challenges, change

Oh My Aches

Well 50 has been glorious thus far. So many aches creep up after the big 5-0. Today, I thought I would jot a few down.

The tennis ache: I have a love hate relationship with this kind of ache. I love tennis. I hate the ache in my forearm from overuse. A year ago the ache seemed insignificant. Could the big 5-0 really cause aches?

The CrossFit ache: this ache comes and goes depending on the programming of movements and/or the frequency of my attendance on a regular basis. The ache however is the same. It’s a graduating ache. You must move to keep the tightness from settling in any one place, especially the buttocks. Nobody likes a tight ass. Consistency helps with this ache but age does enlighten you when evaluating aches.

The knee ache: this one is ever so annoying. I can walk. I can bend. I can ride a bike. However, if I sit in a plane seat or a car seat for any length of time my knee is locked. The unlocking part leaves a lingering pain deep inside. Could this be old age? I have no idea what a bad knee feels like but now that I’m fifty I think about it.

Although there are physical aches, there are also emotional and social aches. The social aches come and go with time conflicts and scheduling for adults. Those who want to spend time together but then schedules and life gets in the way. The emotional aches can swing from one side to the other.

One side of the emotional ache could be with growth. Watching your child or young adult grow or not grow. The other side could be emotional aches resulting from the loss of loved ones near and far. Add that 5-0 menopausal self and you might get a an emotional wreck, front and center.

Environmental aches sneak up on you too. The annoying neighbor. The boss who is a pain. The co-worker who slacks causing you extra work.  The weather might even throw you off or makes your aches worse if it’s cold or rainy. One seems easily shaken or disturbed as into that crotchety self over fifty.

I never used to notice aches and pains as much as I have this year. Menopause. Aging. Life. It all hits at once. Or so it seems to me. My forty-five year old self was so much more indestructible. My forty-seven year old self was so adventurous. My fifty and challenged self is changing daily. Likes. Dislikes. Wants. Don’t wants. Needs. No’s. Do’s. Dont’s. I can’t even name them all because change is on the horizon, daily. I also think snoring magnifies over 50.

As I write today, I think of how much I enjoy the still of my day today. The fall air. The cool breeze. The comfy sweatpants. As day shifts to night, I will enjoy something different. The outdoors. The giggles. The challenges. The competition. I hit the field tonight with my new team. I will enjoy some fall memories with this group that will surely keep me on my toes and easily make me forget my aches of the ages.

For now I focus on moving as much as I can and as often as I can. I try to stretch my mind to try new things to counter balance my aging. I often remember to giggle. I also disregard those around me who attempt to suck the life out of me. This is a necessary step to keep the other aches at bay.

Nobody wants to add heartache or worse on top of the other aches I listed above. Well not me anyway. Time to throw my frisbees to my dogs and breathe fresh air.

fitness and nutrition

The Days After

As a follow up to my experience post, I figured I would document the soreness I alluded to at the end of the post. The aches and pains are real the day after the big competition. That’s how you know you pushed your limits. When muscles hurt that you didn’t know were firing during your adrenaline-rushed day.

You may see a stiffness erupting late in the day you compete. This is just the beginning. Then you rest the night and wake up with everything tight. You need to move to loosen your body even though you feel like you should stay in bed all day. For first timers this is a whole new level of sore.

Remember we had teen athletes in our group. They would say they were in shape yet one struggled to lift their arm over her head while the other said my legs are anchors when I run. I would say their bodies would bounce back quicker than mine at age almost 50 but maybe I have built up a higher pain tolerance with age.

As you loosen you feel better but simple things like bending over, sitting on the toilet or reaching for something can really push your limits. Again it’s a new level of achy tightness. A good night’s sleep again will help tremendously. The texts from other athletes read: I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. I’m only at 50% but I moved today. I’m still sore. Communication is key in the recovery process as well to see how your gym mates are doing or to share in the woes or to make sure nothing major is surfacing.

2nd full day post-comp you normally have areas that have improved tremendously but may have lingering soreness. For me it was my quads. They improved a ton but in/out of the car was an effort. A deeper squat of any sorts showed my soreness. I leveraged Aleve at some points as well as essential oils and my quads liked the repair gel in the photo below. 

As an athlete recovery is important. Movement is also important. I didn’t skip activities rather I scaled them back during my recovery to speed up my healing overall. Or that was the plan anyway.

Today I will play tennis and see how my body fares. Specifically my quads. Yesterday the motion of the bike erg was refreshing and achy all in one but I still got it done. I may have written about recovery in the past however each comp has varied workouts thus the recovery varies, meaning my soreness may be disbursed over different areas of my body.

I am still thankful for my experience despite the soreness. I’d do it again and again as well. Have a great day and think of me as I’m recovering.

celebrations, fitness and nutrition

The Experience

Not too long ago I wrote about my upcoming CrossFit competition and my lack of preparedness. Today is the follow up which will summarize the experience because that’s what I decided it was. An experience that I will cherish for many years to come.

Let’s start with being fortunate. I am fortunate that at just shy of 50 I can compete at a high level and put myself out there in front of many. I am also happy that I get to share that experience with not only my friends but my youngest daughter. That in itself makes the experience more powerful and memorable. We did the same moves. We struggled together. We cheered together. We were a team although not on a team together. Just a day with my mini. 

Although this isn’t our first time competing together, it is always an adventure. New location. New moves. New competitors. New everything. I get to see her work through fears. I get to see her reach new heights. Sometimes I even see her coaching others who could be older than her. It’s a fun sight to see. I can truly say she grows with each event.

The day didn’t always go as planned. I started out workout one with strength but ripped my hands pretty good about 4 minutes into the 10-minute workout. I’m never good at working on the bar with my grip but when my hands ripped everything moved in slow motion except the pain. That was front and center. The suffering was over quick enough but how would the rest of the day go since I needed my hands. Luckily I pushed through. Of course I was the only one who ripped. Just my luck.

The day was long but so many giggles and milestones. My partner and I killed our box over and snatch workout. It’s the one I’d say we were most prepared for. This little bit of success helped us push through the afternoon. This workout was also the one my daughter and her partner did amazing at. Maybe even the fastest time of the day. Two little teens moving like they had fire on their feet. It was so exciting to witness. Team bonding. Team unity. True partnership. I was right there front and center to experience all of it.

Lunch break was fun, too. Chairs in the parking lot. Food trucks. Snacks galore. Chats with friends. Wardrobe changes. Selfie time for many. Just good clean fun. About this time a few non-participants showed up to cheer everyone on. That was just very cool. People took a long drive on a Saturday to cheer on friends and gym pals. This was amazing but this is CrossFit. Community. Like minded people coming together to unite around fitness. I will remember this because it was as a connection of people that went beyond the walls of a home base or gym.

The next workout was harsh. 12 minutes of repetitive moves requiring teamwork, communication and true grit. No real rest time. Pure adrenaline pumping in the body. Fatigue like you didn’t think was possible. You glance at the clock. It’s five minutes into 12 minutes. Will the workout ever end? Can I continue? So much runs through your mind. Are you contributing equal work as a partner? Is this a test? I survived my 12 minutes that felt like they would never end, but now it’s my daughter’s turn. I led by example. I gave hints for success. Will she listen? I mean she is a bullheaded teen. Will her age and inexperience hinder her? The day after post online noted below shows the confirmation of others thinking that 12 minutes was brutal!

The clock began. The battle with self ensued. Her partner was showing signs of weakness early on. She saw it. She didn’t want to accommodate her needs but she had no choice. Both were competing. They battled hard. They leaned on each other when they wanted to scream at each other. What a sight to see. In the end they persevered. It was such a sight to see. The after math was not so fun. The fatigue and anger showed their nasty side. This is part of the process.

The competition was nearing an end. A five minute workout remained. A simple one but so hard at the end of the day after all the athletes had endured. The power went out. The struggle with self continued on many levels for many athletes. You can’t quit now. The roar of the crowd gets you over the finish line. We did it. We came. We battled. We conquered ourselves. We left a little stronger. We gained a little respect for others. We enjoyed the experience from a-z.

This is CrossFit. Many say why do you do it? I do it for the fitness first and foremost. I do it for the friendships and community. I do it for the experiences. Competing takes all of that to a whole different level. It teaches you how to adapt. How to overcome. How to face adversity. How to smile. How to push through. These lessons crossover in life daily.

Our collective group of athletes hit the jackpot today. We all medaled. Not because of a low turnout but because we worked hard and did the best we could that day. There was a soon to be married couple in the mix. The doctor and the mid-twenties guy. Two sets of aged athletes in the masters category. Two teens. A wife and young adult combo. Such a diverse group.

This was a great experience. One to be shared. It is my hope that somebody reading this feels inspired to to try something new. Maybe it’s a new fitness routine. Maybe it’s just stepping outside their comfort zone to see what life can offer.

Enjoy today. I know I will. For tomorrow I will be sore. A sore like no other.

Teddie Bear Adventures

That Feeling

The pit in your stomach. 

The nauseous feeling that is churning.

My heart is aching as well. The accident that caused the turmoil. The unknown. The cries. The sad eyes. The stillness.

My little baby had an accident. My little Bear. My puppy. She was under my feet. Playing like a puppy as a canister slipped from the pantry shelf above my head. I couldn’t catch it. It smashed the floor and the little dainty puppy’s paw. Tiny little girl didn’t stand a chance to dodge what would be a missile in her eyes coming at her full speed.

Oh my heart sank as she yelped. An ungodly sound like I had never heard before. How did such a little baby make such a loud scream? She was in agony. I never experienced anything like this. My stomach had a super big pain in it. The I’m going throw up now but I have to hold it. I have to be strong for her. I have to get her help.

I practiced my deep breathing. I woke the world up. The vet wasn’t open yet. Waiting 30 minutes seemed like a lifetime for them to open. I made it to the vet for an emergency appointment. I waited as the tech unlocked the building. They knew a crazy momma was there. They took my baby for X-rays. I had to wait yet again. 15 minutes for the results. 

That pit in my tummy was raging. My mind was dancing. My heart was aching. What horrible person lets such an accident happen? That would be me. I am 100% responsible yet I can’t absorb the pain for her. This is devastating. An experience I don’t wish on my worst enemy.

As I wait, I write. I’m choosing writing therapy to help calm my mind. To help share my pain and heart with others. A painful part of life but a real life encounter. Her blanket is clinched in my arms as I wait. As I write on my tablet. Sitting alone in a desolate room. The longer it takes the worse I think the outcome will be. Oh how I want to snuggle her during this difficult time. 

She is so loved, but does she know it? Deep breathing ensues. The vet comes back.  Nothing is broken. Hallelujah. A bone bruise. She will be sore but the doctor assured me she will be fine in a few days. Off we go with some anti inflammatory medicine to ease the suffering.

This momma sighs in relief to a point, but wishes she could start the day over to eliminate this mess all together. Snuggle your pets and loved ones. Circumstances can change in an instant. Look at these worn out eyes. She has nap time written all over her cute face.

Goodbye for now. I do plan to document her recovery at some point. Watch for a later post.

fitness and nutrition, health

Aches

Oh my quads. 

Oh no my pec muscles.

Geez my triceps hurt too.

Oh my traps.

Oh my hip flexors are undeniably tight.

Oh my hammies. Yes, my hamstrings hurt too.

Oh my ass and all those fibers in the gluteus maximus. They all hurt. A slight bend or shift and I feel them all.

The hinge. The doorway stretch. They help but they show tightness that one can’t see. What would my body look like under my skin?

No joke. Everything seems to be achy this Tuesday morning. Was I hit by a car? No. It’s the after effects of the Murph Hero WOD I did on Monday. I’ve been doing this workout for the past five years and I never remember being this sore.

Is it old age?

Did I lack preparation?

Did I not warm up properly?

Was I sleep deprived?

I am sure there was a combination of all of the above. I also probably didn’t fuel my body as well as I could have the weekend prior either. Now I’m suffering.

I had a nap late Tuesday. My body said it was a requirement. I didn’t fight the urge. It helped my recovery. I slept in Wednesday. Something I hardly ever do. My body said thank you. I’m getting less sore by the minute.

Why suffer? Why would I even think about doing this workout again? The irony is I will probably do this again for many more years to come. Maybe not for the aches afterwards but for the tribute to those who are no longer able to do the workout. 

Soldiers lost in the line of duty. Soldiers suffering with a lifelong injury. Soldiers suffering in silence. Veteran near and far whom I honor.

My pain is temporary. I’m able to write about it and get on with my life even if I move slower. I’m still moving.

This years pain and suffering was an honor. A badge of courage. Another tribute year in the books. As I end this post I will most likely head to bed early again today for yet another round of rest!