I just want you to brace yourself for the complete nonsense this is going to be.
That’s actually a good idea. Brace your lumbar because you are probably sitting anyway. Okay, let’s move on.
I am coming up on my three-year CrossFit anniversary and as luck would have it, I am injured and have been scaled and modified for more than month. Not having the ability to clean or jerk or even jump over any boxes has left me, well, a little stir crazy. That usually comes out in my writing. If you think I am being completely serious about being in love with CrossFit, you obviously do not do CrossFit (or maybe you do). In any event, I bring you a three year chronology of my CrossFit journey in…
(wait for it)
Sorry, not sorry.
I’m Alive!, Celine Dion I was invited by a friend to go check out CrossFit for the first time three years ago. At the last minute, my friend canceled, but I still went. It was a simple introductory class. Super simple. I thought I was going to die in the warm-up. I was one of those people who said “that was the warm-up?” I was nine months post-partum and hadn’t done much except walk my two kids in the stroller for months prior to starting CrossFit. Okay, fine I’ve spent the majority of my life being active except after my second child I took a wee bit longer getting back in the game, ergo the jogging stroller that I only used to walk with. I cannot believe people can jog with those things. I can barely jog let alone jog while pushing something.
Anywho, we did some lunges, 400M runs, kettlebell swings and I think maybe push-ups. I wanted to die…but I also loved it and wanted more (cue scene from the Matrix when Neo gets his first dose of training). For the first time since being a collegiate/professional athlete an exercise program got me all kinds of fired up. I even got that CrossFit cough. I was hooked. My friend casually asked me how it went and I was mum. In true Fight Club status, I told her she needed to go and decide for herself. I didn’t want to sway her, she needed to experience it without my input. Also, I wanted to keep it a secret although I quickly found out that no one stays mum about CrossFit. Now, neither do I.
Love is A Battlefield, Pat Benetar. About eight months in, I hit my first road block. Almost twenty years of competitive volleyball snuck up on me and Tanya Harding’d me right under the patella (too soon?). I got some tendinopathy that would not resolve even after physical therapy and so I elected to get my knee scoped. Although now that I know better I may have waited on that, but that’s another conversation. I got it scoped the day after Christmas and waited six weeks before I hit the gym again. That was the longest six weeks. I felt disgruntled and crabby. Not getting my daily dose of “grrrrr” out was harder on my family than it was on me. Ask them.
Happy Together, The Turtles. Once I was back in the gym, I made short work of my recovery. I modified and scaled workouts, but I was in the gym. I remember I was not able to get full range on my squat, so I went without a bar and without weight for a long time. I was totally cool with that because I was back in motion even though limited. My body is way happier when it’s in motion than when it is at rest and it may sound counter-intuitive, but the injury actually made me more aware of how my body moves and what I need to do to keep it that way. I worked my butt (er, my knees) off and after about another six months started seeing some really great progress. I was back in the saddle – well, I was back under the bar and happiness is life under a bar.
I Hate Myself For Loving You, Joan Jett. Then someone convinced me to sign up for the Open. I had been rx’ing workouts for about four months, so I felt like I could handle the workouts and I was excited to see what all the fuss was about. I was out of town for workout 14.1 and had to do it at CrossFit Invictus. Really great gym and amazing athletes and people, but without my familiar people to cheer me on for my first ever CrossFit Open, I was scared out of my speed shorts. I mean, Invictus? Alas, I survived. Turns out 14.1 was a short little ditty that combined snatches and double-unders – and I didn’t even pee that much. 14.5 was a completely different story. No pee, but everything else that is awful. I have never hated counting backwards from 21 by three’s more in my whole life.
All of Me, John Legend. I believe Mr. Legend is thinking of Fran or Annie or pretty much any of the girl workouts of CrossFit when he says “smart mouth” and “head spinning.” I’ve been beat up by Fran more than once, but I still have a soft spot for her. I mean anyone who can survive that thing is okay in my book. In fact, I finally got my Fran rx’d under 10:00 minutes last summer and was so stoked. But 40 brought a new set of challenges for this old body. If the first six months of 40 feel and look like you are still 25, the back six feel and look like Miley Cyrus flailing around on her mirrored wrecking ball, saggy butt and all.
I am currently nursing a lower back injury. Me and my beloved have hit a rough patch, but once again I am learning so much about my body through this experience. I know I’ll be fine. I’ll be alright.
Forever and Ever, Amen, Randy Travis. Here’s the thing, whether it’s CrossFit or running or volleyball or football or hiking or biking. I hope you can find a way to move your body that you love. It doesn’t always have to be balls to the wall or even wall balls, but find something you love and get out there and do it. There will be set backs, there will be injuries and there will be times when you have to take a break. Regardless of what you do, know that our bodies were meant to be moved. CrossFit has taught me more about how to move my body and keep it moving than any other sport. And yeah, I’m 40 and things are slowing down, but I want to be active well into my 70’s just like my parents.
I need to take care of this body because I have a plan and a purpose bigger than me.
Categories: Life Lessons Through Sports