when it mutates and you get it again).  

I was looking through my Instagram pictures and came across a saying that was plastered on a hotel gym wall in San Francisco. The wall said “Prepare for it, train for it, fuel for it, rest for it”.  I Love this!  It’s not your typical motivation sensation… I particularly like that it includes fueling and resting…. don’t see that too often.  

I’m lucky in some ways because when I miss the gym, I know I’ve got a good reason. I cherish my gym time and it does hurt when I know I shouldn’t go (see: all last week #somuchcoughing) but I know it’s the right thing.

So, what to take out of that long rambling?  Pay attention to the walls in hotel gyms, you may just learn something valuable.