Have you ever had one of those Mondays that you’re actually excited about the night before, or once you wake up? And then once it starts, something happens to get you all thrown off? And then all your excitement goes away. Sad.
Because if you’re like me, and you like watching other people work out, you probably watched the CrossFit Games at some point over the past 5 days. And then you were all ready to hit the gym all hard and stuff, and set new goals, and maybe even try out some of those workouts they did. Or maybe that’s just me. But that’s what I was feeling.
Also, this week is RETEST WEEK at CFEC, where we go back and retest the same workouts we did…I dunno.. 6 weeks ago I think? Maybe 8 weeks ago? Who knows? But the goal is to obviously do better. If people consistently do better, that’s how you know the programing is working.
So, yeah. I was ready to get at this week, but my stomach had other plans. You know where it just tightens up in knots, and it makes you want to just lay in the fetal position? Well that was me last night trying to sleep and this morning. So, stomach was saying nope, and I rarely get sick, so when I do, it throws me off more than it should. Then, I went to squat, and felt that same pain I felt last week in my left hip. We had to build to a heavy 8 Front Squats, then rerack the bar and do 12 back squats. So 20 squats in one set. A little different, and a lot of volume. Which I LOVE. Because you feel like your heart is about to beat out of your chest, and you have to suck it up and finish the reps, and not put that bar down.
But that left hip was letting me know that I just needed to back off today. And I didn’t listen at first. Or second. Or third. But then I listened and stopped. And you know what? I was ok with that. Because I’m trying to do better about listening to my body.
See, when you push yourself hard, over a long period of time, you need to know that your body is going to break down a little bit faster. Especially as you get older. And I’m just not as young as I once was.
But I look around me, or on Instagram, and I see people working out day after day so beautifully. Their squats look so pretty, and they’re able to move heavy weight so full of grace, and just perfect, and I hate them. So much. Because I’m over here having to hold on to a rack to not fall over if I’m just doing a basic squat without any weight to balance me out. So, I’m frustrated, and what bothers me the most is that I want to be able to train others and not lead them astray in how rounded my back is when I squat. Which honestly, I’m pretty open about it, and I tell people that I know it’s bad, but I’m working on it.
So, all that to say that it’s really easy to compare myself to what others are doing. For example, after Regionals, I needed a week to just be able to lift my right shoulder over my head, and to not walk like a newborn baby calf. I still stayed active, but I knew I needed time to let my body recover before going back full speed. But then I saw on instagram all these girls that were already hitting it hard in the gym, and then I get pissed and compare myself, and think that I’ll never be as good, and it’s time to step the F up.
But you know what that is? Pride. And just like ole’ King Solomon said in Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goes before destruction…before a fall, if you will. (maybe even literally). You don’t have to even believe that verse above, or the Bible at all, to know that pride still sucks. It’s going to eventually tear you down. And trying to keep up when your body is shouting at you to STOOOOPPPPP is pride. It’s your body. It’s the only one you have. And it was given to you to make something great of it.
So, despite ALL the ROMWOD, and ALL the foam rolling, and all the frog stretch, and lizard stretch, and extended lizard, and pigeon stretch, and box pigeon stretch, and straddle (which still makes me cry), my hips are still flippin’ tight. Like it hurts to squat. It hurts to do a 65 lb thruster. Now I’m not the toughest kid out there, but I can usually push through.
But I’ve been feeling more and more convicted about listening to my body and not comparing myself to other people. Just because that girl is over there squatting heavy 5 times a week doesn’t mean it’s best for me.
So, here’s what I’m going to do about it. I’ve talked a little bit on here about mobility, and flexibility, and tight hips, and just tight everything really. So, if you asked me what my biggest weakness was, I’d say mobility and flexibility before anything else. Because if you’ve been doing CrossFit for long enough, and if you want to get better at CrossFit and compete, you know that mobility and flexibility have to be the foundation of everything. You can’t maintain the work load overtime if its painful to squat.
So, I redid some goals over the weekend, and one of them is to WORK toward a pain free squat. Good news is, I’ve been working on it all year. And good news is, as I’ve upped volume in working out (as in doing the workouts programed, along with some strength and skill work to help with my weaknesses), I’ve still been able to move. But there’s still a lot of work left to do. I want this so I can be a better coach and a better competitor.
For me, this looks like even more recovery time. Like whenever I can get it in. The more I’ve been working out, the more I see how important recovery is. Even THE CHAMP (aka Katrin Davidsdottir) said last night that the biggest area she improved in over the past year was her recovery.
Anyway, it’s a struggle. But at the end of the day, I’m still thankful to be able to move and workout. And I’m thankful CrossFit is a sport that anyone can do. No matter your age, or what stage of life you’re in. There’s nothing like it. Everything can be modified to fit your needs or limitations. I just need to keep in mind that just because I see other people doing crazy stuff, with crazy workloads, it doesn’t mean my body is in a place to be able to do it. Yeah, you better believe I’m going to work for it. But never stop listening to your body.
As always, you can see our workouts at CFEC here. You can see that there is some sort of mobility exercise(s) programed everyday. DO THIS. Make time for it.
Stay humble, y’all. And listen to your coaches. If there is mobility programed in the workout, it’s there for a reason. Do it. If it’s not programed at your gym, make time for it so you can be in this thing for the long haul.