Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Break-Up

Over the course of my years at CrossFit, I've always done things my own way.  I never jumped on the bandwagons of things right away, and I've always sort of marched to my own beat.  I didn't compete right away.... I held on to my sparkly chucks for a long time.... held out on Lulu.... and I resisted going Paleo when everyone swore it was the rage.  But as with most things in life, there comes a time.  A time when you sit and evaluate, then reevaluate how you feel, what you want, and what it's going to take to get there.  As a result, I have come to the conclusion that it's time.  It's time to start receiving some of the information that has been in my face for a very long time.  

For a very long time, the science and the success stories of being Paleo have been in front of me. Time after time, people shared how much better they felt. They shared recipes, they shared before and after pictures, and they urged me to come on board.  But if there is one thing that I have learned about myself through CrossFit, it's that I'll get there when I get there, and if I'm not ready to receive you or the information you have, it's never going to sink in.  I'm an analogy girl, so I'll put it like this.  We've all, at some point, probably dated someone who was not right for us.  And no matter how many times people sat you down to have "The Talk" where they tell you that he/she is "just so not right for you", you never listened.  Why? Because you weren't ready to.  You weren't ready to let go yet.  You were not ready to open yourself up to the information.  In your mind, he/she made you happy.  Yeah, they had their faults, but there was so much good about them, and yeah he/she cheated on you, but it was just that one time and they've really changed..... bullshit.  We've all been there.  We were living in a fantasy world where everything was roses, and we weren't ready to let go.  Letting go meant change, and let's face it, for a lot of us, CHANGE IS SCARY.  We weren't ready to receive the information.

After many years of living in this really awful and horrible relationship, I'm finally ready to receive the information.  I'm letting go of a very bad boyfriend that I've held on to for far too long.  

Diet I'm sorry.  It's not me, it really is you.

I have felt lethargic and sick and been just a few pounds overweight for far too long.  It is high time I did something to improve how I look and feel about myself.  It is high time that I stop hurting myself with copious amounts of sugar, and stop dealing with my issues through indulging in food.  Cortisol and sugar do not mix.  It is high time that I stop being a slave to either of them.  
Diet, it's OVER.

I have a nutritionist, who I respect highly.  While sometimes I want to hit her for the things she tells me I need to do, I understand that she has my best interests and health at heart.  And believe me when I tell you, that for me, having someone that I have to be accountable to during these early stages is key.  I know that eventually I will move into that maintenance stage where it is up to me to maintain my healthy choices, but for now, knowing that I have to admit to her every gram of sugar or gluten or alcohol that I eat, helps me to make better choices.  I'm not 100% Paleo right now.  I'm trying, but I know there are still habits to break, and let's face it.  I'm human.  I forgot to say no cheese on the omelette the other day, I ate half a piece of toast.  But slowly, and surely, I'm working on eliminating these things from my diet.  

My point in writing this whole piece though, is to hopefully encourage other people who may be like me.  Do things in your own time.  Be ready to receive the information.  Don't feel like you have to do things because people tell you to.  Do them for the RIGHT reasons.  But when you're ready, be prepared.  It's hard work, but guess what?  You're a CrossFitter.  Do work, son.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fighting the war on multiple fronts...

If you know anything about war, or even if you don't you can probably figure out, that fighting a war is hard.  It's not pretty, there's a lot of pain, loss, suffering, and a lot of things that make you open your eyes and look at yourself and the world around you in a different light.  Miltary strategy will tell you that it is best to fight a war while on the high ground, with good protection, lots of ammo, and only in one general area.  It's also really helpful if that area has good exfil route just in case things start to go sideways.

Fighting a war in more than one area, however, will lessen your supplies and split your defenses.  I'm a girl who loves analogies, so let me just say that this is what my life has been like for several months.  I'm not fighting a war on a hill, with a bunch of hescos and anti-tank guns.  Nope.  I've been fighting on so many fronts, that my reserves are all but depleted, my ammo is all but gone, and I'm about to make the call to fix bayonets.  If you get that military analogy, then you totally get it.  If you're sitting here saying, what the ef is she talking about.... allow me to explain.  When you run out of ammo, and you're about to be overrun, the last thing you can do is fight your enemy hand to hand.  Fix bayonets was always the last call when the enemy was within fighting space.  Granted, that is an antiquated analogy, but still, you get the point.  The enemy has been in my face for the last few months, and he is coming from all sides.

When I first started this blog, I was so excited.  I loved CrossFit, I wanted to spread the word, and I wanted to get out there and be all the CrossFit I could be.  I was determined to be, as someone once said, "the poster child" for CrossFit.  I zoned (yeah for those of you who have been around long enough, remember when CrossFit preached the Zone? Yeah, I do too.) hardcore and lost 20 pounds.  I ran marathons, I began to compete in CrossFit, and then life smacked me in the face.  My job got demanding, I worked more at my second job, I've gone further into debt instead of further out, and the happy CrossFit feelings just weren't there anymore.  Those fun blogs that I loved writing just weren't coming.  And truth is, they're still not.  But.... the good news is, I'm getting there.

I'm a perfectionist.  I am, and it's been one of my biggest downfalls of my adult life.  I'm so driven and so determined to do everything and to do it really well that it causes problems.  As life has put me through the paces, I've never allowed myself any slack.  I've expected the same out of myself at CrossFit and everywhere else.  And this year, more than any other year, as I approach my six year anniversary with CrossFit, I feel it.  I feel as if my nutrition has been so terrible, I don't even want to admit what I've been eating.  My sleep cycle has been atrocious.  I've been working upwards of 10-15 hours everyday, and I have completely lost sight of the important things.

At 31, I have had to have some long hard looks at what is going on with me.  In the past nine months, I have had a shoulder injury that prevented me from going overhead for two months, I had a relatively invasive mouth surgery that left me out of the box for nearly 2 weeks, I had another health situation which sidelined me for another almost 2 full weeks, one of my best friends stopped speaking to me for reasons still unknown to me, and I gained nearly 15 pounds.  All of that has taken a toll.  It has felt like I'm out of ammo, and I've been fighting an enemy that is EVERYWHERE.

That's a lot.  I didn't want to write about that.  I didn't want to share that.  That's not happy.  It's not upbeat.  And it certainly isn't something that I'm proud of.  But I've really had to sit and talk with myself and say that this has to change.  I've got to do something about what I'm doing to myself or I'm not going to be able to keep CrossFitting or being a normal, sane human being.  (normal for ME anyway.... :P) So, at 31, I finally have admitted that it's ok to ask for help.  I've been regularly seeing a chriopractor to help keep my stuff in line.  I've begun seeing a nutritionist who is helping me to (once and for all) beat the addiction I have to sugar.  I've had to cut back (sometimes) at the restaurant in order to keep my sanity, and I have really had to give a hard look at my interactions with other people.  Somewhere along the line, I stopped being a good friend.  I forgot that in order to have a friend, you must be a friend.  And truthfully, while I may feel as if I am ready to find someone, and not necessarily get married, but start spending some QT with them, I have to acknowledge that my schedule and where I have been mentally, makes that a challenge.  I met someone who I do really enjoy.... the only problem is.... he doesn't feel the same.... and even if he did, Hawaii is a long way from DC. But, I'm still hopeful that someday that ship is going to come in for me.  I know that somewhere in me, there is a fun, outgoing, and very caring person.  She's gotten lost.  And I feel as if for the past 2 years, I've really been trying to find her.  It feels like right now, after bottoming out so to speak, this is the closest I have been to finding her in a long time.  I have had to cut myself some slack. I've had to admit that I need help juggling everything.  I've had to admit that I may not be able to compete at CrossFit.  I have had to admit that sometimes, three days a week is all I can give.  And the most important part of all of that is realizing that it really is OK.

CrossFit teaches us to be hard on ourselves.  To always push for more, and always work harder to get to that next level, but  recently Jon Gilson wrote this fabulous article about setting realistic goals and not piling things onto ourselves too quickly.  In my life, I have never agreed with something more.  I'm getting the help that I need from my fantabulous team of people who are working to help put me back together again.... and once I'm there.... the sky really is the limit.  I just need to keep fighting.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

And the Open is done....

After a crazy week full of 10-17 hour days, 13.5 came and went.  The Open is done.  I repeated 13.5 Saturday morning in an attempt to get more than the 61 reps I managed to eek out on Thursday.  I felt like if I could move through the second set of pull-ups faster, I should be able to manage more reps.  But, even though I moved faster, I just couldn't do it.  I couldn't get the big improvement I was hoping for.  I eeked out +1 more rep and wound up with 62.  And it ended.  Just like that.  With one final collapse on the floor, I finished the 2013 Open.  There were no streamers, no banners, no balloons falling from the sky.... In the blink of an eye, it was over.  I took a shower, I changed my clothes, and then I went to work a double.  It was completely and totally..... anticlimatic....

I can't say I'm pleased with the Open.  I never am.  I don't do well over a long period of time like this.  For someone like me who routinely works long days, trying to stay up and competitive over a period of five weeks is hard.  I don't want to make excuses, but it is.  I am someone who is convinced that I CAN do it all.  I can teach, serve, compete at CrossFit, volunteer with my group, and sing in my choir.  I'm hard.  I'm not easy.  I'm complex and complicated but I still want to be able to do everything at 100%.  Is that feasible? Some would say no.  I say yes.  But it makes me a challenging athlete to coach.  It makes it hard to help me help myself.  But regardless of my circumstances over the past several months leading up to the Open, it is what it is and the scores are final.  A final look at the standings shows that out of 2365 women who completed all of the wods, I am 479.  Last year there were only 1300 women who competed in the Mid Atlantic region.  This year, that number nearly doubled, and I'm still well within the top half of that number.  I guess I should be happy with that.... but a perfectionist like me is not ever satisfied..... Now it's on to the next one.... we'll see what that will be. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Is it time for a change?

It doesn't take much beyond a quick look down the side of my blog to know and understand that CrossFit is something that I have been doing for awhile. I have always loved CrossFit and I have been ever so thankful of the friends, nay, family I have made by suffering through brutal workout after brutal workout. For the past several months, my life has been in a bit of a flux. Since going back into the classroom in January '11, life has thrown me a lot of curve balls. I love teaching, but I'm beginning to wonder if it takes 13 hours a day to be good at what I do, if I have that in me to give. Working like that leaves NO time for anything else, including CrossFit. Especially not when you have to maintain a second job on the weekends to work off debt you've largely acquired because you work in a profession where it is not only commonplace, but expected, that you will put your own meager salary back into your classroom.

I have yearned, no ached, for what most would consider "normal". Weekends where I am not being required to complete work that cannot be completed in a normal day. Weekends that do not involve working a second job. Weekends that involve spending time with someone I care about, and spending time enjoying the company of good friends. Weekends that involve LIVING. I've made a large effort in the past few months to start putting myself back out there again. Not just meaning dating wise, but also making the time for friends and other people who have been important to me. I've also started singing again, something that I thought went onto a shelf 12 years ago never to resurface. All these things I've done in an attempt to put myself more firmly in a place where I want to be.

But yet, the one thing, aside from my dating life (oi vey!) that I just can't seem to get right is CrossFit. I am a competitive person. I love competing in CrossFit. But being competitive in CrossFit takes a lot of solid training, and a lot of hard work. It takes discipline and solid nutrition, not to mention, plenty of good rest, and a consistent schedule. All of which seem to be things that I am lacking in at the moment. I want to compete, but at the same time, I also don't want to let my team down. And if there is one thing I can say about this year's open (I'm limiting myself to ONE thing) it's that I feel like in every regard I have disappointed my coaches, and let my team down. In the two wods where I should have been able to just blow those numbers out of the water, I couldn't. I tried. It wasn't like I laid down and played dead, but I know I didn't perform to the level of where I otherwise should have. I know I did not perform where they wanted me to. I am, on many levels, embarassed.

So, here I sit. Holding the pieces of what seems like a very broken situation. If I can't live up to the expectations of my team, is it time for me to go? Is it time for a change of pace and a change of scenery? If I can't live up to my own expectations, is it time to change the expectations? Or accept the fact that I will never be at the level I want to be? I have goals, things I want to be able to do. But I'm finding it harder and harder to meet them. The Open has given me a lot to think about. Is it time for a change? I need to sort it out.