Monday, July 6, 2015

You don't do WHAT? I don't think we can be friends anymore.....

The other day I wrote my first blog in a really, really long time.  I know I'm a little rusty and my humor and usage of Katieisms is a little off, but give me some time to get these old wheels greased back up and things will be back to normal in no time.  As I get back into this whole blogging thing, it only makes sense to talk about my life now and how CrossFit fits in there, not what CrossFit used to be for me.  And there are some things that I'm going to put out there in that spirit of full disclosure that may sound.... odd if you've been a reader of my blog.  Truth be told, I've taken so many hiatuses (hiati??!?) from blogging that I'm not sure any of my readers from the way back then still exist.  But if you are still here, and wondering what in the hell I've been up to with my life, you may find things are vastly different these days.

The other day I wrote a blog about not being dead.  Shocking I know that I was writing a blog, but yet I wasn't dead.  (This blog is just chock FULL of rocket sciency type stuff folks) It seems to be the consensus of the masses that CrossFit is just, well, it's EVIL and if you try it, well you're going to like, rip an arm out of the socket and just, die a slow and horrible and painful death.  Ok, ok, fine.  They may be a SLIGHT  exaggeration from the articles (HEY, artistic license ok????!?!?!) but you get the point.

Truthfully, I think one of the reasons that I was able to leave CrossFit and still come back after roughly 7 months has to do with my attitude towards CrossFit now, and in particular to how many days I work out.  I'm going to confess to everyone now, that I only work out three days a week.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Yup, you read correctly.  Three days.  Not five, three. Now, if you need to go unfriend me on Facebook because you just can't be friends with me anymore, then please feel free.  While I am an uber competitive person, I'm tired.  I love CrossFit, but I'm tired.  My body physically feels tired by the end of the week.  Hell sometimes it's tired at the beginning of the week.  I have learned that the key to my longevity and my continued success with CrossFit is to only go three days a week.  I would like to work my way back up to four, but even after a year of being back at CrossFit, it's hard for me to do.  See, I've been listening to my body more and more these days.  And my body has been saying, ENOUGH.

As I've gotten older, my stress load has gotten heavier, my work load has gotten heavier, and quite honestly, my desire to be that bad ass chick killin' it at the gym has decreased.  Now, does that mean it's gone? Oh hellz no, but it does mean that I no longer see a point in falling asleep at midnight, waking up at 0400 to go try to get a workout in, then going and working a 14 hour day.  I've learned that that is actually counterproductive.  The amount of stress that I'm putting on my body by doing that is actually undermining the work that I'm putting into my health and fitness.  Making myself go to the gym five days a week is actually not good for my body, and it's not good for my head either,  which whether you want to believe it or not, is a HUGE part of your fitness.  Going to the gym five days a week turns CrossFit into another job, another stressor... and it stops being fun.  It stops being about health and fitness and my journey towards being a healthy individual.  It turns into something completely and totally different, and something that isn't positive.  It turns it into, "Ok, how can I squeeze this in?" and "How much time can I take to relax after the wod before I have to run out the door and get home so I can shower and get to work?" It stops being about the camaraderie and the fellowship, and literally, for me anyway, becomes a walloping stress on my body because my body just can't figure out how to possibly get everything in.

I'd love to come five days a week.  I love the people who coach me, and I love the people I work out with.  But the truth is, that just isn't in the cards for me right now and that's ok.  If it's not in the cards for you either, that's ok too.  I think the one thing that we lose sight of in CrossFit is the fact that, this is not a sprint.  Health and fitness are lifelong goals. The more stress you put on yourself to get to these goals RIGHT MEOW, the less fun it's going to be.  The more like a job it's going to feel.  At least that's what happened to me.  I love working out three days a week.  I enjoy going.  I still get a good sweat on, and I am still pretty doggone strong, which I love.

Having said that, am I as strong now as I could possibly be? No.  Am I as fast now as I could possibly be? No.  But, I will say that I enjoy CrossFit more now than I used to going five days a week.  It's easier for me to go to the box now than it was before.  I also don't feel as beat up and abused as I did when I was going five days a week.  See, when I jumped ship out of teaching last year, I wound up in a job that's actually much more physical than teaching.  I actually work in a grocery store.  I can tell you that it's critical that I'm able to move and lift and function.  I can't afford to be so sore from workouts that I have to sit or not walk, or not be able to carry.  It's important.  Five days a week would honestly cripple me.  I think four would be feasible and even better for me, but I'm working my way back up this ladder. For awhile, there were some weeks where two days was just all I could manage.  But the important thing is, I went.  This is a marathon.  I want to be healthy and have a great relationship with my food and my body for the rest of my life.  I don't want to get so focused on the short term goals that I get there and then go, ok that was great.  And I'm done.  Unfortunately, health and fitness don't work like that.  They are constantly in flux, and constantly require attention and care.

So what's the point of all of this you ask? My point, you see, is that your CrossFit training should be about you.  Screw the white board, and screw the main site. Yes, yes, blasphemy, I know.  But here's the deal.  There is only one name, and one number on the board that matter, and that is yours.  For me, in order to maintain a long lasting relationship with CrossFit, I can't burn out, and I can't turn this into another job.  Believe me, I KNOW that HQ says 3 on, 1 off.  I know that.  I know that the white board is always a source of inspiration, but it's also a source of negativity sometimes.  Don't let these things take over your thoughts.  CrossFit is about you, your health, your fitness.  And honestly, if it doesn't fit into the 3 on, 1 off mold, then eff it! I'm learning, God but it's so slow, that the only person who can take care of me, is me.  I have to find something that works for me, and right now, it's three days.  As I said earlier, I'd love to add a fourth day back, but, quite honestly, it's hard.  But regardless of whether or not I get four, the point is, do your own thing.  Don't worry about what the sites and the white boards say.  Do what is going to continue to help you on the path towards your health and fitness goals, and screw everybody else.  (Not literally, I definitely meant figuratively) As Aerosmith says, "life's a journey, not a destination, and how high can you fly with broken wings?" If you're constantly injured or tired from trying to wod everyday, cut back.  Do you and find what makes you happy.  The relationship you are in with your health and fitness is the longest one you will ever be in, so make it a good one.  Make yourself happy.


nerdyvinyl said...

You don't know me, but I wanted to say that I really appreciated your words. I had to take a hiatus from CrossFit and am going back to it soon, but at a lesser frequency. I am glad that you enjoy CrossFit more now than if you were killing yourself 5 days a week. It is all about balance.

Katie said...

Hi Nerdyvinyl! Thanks for the comment. I love to know that people are reading and appreciating what I'm saying. It's definitely scary to put myself out on the web, but if anyone takes anything away from what I've said, I always consider the risks well worth it. After I had surgery, I had a really hard time coming back. It was really hard. There was a part of me that was ready to walk away completely because I was sure I was never going to be able to do the things I had done before. But, thankfully, I have a great coach who is very understanding and knows how to work with me. At the beginning we kept loads and rounds down so that I wasn't so sore I couldn't walk the next day. And gradually things came back on line. Three days, mixed with all the lifting and moving I do at my new job, is a pretty good number for me. I think four days would still be good and get me the strength gains that I want so that I'm back where I used to be, but this journey.... as I've grown older, I've realized it's about a lot more than just the numbers on the white board. I want to be healthy when I'm sixty. I want to be able to be active when I'm old enough to retire. Pushing my limits to test myself... yeah that's great.... and I'll still push. But I think I've learned that for me, there is a line. I think that 5 days would leave me in great shape, but sore and achy, and feeling like this isn't fun. My key to longevity with CrossFit is finding the fun. I left the old gym because I was always tired and sore, and this stopped being fun. I've started to find that old fun again, and even though sometimes the wods suck.... the old adage stands.... "It doesn't have to be fun, to be fun." I hope that you're feeling good about being back! And please feel free to keep commenting (and reading!) :)