“We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of man; but this would be nothing if you really liked him.” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
I’ll admit, there’s an element of pride that goes into a CrossFit workout (WOD). You look around the room and even though you tell yourself; do not compare yourself to others… Let’s face it, sometimes you just can’t help it. Sometimes I look around the room at my fellow athletes, add up the weights on my neighbor’s bar. I eye the newbie in front of me and think, she looks strong and it’s her second day, I need to pick up the pace! Then there’s the other two or three athletes that I always seem to be running alongside in reps and weights. You know these people. We watch them.
In the back of my mind, no matter how much I try to turn it off, it’s all lurking in there. Some days more than others.
Oh look, she’s adding an extra set of 2.5lbs. to the end of her bar, well then I will too. This comparing oneself to one’s neighbor; it can be good and bad. Good in that it challenges you to push yourself–bad in that, well, in the end we are measuring ourselves up against those around us. That will never turn out well for anyone. It is a byproduct of our pride.
Prejudice? Yes, I am prejudice; against my own abilities. After my first CF year of what seemed to be endless lung capacity and PRs–having been reaching towards the top of some sort of personal-achievement-mountain (see the list of goals at the bottom of this page)–I tapered off, personally, physically. I had a series of injuries and other setbacks. Sprinkle in a lack of motivation, and you have a couch and a bag of chips and Netflix for 8 hours on a Sunday afternoon. But not just one Sunday, every Sunday.
So somehow, miraculously, I’ve ratcheted myself out of that hole of inertia once more. Maybe the motivation came from knowing that the CF Open was coming. I dunno. But a couple of months ago I decided to dial back in again. Recently even more. Granted, my current box is still relatively new to me compared to where I initially started my CF career. I was pretty attached to that old box. I tapped into a wellspring of motivation and camaraderie there. But then, admittedly, eventually, I grew tired of the place where I started. I thought I knew most of what there was to learn. I thought I had the routine down. In my mind I had graduated to some old guard regime. I was feeling unmotivated and in need of a change.
But this last last month, especially these last few days, after committing and showing up to at least 4 WODs per week, well something is happening again. You see, up until a few months ago and long after the-year-of-the-broken-foot and having surgery to insert a pin into the broken bone, well, I could barely do a lunge. My left side had grown weak. Ironically, my right leg, the same leg that was in a cast with the broken right foot, was stronger than my left. Ultimately, I could barely do a legitimate lunge from either side.
These days my shoulders are sore, my calves ache when I walk down stairs, but I am getting strong again. In today’s WOD I lunged back and forth across the room for a total of 105 lunges consummate. I’m also doing unbroken box jumps and getting more weight overhead. Oh, and upon seeing burpees on the white board; I think, NBD.
I am leaner in my lulus and my jaw line seems more defined. I’m lighter on my feet again and my clothes are looser, like they hang at just the right angle or thereabouts. I’m getting back there, wherever there is. Although that’s totally unfair because I’m older and a much different person than I was 2 years ago. So, for now let’s just say that I’m gaining new ground in a place that I’ve never been, but it all feels so good.
I feel neither pride nor prejudice in this new place, just peace.