Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Let's be Honest. Crossfit is Hard.

The mind functions in interesting ways... especially when it is being challenged on a daily basis.

Crossfit is hard.  I know everybody likes to put it down, but I don't think anybody who has tried it could say that it's easy.  The toughest part for me has been mental.  The act of lifting a barbell repeatedly after I hit the point that my body quits, or throwing a wallball up when my legs threaten to stop moving, or doing anything that hurts, is a huge mental feat.  I have never before been so invested in a sport that I wanted to push myself this hard; except for maybe a good day at swim practice when I felt motivated.  I have surprised myself with how passionate I am about Crossfit; it truly is an addiction.

I am slowly learning how to use my mind to my benefit when my body is giving up, and how to shut my brain off and move when my doubts are holding me back.   
Somedays, doing a lift with a heavier weight than the week before is my biggest accomplishment. Other times, what motivates me is when I come into the box and the WOD is glaring at me from the board, silently yelling, "you aren't ready for this yet, not today," but I somehow finish despite my doubt. When I am finally able to complete a movement that I was struggling with, I end up on a high for hours.  Then there are the times that my mind works against me, and I walk to the car knowing that I should be proud of myself for my hard work, but also knowing that I could have done better, if only I had thought positively or pushed harder.
Most of the time, I am uplifted by my mornings at the box, but I have encountered each of the above experiences in this week alone!

This week, I was able to push past my fear of getting stuck in the bottom of a squat, and I lifted more than I thought that I could.  I was able to do it just because I had a partner telling me that it didn't hurt to try and she thought that I could do it.  When I workout in a team, there always seems to be somebody who knows the right thing to say to get me out of my own head, and push me past my boundaries.  I did end up getting stuck in a front squat during my 4th rep at 40 kg.  It didn't kill me. And it felt way better than staying at 35 kg when I was capable of more.
Today, I came into the box feeling completely broken down.  My knee hurt from a botched box jump yesterday, my feet hurt because I need new shoes, my butt and legs hurt from a build-up of the whole week, and my lower back was tight; most likely from forgetting to tighten up my ass and abs.
The WOD just looked evil today- I told Rob that I was psyched out before the warmup even started. He told me that working out when everything hurts is when I will start to make real progress. I believe him, but I still didn't want to go when the timer started. When I completed the WOD, I was proud of myself for doing both rounds of 50 kettlebell swings without stopping; but Rob was right, next time I need to use more weight. I was proud of myself for finishing a workout that I was sure would push me to quitting. But I also felt like crap, because even though I finished, I did quit on myself.  When I was left alone and expected to complete my most dreaded task (run 800m), I gave up.  I didn't want anybody to see my walking, but I should have cared more about me than them; I didn't hurt anybody but myself.  I look back and I think, "I could have kept jogging, what was the worst that would have happened?" But in the moment, all I could think about was my heavy breathing and my aching legs and how much better it would feel to just take a couple slow steps... Today, my mind worked against me and told me that I would be better off taking the easy way out.  Next time, I refuse to let my doubts get the best of me.
On the other hand, I was able to do strict pull-ups this week, all because my sub-concious told me that I could.  I had a dream one night that I was doing pull-ups. They were so easy and I felt so accomplished doing them.  When I finished my WOD the next day, I figured I might as well try to do one, like I had been trying for a couple weeks.  First I did a chin-up.  I knew I could do those, but it felt easier than usual. Then, as I thought about how easy the pull-ups were in my dream the night before, I was able to do one! Then I did three more!  I felt great, but I wasn't too surprised, because deep down I knew that I could.

Tomorrow is my two month anniversary of joining Crossfit Ansbach, and I love it more today (hurting body and all) than I did when I wrote my first post about it.
In honor of two months, I'm going to write down what weights I have been working with so far, and hopefully in two more months, all of these numbers will have been crushed!

  • I am now working with a 6 kg (13.2 lb) wallball. Somedays I can get it higher than others, but I don't want to go back down to 4 kg (8.8 lb).
  • Front Squat- I don't know my one-rep-max, but I know I did four reps at 40 kg (88 lb).
  • Back Squat- 42.5 kg (93.7 lb)
  • Hang Power Clean- I don't know my one-rep-max, but I did 45 reps at 25 kg (55 lb) during our Hero WOD.
  • Reverse Bench Press- 5-rep-max = 32.5 kg (71.7 lb)
  • Deadlift- 63.5 kg (140 lb)?? I'm not sure if I recorded that correctly, but I know I have done 60 kg (132.2 lb) 
  • Squat Cleans- during a 1-7 ladder, I did 1-4 (10 reps) at 30 kg (66 lb)
  • Shoulder Press- 27.5 kg (60.6 lb)
  • Thruster- 30kg (66 lb)
Some of these maxes are from a month ago, so I may have already progressed, but as of now, these are what I know :) These are what I have to beat! Thank you to Rob, the other trainers, and all the members of Crossfit Ansbach who have helped me so much and who I genuinely look forward to seeing every day!


  1. You are doing wonderful! You and your husband can be proud of yourselves! Like I mentioned before, get rid of can't and sorry*. (*= sometimes you still might need it i.e when you fart or something lime that!)
    The progress you have made with pull ups shows your determination!

    Main thing though is to have fun with what we are doing. We don't need one more thing to burden us!

  2. Thanks Rob! I am definitely having fun- that is the best part about it :) I missed it this weekend; I can't wait to get back at it tomorrow morning!