Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Elise! Also, Some Thoughts About Seeing Progress in Crossfit.

First of all, I want to say how glad I was to be able to make it in for Elise's Birthday Workout! I was so sad to miss Adrienne's, but at least I didn't miss Elise's too!

We did Nasty Girls, which is: 50 air squats, 7 Muscle-ups, 10 Hang Cleans (85lb W): 3 rounds for time. I did 7 ring-rows (with the false grip) to dips. I should have done 21, as it was a substitution, but I was pressed for time. I finished in 18:30-something, I think.

This morning I had the pleasure of working out with Leslie, who I rarely see - and she mentioned to me how there have been a few people who read my blog and get motivated, have even started CF because of it! Also, how one particular person has been CFing for about 6 weeks, and is frustrated by her perceived lack of progress. I'm sure this is a common issue, as I often see people frustrated by their performance (including myself!).

I want to address how I experienced progress over my first year in Crossfit. You may have seen my post "A Lot Can Happen in a Year" - pretty drastic changes, eh? Let me tell you - most of those pictures were literally taken a year apart. Yes, I went from a size 14 to a size 8. However, I didn't start to lose weight until I changed my diet (to the Zone) - and that was about 5 months into starting CF. I actually GAINED weight, and stayed the SAME size for the first ~5 months. I made some wonderful strength gains - going from Deadlifting 105lbs to 200lbs. I also made very slow progress in other areas of strength - I was very slow to do full push-ups, and after starting in July, I didn't get my first real pull-up until January. Only recently did I get a hand stand!

I would have driven myself nuts if I compared myself to others in the class, instead of looking at my progress alone. Some people got a hand stand on the first try, and were shocked when they got their first pull-up, thinking they would never get one after being at CF for merely a month (still awesome for them though!!)! Others easily lap me in running circuits, but can't clean as much as I can. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and everyone has a different fitness and nutrition background. Some people have been active/athletic all their lives, while others (like me) started with CF!

I love throwing heavy weights around, but I am limited by my core and overhead strength. I can clean 85lbs no problem - but getting it locked out over my head? I miss half the time. I know I'm strong enough in my posterior chain to DL more than 200lbs, but my core is not quite there yet. I have the strength to do push-ups, but once again with my core, I have trouble maintaining the plank position.

I have great row form, but I get smoked VERY quickly. I'm MUCH better at running than I used to be - but it's still a mental monster for me, a constant battle to keep going. I can swing a 70lb Kettle Bell, but I can't hold a handstand for more than a few seconds. I have lost a great deal of weight, but due to my slacking off on the Zone, I am not yet where I COULD be (5-10lb more to lose). I have many workouts I can do Rxed, but there are quite a few where I still have to modify. I can keep going, but I think I've made my point.

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and everyone progresses at a different pace. Don't be discouraged if you're not where you want to be - even the fire-breathers like Stacey and Chriss have weaknesses and off-days! If you're going to be inspired by my journal, focus on my motivation to continue even when I take a beating or am disappointed in my performance. How good it feels to continue, how strong I feel when I manage to push through. Focus on how much I love CF, not only for the physical improvements, but because of the supportive community and the knowledge that you're doing something good for yourself - both physically and emotionally.

Okay - I'll step down from my soapbox now! I just hope at least one person reads this and learns to have more patience with themselves, and learns to enjoy the journey of CF instead of focusing on the end results!


Darcy 'D2' said...

That's a great post. I thought I was active before starting CF but I still progress(ed) slower than I want(ed) on so many things.

Cara said...

I think everyone does in one way or another! We also all reach sticking points, it's just the nature of the beast :-)