Festivus 2013, aka, Happy Anniversary to Me!

It’s not quite a year, that day is actually November 5th, but competing in Festivus (a scaled CrossFit competition) was my one year present to myself. I’ve never consistently participated in anything this long, so it’s kind of a big deal to me. It’s a sign that things really are starting to change inside my head.

So, how did it go? It was GREAT! I had a few goals going in, some I met, some I didn’t… but it was an experience that I loved so much, I’ve already promised to do it again next year! My first goal was to not be last. lol! I wasn’t, but I think I would have been just fine if I were. Next, I wanted to come in under the time cap for everything. I didn’t meet this one and it really is okay. The second wod ended and I had a long way left to go. Those dang burpees got me… slowed me way down.

My biggest goal, something I didn’t dare say until after the competition was over… I wanted to place in the top 3 in the first wod. It was all strength and I knew I had a fighting chance because I’m a strong girl. It was a Thruster Ladder ending at 125#. I knew I could do it because I’d done it for the first time the week before. That was truly the highlight of the entire day for me. I posted the pic a few days ago. One of my awesome coaches snapped the shot. I ended up placing second and I’m thrilled!!! Only one other Novice woman made it to the top of the ladder.

The rest of the day went in fast forward, an adrenaline rush the entire time. Several people congratulated me after the Thruster lift. A few women like myself, dare I say it… bigger girls… told me it was amazing seeing a bigger womon out there at the top of the ladder. That was truly my area… the sprint and the endurance wods kicked my patootie! However, because I’d finished so high in the strength part, my overall place was 26 out of 34. I would have liked it to be closer to the middle of the pack, but honestly, I’m still pretty thrilled. When I finally crashed, I was exhausted and brain dead. The next day was spent walking around like a zombie with as much time on the couch as 5 kids will allow. I went to the gym yesterday for a special Birthday Wod, and my body just didn’t work right. Things I tried to lift just didn’t lift. lol! I guess I needed another day or two to recover.

I have a lot of other thoughts floating around in my head and I’m not sure how to get them on paper. I’m still wondering when I’m going to start feeling like a Crossfitter. It’s been nearly a year. I have to be honest, though, the cool, hot pink socks I wore for the competition helped. lol. But seriously, I know it’s all in my head… but WHEN do I start feeling like a Crossfitter and not just someone who does CrossFit? When will I feel comfortable wearing a CrossFit shirt and not wonder if I’m embarrassing the box’s owner, a big girl wearing a fitness shirt… gee, that fitness program must work pretty well, look at her fat arse! Sometimes I’m pretty cruel in my head. Sigh.

I have other thoughts floating around, about being a bigger girl and being good at lifting weights. People in my life have been subtle (and sometimes not), and I’ve received the message loud and clear… it’s great that you can lift, but when are you going to lose the weight??? One person flat out asked me when I’m going to lose my stomach. That was about 6 months ago. My stomach isn’t really any smaller now than it was then. I’m already dreading heading into Christmas looking physically exactly the same. Yes, I can lift probably twice as much as I could last Christmas, but I’m still the exact same size a year later. The message I get from society, the message I get from my inner circle… it’s still the same… lifting is great but when are you going to LOOK any different. Okay… that might not be a truly fair statement. The real message I get from those closest to me… SILENCE! I have never done anything physical in my entire life, at least not longer than a couple of months. It hurts to feel that the one thing I am actually good at, is discounted because it’s not something society says women should do, especially BIG women.

So what’s next??? I’ve spent a few days thinking about this. I’m not entirely sure what’s next. I need some new goals. I need to work harder on some old goals. Eating is still a problem. Time to spend some effort and energy into figuring out what the zone is and how to get there. I could also use another detox. Sugar and flour have crept back into my diet and I need to give them eviction notices. I’m also trying to figure out the best way to balance my lifting with my sprint/endurance stuff, both huge weaknesses. I want to spend some time in my gym’s Olympic Lifting section and work with the world class Olympic coach on my technique… but it can’t come at the expense of my regular wods… or the after school commitments I already have. I’m going to have to find some balance. And, of course, it would be nice to lose the weight!

Overall, I’m heading into my second year of CrossFit, just as excited as ever. There’s lots more to accomplish… it’s been an amazing year! 🙂


My Present to Myself Arrives Next Saturday

Festivus Games!!!

I bought myself a ticket while flying down the highway, somewhere in South Carolina. It’s my one year anniversary present to myself. The meet is next weekend and then my official one year anniversary is November 5th. Honestly, I’m nervous as heck. The strength part is fine. It’s the endurance and the sprint that I’m going to be last in… and I’m trying my very best to be okay with that. It’s the process of competing that is the gift to myself. It’s one thing I can check off my bucket list… compete in an athletic event.

I’m not going to lie to you, though. Instead of focusing on the competition, the last 11 days have wreaked havoc on me. My Hubs is working and we’re not getting paid. Thank you, Government!!! (insert angry, profanity-filled rant!) Things are getting cut (grocery budget!) and the high quality, organic, grass fed stuff was the first to go. At times, my grocery cart looks downright ghetto! Cereal and Ramen noodles have been in there a time or two. I’m not eating them, and I feel guilty for buying them… but two teen boys in the house, I need fillers that don’t cost much. Organic lunch chips have been replaced with cheap chips. Ham sandwiches are now pb&j. Beans and rice are been back on the menu as well as lots of soups and chili with beans. Add in the looming bills, especially my rent… and I’m a walking basket case, desperately trying not to self-medicate with food… but with no Xanex in the house… well, let’s just say I’m sure the scale went up in the last two weeks. Sigh.

This too shall pass… but it’s really hard to feel that way when instead, you feel like the house is crashing down on you. Everyone is testy and grumpy. Teen drama is on high alert. I’m trying really hard not to let myself sink into depression, but my own anxieties, coupled with the anxieties of everyone around me, is getting to be too much. Let’s not even talk about the two hours of homework I do every night with the twins… #bangingheadonthetable

So… that’s where I am… trying to get ready for a competition that I’m wholly unprepared for…. and trying to steer my entire family through some bumps in the road without causing permanent psychological damage to any of us. Maybe it’s not just the “teen” drama… perhaps we’re all being a bit more dramatic these days.

I’m still making it to the gym 3x a week, and that is what’s saving my sanity. Today, the only reason I went was because that’s what I do on Friday mornings at 10:30. It was hard to get out the door. In fact, I missed the weightlifting class and was 8 minutes late to class… but I got there.  I’m always glad I went and today was no exception. I felt much, much better overall. I feel so sorry for y’all because, really, I have the best gym and the best coaches in the world! 🙂

There is some good news in all of this. I have been resting my shoulder and not doing anything overhead for the last several weeks. Wednesday was my official “going back overhead” day and I managed to hit a 125# thruster from the ground up! Best part… no shoulder pain afterwards! Today, I worked on some lightweight snatches (55#) and while I couldn’t quite get into a full squat snatch, I think I did pretty well. Still… no shoulder pain! I don’t know what’s going on or why my pain seems to have suddenly gotten better…. but in light of everything else going on around me, I’ll take it!


It’s Like a Wearing a Weighted Vest

Today, someone made a comment about feeling like he was working out with a weighted vest. It resonated with me, deeply. My “weighted vest” is at least 60 pounds, probably closer to 70 if you catch me on a more honest day. I’ve spend the afternoon wondering what it’s going to be like to not have my weighted vest. How will I move differently? Will it be easier to get up off the floor, up from chairs, in and out of cars… especially those little tiny cars that are so close to the ground. 70 pounds is heavy! If I had to live with 70 extra pounds on my shoulders, I would be in serious trouble. Even the simplest tasks would be exhausting.

Just thinking about what it would be like to work out at 70 pounds lighter is almost unimaginable! Will I finally get a pull up? Will I finally get a handstand push up? Will the pain my shoulder disappear? Will I still be able to make big lifts??? I’ve always been told that mass moves mass… although to be honest, I’d give up my big lifts in a heartbeat to experience life as a normal sized person.

Living 70 pounds lighter… I simply have no concept of what it will be like. I wonder if I will EVER know what that’s like. I am hopeful, but some days I get so discouraged. My one year anniversary is next month, and I’m sure I’ll talk about this further at some point, but I honestly thought it would only take a year to turn my life around. In retrospect, that seems silly. I don’t live in Biggest Loser land, can’t exercise 6-8 hours a day, and eat far too much food, albeit mostly “real” food, than I should. Life keeps getting crazy and sometimes it’s really hard to keep the focus on my quest for health. There are precious few hours in the day that are “mine” and I do try to make the most of them, but the reality of my life is that I’m not the focus… and my quest for health often takes a back seat to the day to day needs of the kids, their transportation, their homework (2+ hours a night!), and laundry/meals/cleaning, etc. Let’s throw in a Government shut-down and no paycheck to up the stress level, and I’m an unfocused basketcase. It’s ironic that at the very moment I’m experiencing “Success,” I feel like such a failure.

So, I wonder, as I’m closing in on the one year mark… how far away are my goals… when will I start seeing progress again (Translation: Will I ever fit into smaller pants and LOOK like a Crossfitter?)… and will I ever experience life without a 70 pound weighted vest???