Day 2 – Making a come back.

“Why is it,” he said, one time, at the subway entrance, “I feel I’ve known you so many years?”

“Because I like you,” she said, “and I don’t want anything from you.”

― Ray Bradbury

Facebook post: It’s interesting how; Say you’re having a really bad day and your usual way of coping when u get home is to eat a lot of unhealthy food, or have beer or scotch or both, or some other habit u know may not be so good for you – Take those former habits away, and you are forced to create a new routine, a new habit.. It is in that choice of a new habit that amazing things can happen.

***

Today marks 5 1/2 weeks since surgery. The six week mark and the official end to my recovery is Monday, May 13th. My diet has been good for the most part during the last six weeks. My biggest fear of gaining weight not coming true. Mostly because I worked to maintain a pretty strict Intermittent Fasting schedule of one meal a day, usually around dinner time. This was not easy sometimes sinking into extreme bouts of hunger during lunch time at work. Part of me wonders how much of my hunger was fueled by true actual hunger and part of it by simply pushing back against a long well worn habit of eating a salad at my desk. The internal alarms going off in my head telling me it is time to EAT, like punching a clock – it’s time to wake up it’s time to drink coffee it’s time to eat lunch it’s time to take a nap – with no real true indicator from my body as to whether or not it was truly hungry for calories.

Now that it is time for me to return to CrossFit I struggle with stepping back through the doors at ACF and jumping into the daily WOD. We knew this would happen. But why? Is it intimidation? Is it laziness? Fear? Both? Part of it is intimidation, knowing I’m not as strong as I used to be and certainly do not have the stamina I once enjoyed.

Part of it is laziness.

I’m enjoying these long summer afternoons at home after work with Oliver, sitting on the lawn in the settling sun and reading. Even the simplest act of throwing the ball for Oliver gives a great simple pleasure. It’s the trees and the air and the breeze and the warm spring sunlight. It’s Oliver running and jumping and performing stellar acts of doggy strength in every attempt to fetch the ball. I love to watch him go.

It’s me just being.

No where to go nothing to do no one to please or thank or run errands for. On Friday I decided I should change my Facebook status to being in a relationship. In a relationship with the word: Thank You. I employ the word about 8,883,987.25 times per day.

.25 because some Thank You’s are not always as sincere as others.

I work for a non-profit and everyone that walks through the doors, be it a volunteer or a donor or a member in need of our services or even a fellow employee deserves daily doses of honest Thank You’s because we are all there despite best varying degrees of difficulties. As an employee there is no money to be made, a below average standard of living at best, as a volunteer you are sharing the most valuable of commodities, your time and thereby in my mind deserve an extra-special round of gratitude. As a member receiving our services there are probably a hundred million different places you would rather be, but you’re not, because chances are you are sick or are caring for someone who is sick or who has just passed and you are sad.

So many Thank You’s to give.

I am an appreciative person, but doling out so many thank you’s on a daily basis can be exhausting. You tend to give so much of your self, stopping at all points in the day to offer assistance or lend a patient ear or a word of encouragement or additional set of hands to unload a car. The list of needs, the list of opportunities to stop and be patient and be helpful is truly endless. With this list can come a sense of doing good. This is true. But there also comes a point of feeling like a stone with no more blood to give. It’s called being burned out.

My struggle lies in feeling burned out but not knowing what to do about it. It’s not the fault of the people around me that I feel this way. It’s nobody’s fault but my own. But here it is. In all its glory, this feeling that I just don’t want to do what I’m doing anymore and also feeling trapped, not knowing where to go, or what to do, and as an added bonus feeling intensely lonely in all this angst.

Digressing.

Why is it I’m having a hard time getting back to the one thing I do love: CrossFit? I’m not sure. Probably a little bit of all of the above, sprinkled with intimidation and baked with a final dash of laziness. I don’t want to give up the time. The time to do what I want to do in the quiet of my home with Oliver dutifully, silently at my side. Where the only task asked of me is to be fed some kibble and throw a ball and sit with me in the sun or the shade and listen to the birds and the wind and watch the setting shadows.

This, I can do.

But the world waits for no one. And every one needs a Why. So, I must find my Why. And when I find it, I must start doing it. But where to start…

Perhaps the best place to start is the place closest to home. A place where I have immediate and instant control, my body:

Goal No. 1. Complete the Whole 3o Challenge – Join your peers from ACF and from now until June 5 partake in the Whole 30. Get lean. Get strong. Stop the bullshit.

Goal No. 2 – Start WODing at least four times per week. Beginning tomorrow, Wednesday 5/8. Mix it up, stop feeling obligated and create an adventure, meet new fellow CF’ers, hit the noon class, a late 8:30, maybe a morning mayhem, anything… just get yourself through the front door again. And again. And again.

Goal No. 3 – Track all food and workouts here. Every day. Every. Single. Day. Write something. Here. Log it on Double Under Dogs. Be accountable. Do what you love, write.

If I can stick to these 3 Goals, every day, from now until June 5 – then a shift will occur. For just like my post today on Facebook, there is no try, you just do. And by choosing new habits, you slowly but surely start steering the ship in a new direction. With making the right choices, with making healthy choices and creating a new routine and defining a different type of day, you will chart a course in an unimagined direction towards a new and bountiful horizon full of knowing Why.

You just have to ask.

“Ho! Ho! Ho! To the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe
Rain may fall, and wind may blow
And many miles be still to go
But under a tall tree will I lie
And let the clouds go sailing by” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien

It has been 9 days since surgery. 5 days since going off the pain meds. While I did not go to any bottle as so eloquently phrased above by Tolken, his poem speaks to me and paints a familiar picture.

I am in a time out from everything in my life. I’m under a tall tree and watching the clouds go sailing by. My tree is my living room the ground my couch, the clouds and rain and wind blow by outside my window. Oliver my sole companion.

I like watching the wind move through the pines and the sway of time as it passes through. There’s a certain peace in a forced time out, it’s taking an afternoon nap without any guilt, free to wake at your leisure with no where to go knowing even before you close your eyes there’s no task left undone waiting for you when you wake.

You are simply free to be.

It’s a rare opportunity in life to experience such respite. You’ve been sidelined and all the world including you are simply okay with this fact. You relax into its soft truth.

Some notes from Day 9 of Respite:

  1. Time goes by incredibly fast – one minute I was setting the alarm for a 6am surgery, the next in recovery sipping ginger-ale, the next home in bed. The next, updating my blog with 8 days in the rear view.
  2. Time goes by incredibly fast – it deserves repeating because it freaking does. It’s, um, incredible. Even when you don’t have any where to go or anything to do the clock still ticks the same. Meh, the clock says to you.
  3. The people in your life are incredibly generous. If you let them be. They are generous with their time and their hearts and their patience. You just have to ask. It’s not always easy to ask for help when you do CrossFit six plus days per week and are used to doing everything your self and your way and consider it a personal challenge to leave no grocery bag behind on the first and only trip from the car to the house. But the reality of knowing you will be out of commish for a bit, including a giant German Shepherd that needs tending, leads to letting down the tough gal act and asking for help. Hard to do. But when you do…what happens? You wake up with an army at your door, bringing you seltzer and peanut butter and picking up bags of dog food and taking out your trash and the recycling and throwing in a load of laundry and sitting next to you and just being with you and taking time out of their lives (lives that did not go on hiatus and are still busily poking away just outside the door) to watch a couple episodes of Law and Order SVU with you and then ask one more time if you need anything before they go. Blessed.
  4. The dog will still want you to throw the ball even if you are temporarily unable to do so.
  5. Sleep is a beautiful thing.
  6. I miss my CrossFit community. I do check in on Facebook during the day, but try not to do so too much. I don’t want to be a Lurker. When I do check the news feed it does leave me feeling a little sad and admittedly left out. Loser-ville. Population, One. Ugh. I hate admitting that but truth is I miss our colorful sweaty community and the fun and connecting and high-fiving and ongoing challenge to do good.
  7. I’m grateful for the time out. I’m grateful for the opportunity to sit on the sidelines. Yes, to let my body heal but also to just take a break. From everything. Ive been reading a lot more on the CF Games competitors and apparently there is a high rate of burn out. At first this was surprising to me but then not so much. CrossFit is intense. In every way. It pushes everything to the extreme, the body and the mind and the central nervous system and all things firing within and around you. It’s impossible to keep up that intensity all the time. Perhaps one of the things I’m learning during this hiatus is that it doesn’t have to be all intense all the time. Sometimes it is okay to just go in and hit a WOD to get a workout. What? I know, cray cray. But think about it – sometimes you just need some exercise, you know, for the sake of exercise. Granted you’re in your element with your peeps and we challenge one another but it’s not all about PR’s and pushing to max load and effort, sometimes it can be about just doing and active recovery and getting your body moving and generating an accelerated heart beat and some sweat. Maybe others understand this but I’m only just processing it now, CrossFit can be just a workout and that is okay. CrossFit does not always have to be all or nothing.
  8. I do not want to gain weight. While I am not able to CrossFit for the next five weeks I am determined to stay healthy. How? With my diet. No cheat days, no BS. None of those little sneaks here and there because I know I have a killer WOD waiting for me at the end of the day. Nope. There’s no where to hide. It’s just me and the food in my kitchen and the choices I make and the way my clothes fit and the next five weeks. Game on. The Plan – to Intermittent Fast with a short 4 – 6 hour feeding window. This basically translates to coffee in the morning, water all day, one substantial healthy meal for dinner which will include a farm raised protein and lots of veggies. Minimal fruits, minimal nuts. That is all. You can argue for or against my IF feeding plan, but over time and experimenting with many schools of thought, this is ultimately what works best for me. Personally I do believe as a society we are way overfed. We eat way too much too frequently every day.
  9. It’s time for bed. Once again it’s before 9pm and I’m headed to bed. As my lovely friend Mia stated in her last text to me yesterday at 8:27pm before she too was getting ready to call it a day; ‘Hey, at least it’s dark outside.. that makes it okay. Right? Nighty Nite.’
  10. Nighty Nite to you.