Something I have learned over the last few months as an athlete that I hope inspires others. In January, my gym was doing a fitness challenge. At the beginning of the challenge we were asked to find our max lifts for about 3 lifts, row for time, how many double unders in 2 minutes, number of pull ups unbroken, sit and reach and then time ourselves on a couple of wods. I was almost not going to do this challenge simply in fear of stepping on the scale. I just didn’t want to step on that scale after the holidays. I firmly believe that as an athlete the scale should not drive my health plans, but for some it is good motivation and it also can keep people in check. I also know that muscle weighs more than fat and if my clothes are fitting and I am feeling good then I am golden…well, after the holidays that was not the case. We must understand that 140 pound women who doesn’t work out and eats junk food looks and feels much different than 140 pound women who works out and eats clean and feels great. Even though the only reason why I didn’t want to sign up for that challenge simply because I didn’t want to step on the scale I realized that I was being ridiculous. Because I know that I am competitive and that this challenge would get me back on track if I signed up. Stepping on the scale was just a fear in my imagination that needed to be shot down. When I got home I just took a deep breath stepped on the scale and guess what… I am still alive. I went into the challenge with goals in mind and to only compete with myself.
This challenge also had a homework sheet in hopes that you would do it to improve. Of course being a teacher, I knew that homework would only benefit me and make me stronger. The homework consisted of increasing pull-ups each week, rowing more each week, working on double unders and making sure to get the lifting in. The lifting was easy to get in because it was scheduled in the work out for the day. But, the others were extra. Every Thursday is open gym. I have been wanting to get my bar muscle ups back since my injury. I have been using Thursdays to work on just that. Because I knew that I wanted to focus on BMU on Thursdays, I had to stay after a little to work on the other homework such as pull-ups and double unders. I figured I could do my rowing in between my BMU work. It actually worked out pretty handy:) I got pretty frustrated with BMU’s. As the 7 weeks went on, I ended up getting 2 in the 60 minute open gym time. So that gives you an idea of how much I struggle with them. But, I was happy because I got them back:) They weren’t ( and still aren’t) pretty, but I am working on that. BMU btw was not on the homework list. I simply have a drive to make them better because I really want a ring muscle up and feel these would be a stepping stone. Progressions to ring muscle ups was something I decided to take a break from over the 7 week course.
After working hard with the challenge, up comes The Crossfit Open. This is a competition that anyone can complete. You simply must be judged and then enter your scores on -line. Thousands of people do this. The top leaders compete in The Crossfit Games to compete for the Fittest in the World title. Why do I compete in this you ask? Well because I will be the Fittest in the World of course! LOL JUST KIDDING! I compete in this for me. This is the 3rd year I have competed in The Open. Each year I see how much I have improved as an athlete. The first year, was a great experience for me. I didn’t really have anything to compare my scores to, but I had goals in mind of what I wanted to accomplish. Simply signing up was a HUGE deal for me. Like… I was so scared… just putting myself out there to the world to see how much of an athlete I am really not compared to so many other amazing athletes. However, at the same time I realized that I was a better athlete than a lot of people in this world. I couldn’t do a lot of the wods rx’d which was frustrating to me. But, at the same time it gave me a lot to focus on and work towards for the next year.
Three years later…I am so thankful that I no-repp’ed myself on my chest to bar (CTB) pull-ups in every single wod. Getting so frustrated with them in WODs because I was ALWAYS the last one done if there were CTB in a work out. Even holding back tears of frustrating during the wod because I was struggling so much with them. But, guess what…the first open wod (16.1) had CTB pull-ups and I was pretty excited that I could RX the first open wod! I was happy with my scores. 16.2…..Toes to Bar, double unders and squat cleans at 85 pounds. Again, I was thankful that I could do TTB fluently. Double unders…well I either have them or I don’t and thankfully that day I had them…well…let’s say it could have been worse…the squat cleans were a heavy weight for me. But, I got in way more reps than I thought. So I was happy with my score. 16.3….get this…10 snatches at 55 pounds and wait for it….wait for it…bar muscle ups baby! I was so thrilled to know that I could also rx this wod too! I was so thankful that I took the time at open gym to get these babies back! The wod was 10 snatches and 3 bmu and continue that pattern for 7 minutes I believe. I was really nervous that I would not get one in. Remember, it took me 60 minutes to get in 2 bmu and I only had 7 minutes. Well…my friends… I ended up not only getting 1 but 4 bar muscle up! Pretty awesome I thought! 16.4…is 55 deadlifts, 55 wall balls, 55 calorie row, and 55 hspu in 13 minutes. I get to tackle this wod tonight. Let’s just say…there is nothing I am looking forward to with this one except not to die. I would look forward to hspu, but if I get that far I will be impressed with myself…
During all of this madness…we did do our final testing for the fitness competition. I am happy to say that I lifted more on all but one lift, did 8 more pull ups, was quicker on my rowing, reached farther on the ol’ sit and reach, go t more double unders in, and did way better on both wods. The best part….remember at the beginning I was scared to get on the scale? Well, I only lost 1 pound….but look at how much stronger and faster I am now:)
Moral of the story…fear is only a figment of your imagination…don’t let it drive your life…you drive it to success!
Until next time…drive fear to success!