The One Where I Realize How Much I Suck

Sometimes I forget how far I've come.

I mean, not just about losing weight, although that is still a significant event itself. I mean in terms of my outlook on life, and healthy living, and exercise, and eating. I wouldn't say it's been a complete 180 but definitely close.

18 months ago, I wouldn't have guessed I would be working out as much as I do. I would never have even given a thought to doing a triathlon, let alone 2, let alone getting a coach for next season. If you'd told me that I would fall in love with Olympic lifting I would have stared at you blankly, especially if you'd mentioned the word 'snatch'.

I've been thinking about goals and where I want to go with both CrossFit and triathlons. With tris it's easy – get better. I need to improve all aspects of the sport before I can really truly see what I'm capable of. But regardless I love it just the same, and I know I can get better, and I will.

With CrossFit it's different. I am deeply, unabashedly in love with CrossFit. Without it I know I wouldn't be where I am today, and as cheesy as it sounds it really did change my life. I doubt i would have ever tried running, or triathlons, without the courage and faith in myself that I've developed through CrossFit. Cheesy, sappy, kool-aid driven, whatever – I love it.

So it's hard for me to admit that I suck at it. Now no need to boost my ego by telling me I don't (although telling me I'm awesome will earn you some brownie points) because I know I do. I'm not good at a lot of aspects of CrossFit and I just don't anticipate getting better. I don't improve as quickly as a lot of others at my gym. My times are slower, the weights are lighter, and I really, really am no good at gymnastics movements.

So there's that. It's hard to set goals for things that I'm horrible at. It's not like triathlon, where i know i can improve but have no delusions of ever standing on the podium. I want so badly to be good at CrossFit but I'm just – not. It's hard to sit back and watch others, so easily, do the things that I struggle with on a daily basis.

But then I still have to remember how far I've come.

And I have to remember to stop comparing myself with others.

I need to remember the things I am good at.

But it's hard sometimes, to remember.

 

Exercise Vs. Training–Why do YOU workout?

A conversation I had on Twitter last night kinda got me thinking.

There are plenty of workouts I could do at home – both general and CrossFit WODs, and yet I still choose to pay to attend classes at my gym.  I know I could get an excellent workout at home using bodyweight movements (until I convince Shawn to clean out the garage to make me a gym!). I know I could maintain my weight and save money by working out at home.  So why don’t I?

When I first started this weight loss journey, each workout was to get moving and to burn calories.  Of course I still picked activities I liked – RPM, BodyPump, yoga, running – but the ultimate goal was weight loss.

In the last year this approach to working out has changed.  When I step foot into the gym, or get on my bike or in the pool, I’m not immediately thinking “How many calories will I burn?” Instead, it’s more “How will this workout get me stronger, faster, closer to my goals?”.  I’m more interested in training  rather than exercising

So this is why I choose to still pay monthly to go to a CrossFit gym – I know I could exercise on my own, but I don’t think I could train on my own – I wouldn’t push myself to add weight, fix my form, or do scary things like handstands if I was doing it by myself.  It’s also why, for next season, I will hopefully get a triathlon coach – to help me figure out my weaknesses and to work on those.

Yesterday’s awesome WOD:

5×5 front squats

12 minute AMRAP
10 back squats (95#)
200m run

Front squats were 45 – 55 – 65 – 75 – 95 and then I did 2 at 105 (probably should have done all 5 but I wimped out).  I did the WOD rx’d and got 4 rounds plus 10 more squats. My quads hate me today.

Oh yeah – I also signed up for a CrossFit team competition (or was signed up for one?) yesterday for September 22!! Another reason to train and get after it in the gym the  next month.

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So tell me – do you workout for exercise or are you training? Is there a difference to you?

That Time I Decided to Become An Olympic Lifter

 

Yeah, random title right?

So my “secret” not so secret news is that I’ve decided to train for an Olympic lifting competition that is in August.  One of our coaches just completed his first comp this weekend and did very well for only 5 weeks training.  We have a lifting coach that was coming in on Wednesday nights for group training, and he was privately training Kyle as well.  Now he wants to find more “talent” and bring them to the competitions.  We have some extremely strong guys in the gym, and I think they would excel.

So why am I doing this, you might ask yourself? I’m not extremely strong, and apparently according to my training session yesterday, I’ve been doing the lifts wrong for the last year. Not horrifically wrong, mind you, but my body position needs a lot of work. My hip flexors don’t bend as they should, and I’m all tilty, and I always have this feeling that I’m going to fall backwards. Or I do fall backwards. I’m just so graceful.

But I am a perfectionist when it comes to some things (cleaning is not one of them – sorry Mom, I know you tried) and I really want to perfect these lifts. I am not going to compete to win, or place, but I’m using it as a goal to work on my form and hopefully improve my strength gains in each lift.

Now what exactly is Olympic lifting? Olympic lifting consists of 2 lifts – the clean & jerk, and the snatch (yes, laugh, we all do), while powerlifting is the more commonly thought of deadlift, back squat, and bench press.

 

Snatch

 

Clean and Jerk

 

Truthfully, the Olympic lifts are more technical than the powerlifting ones (at least they seem that way to me).  The term “powerlifting” is also a bit misleading – the Oly lifts are about power, and hip drive, while the powerlifts are more about strength.  Form is extremely important in both, but I have a harder time wrapping my brain around the subtleties of the Oly lifts than the powerlifts. 

Last night we worked on snatch progression (cue snickering), and really all I worked on was set up and first pull (bringing the bar to my knees).  Before yesterday I didn’t really realize just how much leg strength is involved in this lift, probably because I was doing it wrong and using my back before.  But holy, trying to do the WOD afterwards was excruciating.  Our workout (after the hour + of Oly lifting!) was:

50 kettlebell swings (16kg)
40 box jumps (20’)
30 push ups
20 air squats
10 pull ups
400 m run

My legs felt like lead after the KB swings, and I was slow getting started on the box jumps.  But I finished in 12:37, not the slowest on the day, so that’s a good thing!

Time to get off my chair and head over to the gym for tabata tire flips and a 1.5 mile run. Sorry body – the things I do to you!

Enjoy your Tuesday!