Hi friends – I made it to 6 a.m. CrossFit today! It was super gloomy and humid out – perfect for an indoor workout. It’s always hard to go to CrossFit when the weather is awesome because I just want to be outdoors. This morning was definitely not one of those days. 😉
Apparently everyone else was sleeping in because there were only 2 of us there for class today! On the upside, this meant I was comfortable asking our coach to get some photos of me during the workout. I always feel really awkward getting photos during packed classes, which is why I mostly write about outdoor running adventures and not CrossFit, kickboxing, or yoga. 😉
As I’ve explained before, CrossFit WODs (workouts of the day) are usually really short, but you do a lot of stuff before that part of the class – usually a warm up and a strength segment. Our warm up today involved an 800m run followed by walking lunges while holding a kettlebell overhead:
As well as some unpictured goblet squats (squatting while holding a kettlebell in front of you) and kettlebell swings. We also did some stretching!
From there, we moved on to back squats for the strength portion of class. Some of you guys might remember that when I first started crossfit back in the summer of 2012 my shoulders were so inflexible that I couldn’t hold the bar behind me at all. Well, I’m happy to report that I can now do this! It’s still tough, and I still need to be mindful of keeping my form (especially as the weight goes up), but it’s much more manageable. Woohoo!
I still can’t do overhead squats (where you hold the bar above your head and squat down – my lack of mobility has me tilt forward in an unsafe way), so that’s next on the list. 🙂
We did 8 rounds of 4 reps, so we kept the weight lighter – I made it up to 55 pounds, I think (I forgot to count)! Obviously that’s not a lot compared to most people, but I’m only competing against myself. 🙂
I was talking to one of my AnneTheRD clients about this topic yesterday. She was saying how she was really nervous to do a 5k here in the US (she’s done a couple unofficial ones overseas) because she felt like everyone would be judging her for being slow, or for being bigger. But who cares what anyone else thinks, or what they are doing? I know it’s tempting to compare yourselves to others, but there’s no point. There will always be someone stronger, or faster, or more fit, or smarter, or whatever. That doesn’t matter – what does matter is whether you are improving compared to your past self, and doing things that challenge you. I feel like I’m a decent runner at this point – I can handle distance, and while I’m not super fast, I can hang with a lot of people now. But when it comes to CrossFit, as I told my client, I’m almost always the weakest/slowest person in the classes. I always have to ask whoever I’m partnered with to take some of the weights off when I go, and if it’s a strength-based workout, I’m usually slower, too. And like I’ve said – sometimes I can’t even do the move at all (hi, overhead squats). At first, I worried people would be judging me – but then I reminded myself that it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I’m challenging myself and bettering myself. Don’t ever be too scared to do something just because you aren’t amazing at it (yet!). Getting out of your comfort zone is where the magic happens, my friends.
Case in point: our WOD was 21-15-9 power cleans and burpees. Translation: do 21 power cleans, followed by 21 burpees (in between each burpee, jump over your barbell), then 15 power cleans, 15 burpees, 9 power cleans, and 9 burpees. The recommended power clean weight for women was 105 pounds – I did 55 pounds, and even though I had a lighter weight I still finished 3 minutes more slowly than the other girl that was there (it took me about 11 minutes, and it was TOUGH – power cleans are no joke). But who cares if I was slower with a lighter weight, or that she was faster and lifted something heavier? I did my best, and so did she, and that’s all that matters. There’s no shame as long as you are trying. Another note to self – see my elbows in the photo above in the power clean? They’re supposed to be lifted up a lot more, but my wrists have such poor mobility that my form isn’t great. Always something to work on!
So, my friends: your homework is to go forth and do something that challenges you. Something that you haven’t done even though you want to because you’re worried about looking silly or not knowing what you’re doing. All you have to do is try. I believe in you!
What have you done lately to challenge yourself? This applies to normal life, not just exercise!