would it…

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
— Helen Keller

Fresh off of a CrossFit filled weekend, I hobbled into the triple-wide to get my due at the Monday 8:30pm WOD. The 8:30 on Monday is becoming a lovely new tradition. Taught by Andrew, it is a small gathering of folks at the end of what is usually a very long day. Insert standard Monday cliches here. But cliches have grown to who they are because they are true. The weekend was full. Almost too full. Friday Night Fights (a group/team WOD that usually lasts about two hours), followed by a Paleo Food Fest for which countless athletes cooked and shared their dishes with other countless athletes. I cooked paleo curry chicken salad, with paleo mayo. It was delish but time consuming to make and left my kitchen in a shambles as cooking from scratch a new dish for the first time for a large number of people tends to do. Then home and to bed late Friday night.

Back to ACF Saturday morning to judge fellow athletes for 13.2 WOW (Workout of the Week) of the CrossFit Open, then I hit the 13.2 Open WOW myself (227 score), then home to throw the ball for Oliver, then back to ACF for a jump rope clinic to try and learn double-unders from 2:30-4:00pm, then back home to shower and get ready for a Birthday/St. Patty’s Day celebration at a CF friend’s house. Sunday, Strongman, followed by more Open judging, then home again whereby I was so wound up, so stimulated from the packed weekend of socializing, that I ended up back out again to meet a fellow Strong Person for appetizers and a weekend recap. Lots of busy time. No time to write. No time to regroup. Monday’s WOD, while difficult to motivate to get there after getting home from work and just wanting to lie down and sleep off the weekend, was a destination I was committed to reaching. I said I would be there and I was going to make it. My performance, less then stellar, weak really. Could barely get the 100lbs. overhead. Was unable to do so with the standard Power Clean grip, so channeled KeHo’s teaching and widened my grip to the Snatch grip and up the bar went to the shoulders. Split Jerk overhead.

Sometimes when I write this stuff I wonder if anyone is actually reading it. Does it even make any sense, a Snatch, a Clean and Jerk? I remember the first time the terms started to make sense, about 8 months into CrossFit when it finally clicked and I thought, I know what the F* a Clean and Jerk means! That was a good day. So many anachronisms, so many terms.

More importantly let’s focus on how sleep deprivation and a weekend of cheats can affect your performance. They have a profound affect on your body. Remember that. I try to whenever the fun of socializing over beer and nachos seems so much more important than swollen joints and arms going soft on an Olympic lift. It all comes down to choices and acceptance of the outcomes of the choices.

I. Barbell Strength:

Establish a 1RM Clean and Jerk

Completed: working up from 65lbs. to 100lbs. with the Snatch grip. Wouldn’t it be something if I could get my weight down and my strength up and thereby meet in the middle someday where I can lift my body weight overhead?

II. Conditioning:

CrossFit Open 2011 WOW 3

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 5 minutes of:

Squat Clean (165/110)

Jerk (165/110)

*Each Squat Clean counts as 1 Rep, a Jerk must be completed before moving on to the following round

Completed: at 85lbs. 18 reps total.

It’s About.

“You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your fucking khakis. You are all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

Warm-Up:

Row 500m

20 Jumping Squats

10 Burpees

Review Squat Clean as a Group

WOD:

I. Build to a tough single on the Squat Clean where you’re fast out of bottom but challenging; speed is key here

Completed: Maxed out at 95lbs. Felt good about this. The form is coming more naturally.

II. 3 Sets:

30 Pullups

Rest 1 minutes

15 Thrusters (115/80)

Rest 3 minutes

Completed: in 15 minutes total. At 55lbs. for the Thrusters. Was thinking should have pushed to Fran weight at 65lbs. This is basically Fran, but broken down differently. Will think through better next time.

There’s something I want to say here, but am not quite clear yet what that might be. It involves people which were once very nice but then grow large egos and start treating others with disregard. You wonder if they know they’ve changed, or worse, care.

It’s about losing site of what might be important to you, in life, in your job, in your family, in your friends. In your life. It’s about how you want to live your life, the people you want to surround yourself with, the coworkers and bosses, and friends, and your shared vision of how you would like things to be. It’s about working as part of a team to bring something to life you all believe, together, passionately about. It’s about finding passion with what you do in your own life. And waking up every day, taking the steps in the direction of that passion, no matter how small, or minute, no matter against whom. It’s about ignoring the voices, inside or outside your own head, that say you simply can’t. That you’re not good enough, that you will never be. It’s about saying good bye when you know it’s right, even though it cuts pretty damn deep and you’re not sure you will ever, truly, recover. You still find the strength, somehow, to say it; Good bye.

Good bye.

It’s about finding that extra push to say Good bye to something that you know no longer makes you happy, or is good for you, or simply just makes you feel bad, no matter how hard you try. It’s about swallowing the pit that says, this is too scary, too unknown, too much of a leap into obscurity, to risk. It’s about risk. It’s about moving ahead despite the fear, and maybe even some sadness, or is that just more fear. It’s about finding the good that makes you happy, and brings joy and good to those around you too. When you’re happy, others are simply happy too. It’s a gift.

That’s all for now. I guess. It’s all I wanted to say. For now. Good Bye.

the view from here

Warm Up:

Burgener Warm-Up

WOD:

I. Back Squat

3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3

Completed: 85lbs, 105lbs., 115lbs., 125lbs., and 135lbs. No PR here. Was at 145lbs. 1RepMax back in February. Am I losing momentum and sliding back down hill? There’s a whole CF video on how athletes do not match nutrition with the same dedication as their workouts, and therefor fail to get to that next level. They plateau. Then worse, they regress. This could be what is happening to me. Let me rephrase that, this could be what I’m doing. Quite possibly.

II.

“Elizabeth”

For Time:

21 – 15 – 9

Power Clean (135/95)

Ring Dips

*12 Minute Cap

Completed: 9:40 at 55lbs. (Perhaps.)

Okay. I’m just going to put it out there. I think I cheated. Cheated myself. I lost count during the first round of this WOD, and I’m pretty sure didn’t do a full 21 in the first round. No idea what I actually ended up doing. Just remember feeling like everyone one else around me was ahead, and I needed to get going onto the ring dips. Alas, feeling like a slacker because even though my time ended up around 9:40, just not sure the amount of reps. Can’t let this sit like this. Because we know Elizabeth will be coming back around again, and want to be able to see if there’s any improvement when she does reappear. Plus, I didn’t finish and therefor need to set things right. Will try to hit again in the next week on my own. Just to see. It was a *itch. Let’s get that straight. She kicked my *ss even at less than full reps.

It is what it’s all about

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ― Winston S. Churchill

WOD:

I. “Hokey Pokey”

30 Reps For Time:

1 Rep is 1 Complete Sequence of the Following Movements:

Squat Clean (135/95)

Right Foot Lunge

Left Foot Lunge

Thruster

*25 Minute Cap

Completed: in 17:54 at 55lbs. Woweeeeeee.

II. Within 5 Minutes of Completing the “Hokey Pokey”:

For Time:

50 Burpees

Turns out, the Hokey Pokey IS what it’s all about. The Burpees after almost seemed like they didn’t even happen. Was still so focused on the fact that I actually completed The Hokey Pokey. Because at the beginning of the WOD it looked next to impossible. This happens a lot. Not sure if it’s just me. But at the beginning of class, I read the white board and process the Workout of the Day and more often than not think to myself; seriously? There is no way I can do that.

Like, almost every other day this thought goes through my mind.

And then I wonder if anyone will notice if I just leave. Because, well, I get scared. Or intimidated. Or tired. Or feel too weak. But what does end up happening, thankfully, is that I don’t run screaming from the building, but do dutifully set up my weights and take a deep breath, and just 3, 2, 1, Go. To the best of my ability. One step at a time. Every, single time. And what happens after that, is something really quite amazing. I complete the WOD, and feel incredible for having done so. It is the absolute best feeling. Totally addictive. And worth every fretting moment prior. Just walk through the front door, Mary. Is what I say to myself. Just walk through the door.

Gifts.

“I apologize in advance if my eyes roll back while you are talking to me.” – Jason, ACF

Today was one of those days. Where everything was right, and good. And I’m pretty sure Someone was smiling down upon me, because the bright rays from some very good people shone brightly upon my day in a succession of wonderful gifts, random kindnesses, and thoughtful words throughout the day.

The first gift: Delivered to me today by someone I had only barely known before, but had the chance to get to know yesterday during a group dinner I wasn’t even that intent on attending. Over the course of the evening what began as casual conversation slowly grew to talking about books, family, dating, and then finally, to discovering that this person and I had very similar unique experiences growing up. Experiences I do not talk about. It was one of those conversations that catches you off guard, that you never think you will have except with your absolute and total best friend. And they probably already know the story, having heard it long ago. So, its something you never, I never, talk about. Alas, the dinner ended. We hugged, and thanked one another for being so open, and sharing and talking.

And then today, out of nowhere, she stopped by my office to deliver a book we talked about, and a card, in an envelope, with my name handwritten across the front. I couldn’t believe it. This act of thoughtfulness, of openness, of kindness. It wasn’t until later that I realized she had written an inscription in the book:

“No longer forward nor behind
I look in hope and fear;
But grateful take the good I find,
The best of now and here.”
– John Greenleaf Whittier

Later in the day, I received an email from a friend, who recently, apprehensively, I was certain had been growing distant. Granted, they are in the middle of a war zone. But there’s a difference between physical and emotional distance. We all know this too well. There are so many Worry Fueled Jumping Off Points in this scenario. Sometimes I really struggle to rein them all in. Add missing this person and wanting to be near them as much as I do to the mix, and you just have heaviness even a Deadlift can’t fix. Today, this person acknowledged my sadness, and took the time to patiently write to me explaining in more detail their day to day, asking me not to worry so much, that they were okay, and not going anywhere.

Sometimes you just need to hear these things, from the people you love. It was a gift.

Now, for the last gift of the day. This gift was from… wait for it… you know what I’m going to say: Oh, Crossfit, you big softy. You give me gifts every day. But during today’s WOD, as I struggled with the last rounds during those damn hand release pushups, Instructor Kim actually got down on the triple wide floor next to me and joined in the reps, shouting encouragement all the way. Pure awesomeness.

Warm-Up:

Russian Gymnastics Warm-Up – Day 2

WOD:

I. Squat Cleans

3 – 3 – 3 – 3

Completed: the first two rounds @ 65lbs. The last two rounds @ 75lbs.

II. 10 Rounds for Time:

15 Deadlifts (135/95)

15 Hand-Release Pushups

Completed: In just under the 20 minute mark, 18:55. Deadlifts @ 75lbs. Hand release pushups scaled to hand release knee pushups.