Thursday, July 24, 2008

The hardest fight I'll ever face in CrossFit...

The hardest fight I'll ever face in CrossFit has nothing to do with a chin up bar. Furthermore it has nothing to do with a weight vest, a kettlebell, a barbell or a dumbbell. It has nothing to do with how fast I do something, how much weight I move, or how many reps I can do. The hardest fight I'll ever fight is not with Nancy, Kelly, Eva, Cindy, Fran, Murph, Badger, Daniel, or Jason. The hardest fight I will ever fight in CrossFit is with myself.

After yesterday's debaucle with the deadlifts, my head has not been where it should be. I've been agonizing and dwelling over what happened, when what I really should have done is just let it go. I was determined to wake up today with a better attitude and kick the workout's ass to show just how tough I really am. But we all know that CrossFit is it's own beast in the fact that rarely do we ever get to kick a workout's ass. It is most often, and I'll even say 95% of the time, the other way around. Jerry sent us an email to let us know that today wasn't quite an epic, but it was going to be a long workout. I debated about going, but felt I needed to go. When I saw the workout, I really wished I had stayed in bed. It didn't look fun at all. Jerry has the ability to put together some of the worst workouts I have ever seen. Today's Mepic as I'm calling it, was a blend of Eva T. and Kelly. The workout looked like this.

3 rounds for time
1000 M run
25 wall ball
25 pull ups
25 box jumps
25 kb swings (men 70, women 50)

Out the gate, my running didn't feel too bad, and I felt encouraged that maybe I would be able to do this in a decent time, and would be able to feel good about the work I put in today. But as soon as I came back and grabbed a chin up bar, I almost cried. My hands are a wreck. I have so many calluses and blisters, that gripping anything right now is painful. I broke the chins into small sets, and that utterly defeated feeling started all over again. The wall balls and jumps didn't feel too bad, but swings were hard too. I've just gotten used to the 45 overhead, and so 50 seemed really ambitious, especially since holding the bell hurt so much. After finishing round 1, the idea of quitting after 2 rounds began to creep up on me. Jerry wrote 2 rounds as the "express" workout for people who needed to get to work, or who needed to scale back. Although I am working day shift today, I did not need to leave for work, and theoretically should no longer need to scale reps. But I wanted out. I wanted to stop. In the worst way.

After round 2, I did just that. I stopped. I went to the bathroom, started to tear up, and walked back to the room and put on my little jacket. I sat down and drank some water, and felt like the world's biggest Nancy. My brain was raging against my body, and although not a single person could see it, there was a war raging in my head that would rival any battle anyone has ever witnessed. My brain was screaming, my body was screaming back. And in a situation like that, which one do you listen to? The pull up bars, the kb swings, the wall balls... none of them had anything to do with this fight. It was me, fighting against myself. A long time ago I wrote a blog when we hit Badger for the first time about finding the will to go on. When everything in your body wants to collapse and give in, when you don't want to pick up another dumbbell, when you don't want to do another rep, when you don't want to run another lap. How do you find that will to go on?

I didn't want to go on today, but something inside my head said "You WILL finish this workout whether it takes you another 5 minutes or 50." And so I stood up, took off my little jacket, and put my sneakers back on and started round 3. You can say I cheated because I stopped for about a solid 5-6 minutes, but the bottom line is that despite whatever initially stopped me, something made me move again, and I'm DAMN proud of myself for doing that. Websters defines persevering as persisting in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement. In my head there was a lot of that at the time, but I persevered. One step, one rep at a time. Because believe me, there were times when I was crying on the chin up bar this morning and doing one rep at a time, but I was not going to quit. I was finishing the workout. I was doing 3 rounds because I knew I should, and because I knew despite the pain that I could. Fighting against myself is harder than any workout I have ever done. It is the hardest fight of all, and the hardest fight to win. But the benefits of winning this fight, surpass anything I've ever felt after just completing a workout.

I got myself up off my ass to start round 3, but I'm not going to say I did it alone. My adoptive older brother, Gar, and Keturah stayed by me through the last 4 exercises and helped me get it done. I could go on and on about the two of them, and how great they are, but that would make this post even a lot longer. I love working out with Gar because he has that older brother instinct and seems to understand me and my brain very well. I love working out with Keturah because she always is around to put a boot up my ass when I start to be a Nancy. Without the two of them today, I still would have finished, but not nearly as fast. They're the best, and they helped me win my fight. I'm glad I went back for round 3. I'm glad I defeated myself.


Justa said...

It helps to revisit your goals every now and then, not only to assess where you are, but also to assess why you've set them. I've been reading you for only a short time, but it seems like you're not the type that wants to take a rest when needed. Believe me, I know that feeling. What was it some woman named Katie commented to me the other day?:

Blogger Katie said...

Your body is trying to tell you something. Listen to it...

Maybe you should too.

In any event...damn good job pushing forward. We all go through ups and downs. Maintaining the consistency during the downs is what really allows us to make progress. It may sound as if I'm talking in circles, but I'm not. Set your goals, work hard, rest when needed, and carry on through the tough times. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.

I'm proud of you, and you should be proud of yourself, Katie.

Adrienne said...

I would like to refer you to an earlier blog written by Katie.. in which you refered to Crossfit as being a "cock block". This was in reference to a guy who said he kicked the WOD's asses. You properly schooled him.

I would like to remind you of that moment, and tell you that you were correct in schooling him.

I would then like to go on to suggest that you should never expect to kick the ass of the WOD. It's just setting you up for no good!

That being said, I want to say how awesome it was that you finished today. I had some moments of wanting to quit as well. I know that it feels so good to call time after you've done the workout as prescribed and congrats on getting to do that today!!

The Wigan Crossfitter said...

Katie, well done for today. You've earned a rest (hint hint) :)

Cara said...

Congrats Katie!

Phew - I couldn't have done it today! (Home sick with fever)

I'm really, really proud of you.

Tami said...

Well done Katie. It's not always about posting fast times or lifting big weights. Sometimes it's just finding the will to get through it that makes it a victory.

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever." Lance Armstrong

Jerry Hill said...

My 2 cents.
Emotions don't lie - we can't suppress what we are feeling.
Stories however do lie - the story we tell ourselves is a perception not the truth.
Unfortunately stories rule our emotions.
Change the story, you change your emotion.

Badass, Slump, or?
Coping with that internal judge is an eternal battle…


All of us perceive a situation differently here is my DL story;

I want to put you in the best environment to succeed. When you hit your 195 it looked strong!
You however rounded out = done deal. It's my red flag, no compromise - no one lift is worth it (unless your foot is stuck under a 195lb weight)
Standards are in place to measure progress - Red Flags are in place to keep us safe so we can continue to have fun and measure progress!

Your dlift was not a debacle, you lifted it from ground to lockout = good lift.
Celebrate your 195lb!
Know that there is room for more!

Adrienne said...

Oh my! Jerry is right on.

We all create our own story.

Kim said...

Incredible! Good job getting back up after putting on your jacket and wanting to stop! That takes a huge amount of strength. You're right, the biggest fight has nothing to do with the barbell or any of that. One of the biggest reasons CF is so great, it puts you against yourself.

I'm glad the affiliate page posted your blog, because I would have probably never found it otherwise. Your stories are so inspiring! Next time I want to stop during a workout, I'll be thinking of this story :)

Sounds like your friends here might have a good idea, a little rest, maybe? Only you know if it would be the right thing for you, your body, and your mind.

Kim B

Katie said...

Sorry for the delayed responses guys, but sometimes I do have to work... :P

Justa- I recall no comment of the sort... :P But thanks for the support...

Adrienne- I should know better, but sometimes things just sound like great ideas regardless of whether or not they are... kicking the workout this morning sounded like a good idea.... in theory... :P Thanks for being awesome!

Steve- Thank you for your support. No such luck on the rest though. Headed to Baltimore to help the sister move.

Cara- Thank you, you would have liked this one. You probably would have tried to do the swings with the 70. :P

Tami- Thanks for the quote and the nice thoughts. I like that one!

Jerry- You know I always love it when you come by and leave thoughts. You have left much for me to ponder today. However, part of trying to change my story, was me getting off my ass today. I didn't want to have another day like yesterday where I moped and drug myself around, upset with what I couldn't do. Having said that, I was not upset that you stopped me. I'm actually glad you did. I was more upset that I couldn't get the form down and that was why you were stopping me. I can't PR everytime. You're 100% right. But I was mad at myself for screwing my form. I am a smidgen of a perfectionist you know... But as always I appreciate your thoughts and everything you do for me! Well, and everyone else. I don't exactly hold a monopoly on you... although it'd be pretty sweet if I did... Jerry as MY trainer... someday when I win the lottery... ;)

Adrienne (X2)- I have found that Jerry is always right. Damnit... it's hard for me to be right all the time then... :P

Kim- Thanks for all your nice words and support! I'm glad that you have become a reader too! :) You give me one more person to harass... ;) Just teasing! Thanks for stopping by today!

Anonymous said...

Katie - Don't feel bad about the form breakdown! Rip says that for something to be truly a max effort lift form has to at least break down a little bit, otherwise you'd be able to lift more. The key is knowing when to stop so you don't hurt yourself.

Forts said...

"The key is knowing when to stop so you don't hurt yourself."

I agree. We need to push ourselves to the limit but we can not expect to be able to every time without needing to slow down or rest. I am not saying give up or through in the towel but if we know our bodies well enough we can stop ourselves or slow down enough to prevent injury or over training.

Good job on not giving up. That proves a lot about your character and ability to fight. Well done.

Katie said...

Forts, I like to think I'm a fighter... I like to think it's a good thing... sometimes it gets me in trouble...