Friday, March 28, 2014

Feeling Grateful {Thoughts on 14.5}

Hi Friends,

Real conversation with the Starbucks barista* this morning:

Him:  How's your day going so far?
Me:  Awesome!  I've already got my workout in, so the day is off to a great start!
Him:  Oh, that's great!  Where do you workout, across the street?  
Me:  No, I workout at CrossFit over on the west side of Appleton.
Him:  Huh. I've heard that's pretty intense.
Me:  It sure is, but I love it.
Him:  I don't know much about CrossFit, but I do know that people who do it tend to get really into it.
Me:  That's because it's awesome!

I don't write about CrossFit too much, because I am afraid of being one of those people who writes about CrossFit too much.  The truth is, though, that the reason that CrossFitters talk about CrossFit so much is because it is more than just a place to workout.  It really is awesome.   Believe me, I have tried it all.  I have worked out in expensive private gyms and at the local YMCA.  I've taken spin classes and step aerobics, yoga and body sculpt.  I've worked out one-on-one with a private trainer and in huge groups.  In all of those years of working out, I have never, ever, worked out in a more supportive environment than CrossFit Appleton.  Is it scary?  Heck, yeah.  Has it made me cry? You better believe it.  Are there people who are more fit than me?  Yup, most of them are. But you know what?  Every single one of those super-fit people wants me to succeed.  Every single one of those people knows my name, and they all know when I've accomplished a new goal.  Even on the days where the WOD (workout of the day) beats me up, or is filled with things I can't do yet, I still leave the box feeling proud.  It's like nothing I've ever experienced before.

Today, every single CrossFit athlete around the world did the same WOD, 14.5:


MEN - includes Masters Men up to 54 years old
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
95-lb. thrusters
WOMEN - includes Masters Women up to 54 years old
21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps for time of:
65-lb. thrusters

Want to see what that looks like?  You can check out a demonstration here.  

This morning when I looked at 14.5, my heart sank.  I knew it was going to be tough:  138 burpees is the stuff my nightmares are made of.  Seriously.  Burpees are my nemesis.  The first time I ever cried at CrossFit involved not being able to complete 50 burpees.  My lower back hurts for days after I do burpees.   I looked at that workout and considered just going back to bed. I was still in my jammies when I got this text from my friend, Autumn:

"Girlfriend r u ready for this one?!!!  Boom!  Bring it on!!"

I'm not going to lie--I seriously considered lying to her and telling her I was sick, but her enthusiasm and belief in me helped get me to the box.  After warm up and lifting, it was time to start 14.5.  By this point, I was pretty much freaking out about those 138 burpees.  I talked it over with my coach, Marie, and we decided I would do ab mat sit ups instead.  I would still be working my core, but my lower back would be protected.  Here's what I have to say about 14.5:  even with the modification, it was hard.  138 thrusters is a whole lot of thrusters.  One hundred and thirty eight sit ups is a lot too, but not nearly as hard as 138 burpees. Once I finished getting through the whole set (sit ups are much faster than burpees), I had time to watch and cheer on those who were still working.  My friend, Autumn, got through the whole WOD (burpees and all) perfectly.  It was incredibly inspiring.  Once she was done, I cheered on Kyle and then Nick.  Each and every person in the box got through 14.5 and all those burpees.  It was awesome.

Even without all those burpees, I left today's workout proud of what I had accomplished.  I left feeling inspired and confident that I would be able to do 138 burpees--someday.  I feel so grateful for what I have already learned how to do.  I am stronger, and I love working out again.  The beauty of CrossFit is that it's never going to be easy, but I will see progress, and every step along the way, I will have a whole bunch of awesome people cheering me on.  CrossFit Appleton is a pretty magical place.  

Three years ago, I had major foot surgery.  I had a plate and a screw put into my left foot. I had part of a bone removed.  I had pins sticking out of two different areas of my foot.   I was on crutches for 8 weeks, and it was months before the swelling and pain went away.  

Today I did a modified 14.5.  

I am so grateful to be where I am today.  I am so grateful for CrossFit Appleton.



PS  Here is a post I wrote 3 years ago tomorrow.  For those of you who aren't aware, Buster and I had surgery in the same week of March 2011.   Buster tore the dog equivalent of his ACL in his back left leg and had to have a plate put in.  (Yes--we were both pretty much total messes in March of 2011).

On Jumping and Showers//Buster Update

MARCH 29, 2011
Buster jumped over Jack’s red beanbag chair this morning.
He just sailed right on over it, no problem.
Is it wrong that I’m jealous of the fact that Buster can already jump?
Not that he’s supposed to be jumping yet.
He didn’t ask or anything, he just did it.
In general, he’s been very good during his recovery period.
Taking it easy and all.
Since we removed his cone, he’s left his incision completely alone (thank goodness!).
And he’s not even limping anymore (yahoo!).
These are good things.
But watching him clear that beanbag chair this morning really got to me.
It’s just that it doesn't seem fair that he can already take long daily walks and jump over beanbag chairs,
and I’m still using my crutches.
I want to jump, too.
(Okay, that’s a total lie.  I haven’t missed jumping at all).
But I have missed walking–especially up and down stairs.
We have a lot of stairs in our house.
It seems like every single thing I need is either upstairs or downstairs.
But back to Buster, our super dog.
As in:  super-stinky.
We’re waiting until Buster’s final x-rays are taken in two weeks before we give him a bath.
And let me tell you;  he definitely needs a bath.
Hey!  Did I tell you that I can now take a shower thanks to my new removable Aircast?
I tell you what:  showering is one of life’s most taken-for-granted pleasures.
Showering ROCKS!
I will gladly crawl up and down the stairs to take a shower.
Which is something Buster can’t do.
I’ll take a good shower over a jump over a beanbag chair any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
The truth is, someone could probably take Buster to the doggie wash and give him a bath,
but it’s kind of my job and it’s definitely something I can’t manage on one leg.
The good news is we’re both closing in on week #6,
which means it won’t be long until I can take my favorite dog over to the doggie wash for a big, ‘ole bath.
Just two more weeks until I get the go-ahead to ditch the crutches!
And once I do, you better believe I’ll be jumping up and down for JOY
(just probably not over Jack’s red beanbag chair).  : )


1 comment:

  1. Vicki, you are absolutely awesome and I'm so proud of you. You do things I never dreamed of doing and I envy you your determination. So what if you can't jump over Jack's beanbag, I bet Buster can't do it anymore either. But you both rock! XO Mom