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.

challenges

Pretend It’s Normal

It’s not quite the end of 2020 and there are about ten thousand phrases I’d like to forget with the new year.

Here are just a few, besides the obvious social distancing:

Abundance of caution – “Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve postponed another event you’ve already planned for / paid for / trained for / committed to indefinitely.”

A little different – “Thanksgiving / the holidays / Disney World / The Peachtree Road Race will look a little different this year, but…”

A year like no other…the list goes on. I want it to stop.

But the one that is like a dagger to my lungs is just the word “normal” in almost any context. Yes, “new normal” is annoying because it implies that this is going to drag on and on forever. But just the word normal is even worse. Especially in my work environment.

“We want it to be like a normal school experience.”

Say what you will about science and politics. What we are going through is not normal. I’m hopeful it’s a once-in-my-lifetime occurrence. Walking around in masks, keeping 6 feet apart, sanitizing a million times a day, kids unable to move as they please or need to, feeling suspicious every time someone sneezes…none of this is normal. Dear bosses…Evaluating how or what I am doing based on “normal” standards is also silly. Thankfully, our state lawmakers came to their senses and made the high-stakes tests high school students take at year end irrelevant to their grades. Take it all as just data, not as a way to penalize kids for situations they didn’t create or choose.

People are doing the best they can. And now more than ever that can be a messy, unpredictable, incomprehensible jumble. Forgive it all. Accept it. This goes for my attitude toward myself, too. Keep going. Lift others up when you can. That’s all I can do.

So when you say you want it to be more normal…I want work (and grocery shopping and traveling and everything else for that matter) to be more like a “normal” experience, too. I wish none of this were happening or that I could wave my magic wand and have it be over. Voila! Normal!

Not that easy. Hopefully we are on the way to a better normal in the near future. But for now, can we please just treat this like the anything-but-normal experience it is?

What pandemic words and phrases make you ragey these days?