Monday, August 10, 2015

Hello Stranger

Wow it's been sometime since I last posted.  Over 18mths.  Insane to think of how fast time has gone.

There have been various reasons for the lack of posting.  The main one being I was conflicted once I became a coach and later an affiliate owner (oh yeah will fill you in on that shortly) how appropriate it was to share my inner thoughts with members etc.

But over time I have come to realise I still control what I write and my perspectives and reasons for starting this blog in the first place haven't changed.

So lets update

Lisa the Athlete

Late 2013 I had begun competitive Powerlifting just for some fun. However it escalated fast and before I knew it I was signing up for States, Nationals and even a World title.  Kinda nuts.

Along the way I met some truly exceptional and strong women, but physically but also in character.  They refused to back down to challenges and stereotypes and continued to pursue that which they love.

I loved the grind of Powerlifting training, the heavy sets and reps and feeling my body get stronger.  Wasn't so much a fan of the training solo but sometimes you gotta get it done.  My first loved remained, and always will remain CrossFit.  But this was about me having a pursuit that was mine.

So after a year of competing in 2014 I qualified for the CAPO Australian Team to contest the GPA World Titles to be held in Sydney in November.  To say I was stoked was massive under statement.

The lead up to the event was somewhat disrupted with me buying a CrossFit Affiliate (more on that soon) so I wasn't as prepared as I would have liked to be.  The event itself was a huge day and so draining.  I was however excited to be visited by friends during the day to give me some support.

At the end of the event I was surprised to with the Gold Medal for SHW, Open, Raw Plus.  Pretty exciting stuff for the fat kid from the bush.

I received so much support from the members at my affiliate and friends via Facebook etc.  Made the whole experience surreal.

For the time being I am not competing in any sport, either Powerlifting or Strongman.  My focus is on building my affiliate and being the best coach I can be.  I do know though that at some point in the future I will return to events.

Lisa the Coach

Way back when I started CrossFit I had always dreamt that maybe one day I could be a coach, but I never thought it was something I could do.  I wrote about that experience here .  I began working as a coach and gaining more and more experience.

I loved what I was doing and being able to have this opportunity was something I was truly grateful for.  I had always hoped that one day I could open my own affiliate.  Again not a dream I ever thought I would realise simply because of the potential cost.

The universe works in strange ways and I was presented with an opportunity to purchase the affiliate at which I was working.  Somehow in a chaotic frenzy we managed to pull it off in a limited timeframe.

CrossFit New Beginning 4504 was born.

I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to become a kind of sister affiliate with my CrossFit home in Sydney so I could access branding and the name which I loved plus also endless support and coaching.  My affiliate is independently run but I am grateful for the support I have from Matt & James in Sydney. It's reassuring to have someone so experienced to run ideas past.

I still learn every day about being a coach, a head coach and affiliate owner.  There are lots of responsibilities  that I need to keep on top of.  At times it is a heartbreaking thankless job, yes I'll be honest about that.  You don't open an affiliate if you want to win a popularity contest or be carried on a sea of shoulders.  It is most certainly a career of service. You do it out of a desire to help others be all they can be.

However in the same token it is the most rewarding and amazing career, I get to share the love I have for CrossFit and see it change their lives in so many positive ways.  When one of my members gets a PB I'm possibly more excited than they are.  To see someone knew get some confidence under a barbell and start seeing their own potential is just inspiring.  The little changes we make are also huge to the person from helping them hit a squat pain free or move better and not have to rest as much during a WOD.

I love the opportunity I have to work with and develop my assistant coaches.  Guiding them and teaching them to be the best they can be as athletes and coaches.  I am lucky that my 2 coaches I have working alongside me are just as passionate and committed to the box and the members as I am.  It's a great environment to work in.

The box continues to grow and I love seeing the stream of new faces being warmly welcomed into our community by our experienced members, and everyone is made to feel at home immediately.

So for now this is my focus. Learning as much as I can and making my affiliate the best it can be for all of my awesome members.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Full Circle

Wow crazy days!!  Time has flown so fast not only since my last post but over the year in general. Can’t believe it’s almost 2014. 

The last few months have been very challenging for me on many levels, and whilst there have been a few lows, there have also been some positives.

So where to start………

My training hasn’t been spectacular this year. Nowhere near where I was this time last year.  I’ve struggled to adjust to my new schedule from running my own business and focusing on my clients and then starting as a coach with CrossFit Nouveau.  Both of these roles I have LOVED but yes it’s been a steep learning curve. 
I have struggled to find a purpose, a direction I wanted to take my training in. I haven’t spent much time with a coach 1:1 as I would have normally wanted to and I find that helps me a lot to stay focused.  

However the last 6 weeks I have discovered a purpose & passion and have some very specific goals.  I have started training for Powerlifting events (Deadlift, Back Squat, Bench Press).  This style of lifting I have always loved and have been relatively good at.  So after a brief conversation with one of the most passionate and talented Powerlifters, and coaches I know, Les, I have entered my first event.  He gave me an accelerated program and has helped me so much along the way. I’ve hit every training session and whilst I have found it very mentally and physically challenging it’s been just what I needed.

Yes I am nervous about the event and fully expect to have my arse handed to me on a plate, this event is about learning and experiencing for me. I have only had a 6 week prep so let’s be realistic.

Also in 2014 there is going to be a Strongman series in QLD so I will be entering that as well. The first comp is in Jan and looks heaps of fun.

Today I’ve been given cause to look at how far my life has come in just a year – from losing my job and all security this time last year to running a successful PT business and also making a career as a CrossFit Coach. Something that I love & cherish immensely.  Today I fitted another piece into the puzzle by attaining the CrossFit Kids Certification.  The course was amazing and gave a whole new dimension to working with the kiddo’s.  I already run Kids fitness classes but this new toolkit will really enable me to take it further and help the kids develop in all areas of their life and have a much more positive impact of them. 

I never thought I would be one who had an aptitude to work with Kids but over the last 6mths or so I have found it one of my most enjoyable sessions of the week. They teach me so much about myself both as a person and a coach and always make me laugh!!

This weekend also gave me some light at the end of a VERY long tunnel I have walked through my entire life.  As a child I had some developmental issues with my motor skills, muscles, co-ordination etc. I simply could not run or jump like the other kids.  Today I still struggle to do many of the movements most people take forgranted.  I’ve never done a forward roll for example or dived into a pool or handstands & cartwheels etc. I was late to walk as a baby and never crawled.  All throughout life people have judged my lack of ability with these skills to be simply a matter of being overweight or unfit. It’s not the case and I’ve spent years justifying it but to be honest the majority just don’t believe me.

It’s always been an issue that caused me great heartache. I never felt normal and when people give you ‘the look’ it just makes it worse.  In order to try by some miracle to improve my skills in this area to be more proficient as a coach I had arranged to work with a superstar gymnastics coach privately in the new year.  I didn’t hold out much hope that I would actually be able to do the movements but I certainly knew I would understand them better to coach them.

But here’s the moment that flicked a light and some hope that I might be ‘cured’, one of the seminar staff this weekend who is also a physical therapist spoke about how some kids have developmental issues with certain skills such as and listed off all the things I couldn’t do and this usually was seen in babies who specifically did not crawl but got around on their butt. OMG she was telling my story. And then she went on to talk about the therapies they used to help correct the deficiency in these kids.

So today at lunch I asked Kelly about it and told her my story and wondered if it was too late to improve my issues.  She was really excited when I told her and she totally thought we could start reversing some of the ‘stuff’ but clearly unlike a 7yr old it would take a bit longer.  She gave me some drills to get myself started and some concepts to work towards. Sadly she comes from the US so I can’t go see her but this is a very positive outcome.  I was actually excited that one day I could do all those little things which for me are huge.
So now I have some things to give to my gymnastics guru when we start sessions and something to work towards long term.  

And maybe one day I can feel like the normal kids and not have to see ‘the look’ anymore.

This year has been a blur of good, bad, indifferent, soaring highs and crushing lows.  I have learnt a lot about running a business and making the hard decisions that need to be made. I have learnt a lot as a trainer and as a coach.  I’m not perfect but I know I try bloody hard to do the best I can and put my client’s needs  ahead of my own.  I’ve learnt a lot about human nature and the good and the bad to that. I’ve tried not to let the bad jade me or change who I am but yes some of the experiences have done that to a degree both for the better and not.

Two years ago I had bottomed out and couldn’t see much point to anything. Last year with a crisis that pushed me in the direction of where I truly should be heading. And I know 2014 will be another epic ride!!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

On my way back!

To say the last couple of months have been challenging has to be the understatement of the year.  Life has been hectic and business busy, and doing more of what I love which is coaching CrossFit.

I guess now I need to break my little CrossFit Journey into two parts, that of coach and athlete.

The Athlete

There hasn’t been a lot to write about in this regard. I’ve been battling a virus of sorts which has left me suffering extreme fatigue and unable to do much. Running my PT business and working in the box has taken a lot of my energy reserves.

I’ve done a handful of training sessions but nothing to what I was.  However I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to do some technique based sessions with elite CrossFitter and coach Hannah Caldas. In just the first few moments of our initial session she identified some strength deficiencies in my glutes. She sees movement exceptionally clearly and has a way of coaching that fills you with total belief you can do whatever it is she suggests.

During our first session she managed to help me get to a full depth Overhead Squat with 20kg, a feat I’ve only ever done with a broomstick! To say I was happy is an understatement! I minor miracle. In session 2 I landed a 50kg Front Squat, again to depth.

Regular followers of this blog will know the trials & tribulations I have had with my squat. So these two achievements are something else.

Another source of frustration for me this year was the fact I seemed to have lost my deadlift. Even 100kg has been impossible to get off the ground.  I love my deadlift and it’s been very disappointing.   In a strength session with my coach Nat we played with the deadlift and I somehow managed to get 115kg up which was a huge confidence boost.  And in a CFT session with Hannah I got 120kg up. Getting closer to my 125kg PB finally.

On the weekend we had a CFT day as a box. In the first session in the morning the crew all worked their lifts to get new 1RM’s across Strict Press, Back Squat & Deadlift. After our crew finished the coaches gave it a crack.

A lot of the members hung around to watch us and lend support, was a fantastic energy in the box.  I did well in the first 2 movements and couldn’t wait for the deadlift.  Hannah had told me earlier in the week I just had to believe in myself so I went in with a confident mindset.  I didn’t think about the number on the bar, I just walked up to each lifted and stood it up.  I felt good when the lighter lifts felt easy, even 100kg cruised up. Before I knew it I had hit my existing PB of 125. Next lift was 130kg and without much thought I lifted it. BOOM new PB!! I was pretty bloody happy I can tell you. I tried for 135kg but wasn’t to be.

130kg BOOM!!

One of the cool things of the morning was doing my CFT with Bel, our head coach and someone who I admire greatly. She has been through a massive journey over the last year to overcome injury and the confidence sapping effects on that. To see Bel getting back to where she was pre injury is testament to her determination and being prepared to doing the painstaking rehab work. That was what made the day for me.

Bel in full focus mode

So now I am feeling okish and last week I did a full week of training and pulled up ok. So for now I am going to push on while I feel good.  Am working on some new strength goals and have a plan and some direction.  Operation #leanmeanstronghethro has commenced. Let’s just hope the body continues to play nice.

The Coach

Every single day I am learning so much as coach. I learn from my fellow coaches at the box, from watching and listening to other coaches and by endlessly studying articles and videos on movements and coaching.

I continue to learn about better ways to structure a class and figuring out which cues work for the various members we have at the box.  I do know it is something I love to do completely and get such a buzz out of seeing our athletes achieve things they didn’t think they could.  It’s an amazing position to be in to have a front row seat to watch athletes develop and grow.

Coaching during CFT

There are many things I am yet to learn and experience and I know there are things I can improve upon, but this part of my CrossFit Journey has only been in existence for the last 3 months. I’m not arrogant enough to think I am the best coach on 2 legs.  I know I am not but I am always open to learn about how I can improve.

I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by people I consider to be excellent coaches, both in my immediate circle and also other coaches I have worked with.  They are so free with their knowledge and advice it makes my life a lot easier.

We also have one of the best communities at CrossFit North Lakes. The crew is very supportive & encouraging and we work together well. Everyone trains with integrity and really gives their all. We have a lot of fun even when working hard.  

Some of our awesome community

So it’s been a big few months and now am back to some routine and some training I hope to keep this little blog a bit more updated!!  Lots of good things happening and I can't wait to see what the next few weeks brings.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Magic Is In The Movement

Wow over 2mths since my last post and I have no idea where time has gone. I have had this post rolling around in my head for a few weeks though so tonight am finally making time to get it out there.

A lot has happened over the last little while, and mostly these happenings have been exciting, challenging, terrifying and amazing all at once. Where to start........

Well I guess with the biggest change and most exciting. In early June I attended a CrossFit Level 1 Seminar in an attempt to become a CrossFit coach. It's been something I have wanted to do for about a year, but in the back of my mind never really thought I could or would do it. I have a certain perception of coaches and all of my coaches I see as elite athletes in some form or another. I look up to them as highly skilled individuals who are confident & capable.  I certainly never see myself in that light when it comes to CrossFit. I am hardly elite and there are many, many skills which I am not yet proficient in.

However I was encouraged to do the course after numerous conversations with some of my favourite coaches and friends. I doubted how I would possibly have credibility in the box standing up in front of a class, expecting them to do things far better than I ever could. Who would listen to me? Once excellent example that was given to me was the fact a good coach is not someone who can do every single movement, but one who can teach the movement effectively, afterall the guy who coaches Tiger Woods probably can't beat him at golf, but he is able to teach Tiger in the movements he needs to improve.

So with that thought in mind I trundled off to the seminar. I was very apprehensive as I arrived as I guess I have that level of self conscious about my physical capabilities. I knew in the back of my mind I had the theoretic principles of the movements down and I knew that I can see movement patterns in others clearly and be able to rectify them. But the physical aspect of the course and what the other participants would be like was making me highly anxious.

There is a quote from CrossFit CEO & Founder Greg Glassman that I came to really appreciate during the seminar;

"The magic is in the movement, the art is in the programming, the science is in the explanation, and the fun is in the community"

It's a quote I have heard before but one I truly appreciated after studying movements in detail over 2 days.  I came to view the Squat as a thing of beauty when performed well, rather than something I once dreaded. Such a core foundational movement in everyday life, but one which done correctly can benefit so many areas in physical life.  The magic is indeed in the movement.  Yes I still battle with my squat but in those moments when it comes together there is no better feeling. Also nothing beats the feeling of correcting a clients squat and seeing them able to move far better.

Overall I found the 2 day course rewarding and challenging and some aspects quite confronting & very outside my comfort zone.  At the end of the 2 days you are required to sit an exam before you get your trainer certificate if you pass.  I have never wanted so much to pass an exam.  It took 2 weeks for the results to hit my inbox and I was over the moon to read that yes I had passed.  I was finally a CrossFit Coach. Couldn't quite believe it.

I started this blog almost 2 years ago now to detail as I worked to become a better CrossFit athlete. To show others who were a little scared to try it that if I could do this stuff than it truly was for anyone. I was and still am incredibly passionate about this sport and the community which it creates.  Now I find I am working my way to still becoming a better athlete but now also the best coach I can be.  I still have goals and aspirations as a CrossFit athlete, and also strongman athlete. I will always seek a competitive outlet.

The other exciting thing that happened was being offered a role as part of the coaching team at CrossFit North Lakes.  To be involved with such a great team of coaches it such a privilege and to be part of helping our athletes develop & improve is so exciting. It's an opportunity I never take forgranted and love every moment of it.

I find coaching so rewarding and exciting, even though I am still finding my feet and gaining my belief and confidence. Had someone told me at the start of last year when I had pretty much bottomed out that this is where I would be now I would have laughed in their face.   To not only be running my own successful PT business but also having the opportunity to be a CrossFit coach and live out 2 dreams was just beyond what I could comprehend.

There are some people all throughout the last 18mths that have had unwavering belief in me. Some have come into my life at various points but always at the exact moment I needed them to guide me. I am forever grateful to them.

Even though there are events that happened that irreovably changed who I am and how I view things and that time was very difficult, without all that none of this would have happened.  I guess it's all about perspective.

So I can't wait to see where this next part of My CrossFit Journey takes me.

Friday, May 3, 2013

3 years on

Almost 3 years ago I made a decision that would ultimately change my life forever, in so many ways. Some amazing beyond words and others painful beyond my reckoning, but each and every one of them brought me to the point I am today.  Many amazing people were brought into my life either directly or indirectly from this initial decision, some are still with me and others have no further part to play in my future. I’ve come to realise that the old saying about people coming into your life for a reason, season or lifetime is very true. Whilst at times I struggle to see the reason for some of these encounters each one has given me lessons which will be realised in time.

I had gotten to the point where I was sick of who I had become and was tired of being limited by my weight. Interestingly I hadn’t realised how much it was limiting me until much further into my adventure.

I decided to join the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation Program.  I didn’t hold out much hope for it actually working for me but I was at the point where enough was enough. I jumped in and totally immersed myself in the program, I embraced the concepts and principles and the community.  I met some incredible people who had already changed their life in amazing ways and they helped me walk the path they already cleared.

Surely enough the weight began to disappear, much to my astonishment. I was working hard however and eating exactly to the plans the program outlined. I began to spread my wings and try new things, activities I had always wanted to, running, kayaking, trapeze, rock climbing and so much more. 

I began to see my own worth and wanted more for my life.  I took a step and entered the world of CrossFit, which as documented here has changed my life again, and in many ways saved it when I needed it most.  CrossFit also brought the most incredible people into my life, many of whom still encourage, support & guide me today.  CrossFit has taught me much about myself, about my capacity to push through barriers and challenges.  I’ve felt acceptance within the community that I never have before.   I’ve competed as an athlete against the best in the world, I’ve competed in strongwoman events and challenged myself in new ways and prevailed when I thought failure was imminent. I’ve become part of some incredible communities at the boxes I have worked at. They hae become my family and a place I can just go and be me.  I give support & encouragement to my community freely and just love being a part of it.

Over the last 3 years I have lost 42kg and during that time gone up and down a little. But that’s ok. These days I am pretty stable and whilst I still have some to lose I am happy with my progress.  Controlling and maintaining my weight will always be a lifelong challenge for me. I won’t ever be one of these people who can sit and eat whatever they like.  If I step off my plan for more than a short time my body quickly will show the results.  Battling old habits and behaviours requires constant vigilance. I used to struggle with that and hate the thought this would be a lifetime struggle. But now I have accepted it and just like people with medical conditions who need regular medication monitoring my weight and the factors that influence it are just how I live my life. I know my parameters and I know the consequences.

I have found balance in my life. It’s about moderation for me and not perfection.  I don’t need to live up to anyone else’s expectations, I simply need to live by my values and be the best I can be for me.

It’s been well documented here on this blog about the hole I was in at the start of last year, and in fact for the majority of the year. Tha experience taught me a lot about human nature and highlighted to me why you should never put the needs of another ahead of your own. It absolutely changed the way I interact and accept people into my life.

The start of 2013 saw me once again be at a point where I was tired of the situation I was in and change was thrust upon me. I took a leapt and started my own Personal Training business.  Totally terrifying to be solely responsible for my success. I committed to it with everything I had within me and it’s been successful. I have never felt so fulfilled and complete as when I am working with my clients, either directly or working on their programs to help them achieve their goals.

Three years ago the fat girl sitting on this very same couch could not have forseen how life would be at this point. For every low there has been a high beyond my wildest expectations.  There are many days I still feel like that fat kid I was all my life.  Every time I step up to compete in an event or step into that box. But these days I push her aside and know that I am doing what I was born to do, I am leading a fulfilled life, surrounded by good people who I choose to have around me. Who accept me and support me. They cheer my success and pick me up when I fall. A handful of them carried me through last year without question. Held me afloat when I couldn’t hold myself and celebrated wildly when I overcame another barrier.

The last 3 years have brought me change, lessons, heartbreak, joy, success and learning. I haven’t failed because I’m still in there fighting every single day.  I’m not that same person. But she is still in there and that’s what pushes me continually forwards to be more.

So to those who continue to believe in me and support me and have done so since day 1 I thank you. These 3 years would not have turned out the way it had without you all.

I can’t wait to see what the next 3 years and beyond holds.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Do or Do Not, There is no Try

Over the last 2 months I have learnt a lot about myself and my capacity to get things done. During the 5 weeks of the CrossFit Games Open I astounded myself week in and week out with what I was able to do. For anyone else they may be small wins but to me they were major achievements. I jumped higher, squatted lower and swung higher than I ever thought I could. I achieved my goal of registering a score each and every week.  To me that was a success. There was not one event where I felt like I could have given more.

However during the last couple of weeks I’ve also been faced with major disappointments regarding my progress and development.  It’s no secret that strength is my thing. I like to move heavy things around and keep trying for heavier and heavier. I recently did some 1RM testing with my coach during a 1:1 and the results were disappointing. Not even close to my existing PR’s let alone surpassing them.

It was however a simple reflection on where my training has been at. I haven’t been able to do the regular strength work I would have done by getting to daily CrossFit sessions. With my business growing I am more often than not booked with clients at the same time the box is open. I do my own training and met cons daily, but let’s face it there is no substitute for heavy bar work, regularly.

I was really frustrated at the results, for many reasons. Firstly I am working hard day after day with my clients and helping them kick some serious butt with their goals, and I very much like to ‘walk my talk’ so to speak with them.  I want them to see that I still train hard and focus on clean eating so I can be the best I can for my goals. I was also frustrated from the perspective that I had my next strongman event fast approaching. 

So rather than just sit, sulk and be frustrated and sought solutions to my issues that were preventing me from doing the training I needed to do.  I asked around and found a facility where I could go in and do my own strength program, at times that worked for me. I then consulted with my coach to develop a specific strength program.

I am very grateful to have had the support of a lot of experienced and talented coaches behind me to bounce ideas around with and also to have them guide me.  So the plans are developed and now it’s time to implement them. I’ve worked out adequate time in my schedule for when I can train, and still get my required rest & recovery.  My business and my clients will still get the same focus as will the other key areas of my life.  It’s time to get it done.

After initially considering withdrawing from the Strongman comp I decided to still go and compete. I am not a quitter and have never backed away from a challenge.  I reset the expectations I had and decided that I would use the event for experience and for fun.

Event day dawned and with heaps of messages of support and encouragement ringing in my ears I headed to the day. 

First event was the deadlift, Max Reps in 90sec at 80kg.  I was glad this was the first event as it would be a good chance to get my confidence up. Even though 80kg was heavy I knew for me it was manageable. I just had to keep on it and pace myself. As I stepped up to the bar for my turn I took a deep breath and just went.  I was happy with my score of 90reps

Next up was the 20m 50kg each hand Farmer Carry.  Once again I was feeling pretty comfortable with this event as I have done 60kg in a previous event. Once again I stepped up, took a breath and just went. I managed to complete the distance in 13.32secs, which I was happy enough with.

Third event was the log press. Max reps at 35kg ground to overhead in 90secs. I was a little apprehensive about this one as I haven’t been able to practice with a log prior to the event. Dur to its size it makes the weight seem more awkward and heavier. I managed to get out 9 reps in the time allowed and overall I was happy with that.

Next up was the tyre flip. Now I was truly unsure if I could even get this damn thing in the air. Not sure of the exact weight but it was the biggest tyre (both in dimension and weight) that I have ever tried to flip.  We had to cover 20m in 90sec.  I did the first couple of flips ok but then just began to struggle. Couldn’t get enough drive with the initial push and needed about another inch of drive to enable me to get under it to complete the flip. I failed at 2 lifts and managed one more and finished the event at just 12m.  I was feeling pretty frustrated about that result as I expected to do a bit better as I usually have no issue with tyre flipping.  But again my lack of strength prep really was showing.  Still, frustrating and to be honest I’m still a bit pissed about it.

Final event of the day…….the one I was dreading. Max Reps in 90sec 60kg Atlas Stone to a 1m high barrel.  I was not expecting to register a single rep in this event. The heaviest stone I’d ever lifted was 50kg over 18mths ago. I had attempted the 60kg at a training session about 6 weeks ago and could only get it about 1cm off the ground. But I was determined to try as hard as I could. If I failed it wouldn’t be through lack of effort.

I stepped up for my go and I tried and tried and tried. That damn stone wouldn’t move. I had Scott and Bec giving me some awesome advice for each attempt and the crowd cheering me on.  One minute down and still no joy. I stepped up again, set myself and got my fingers as far under that stone as I could, I started to lift and it stuck. Before I knew it I had it on my lap and was regripping for the drive to the barrel. I stood and pushed with all I had and got it up. I just threw my arms in the air as the crowd cheered. For me it felt like I’d won the event.

Overall I finished 8th in my division, and I was ok with that.  I’d had a really limited prep and to be honest I did the best I could. That was my last event for a while I think as I need to really get into my new program and work on the areas I need to.  I have some specific goals that I personally am now driving towards.  Once I feel ready and have some decent prep I’ll then consider different events.

So now it’s time to get it done. For me the equation is simple, ‘do or do not, there is no try’. I simply have to do.

Friday, March 29, 2013

13.2 & 13.3

Life has been so crazy lately I have no idea where the days go. I haven’t had 2 seconds to sit down and write about my ongoing CrossFit Games Open adventures.

WOD 13.2 was announced as

10min AMRAP
5 Clean & Jerks (35kg)
10 Deadlifts (35kg)
15 Box Jumps

As I read this workout when it was released immediately I thought my max score would be 15 as box jumps are something I have yet to master. I was heading to a 1:1 with my coach Adam and I figured we’d be spending the session trying to manufacture a miracle in getting me to jump on the box. However much to my utter astonishment and surprise CrossFit HQ were allowing step ups in the movement standards. I have never been so relieved.

Saturday rolled around and I was pretty determined to just keep moving and stick to the strategy and goal Adam & I had come up with.  3….2….1….GO and we were off. For me now this WOD wasn’t about fighting for a single rep it was more about how far I could push myself through. My goal was between 3-4 rounds and I would be happy. It was a tough WOD but I was happy with my result of punching through 4 rounds and almost starting my 5th.

What was most inspiring for me during that WOD was watching some of the girls at my box fight and struggle to get that 35kg bar overhead. And even when their body stopped them eventually they had kept trying until they had nothing left. I loved seeing the effort not just the successes.

Another week rolls around and we eagerly await the announcement of 13.3. And it’s a big one!!! It’s a repeat of 12.4

12min AMRAP
150 Wall Balls
90 Double Unders
30 Muscle Ups

I knew that I couldn’t get through the wall balls in 12mins so wasn’t concerned about not being able to do the double unders.  However my biggest concern was not being able to get to the depth required for the squat in the wall balls. Biomechanically squatting to below parallel is difficult for me.  I had my 1:1 with Adam and we tested it and I was about an inch short. Did some mobility and stretches and still short. Sigh. To think I could be knocked out of the games for such a basic movement was killing me.

I spent the next 2 days doing every mobility drill and stretch I could to find that extra inch. I tested and retested my squat and no joy. Beyond frustrating.  Event morning rolled around and I was still short on depth.

I was a bit stressed about it to be honest. I spent the morning packing around the box before my heat, alternating between doing mobility to try again and just wandering around praying for a miracle. I went to put on my strength wraps for my wrists that I wear every single workout and have done for months now, they’re like my security blanket. As I pulled the tie on the second one tight the cord broke off. Oh no I thought, could this morning get any worse.  Could not believe it. I took myself off to sit down and was telling Mel about the tie and she turned to me and said the most awesome words, ‘You do know your strength is in your heart don’t you?’.  It kinda took me back a little and I nearly teared up and I quickly replied yes.  Those words were ringing in my ears as I took my place for my heat.

I had my good friend Jan judging for me and before we started I had Jody come over and measure my depth with a PVC pipe so Jan had an idea of where I was. Jody seemed to think I had gotten low enough, which I was totally surprised with.  Bel came around and had us all do one rep so she could make sure we were all good without targets. She checked my depth and said I was down far enough. Well at that point Jan let out a cheer as did a few others and Jody yelled over my goal score was 50reps. Pffffft I thought I was hoping for 10. If I had indeed got to depth I felt like it could have been a fluke.  But anyway I was going to try as hard as I could.  One rep would have been a win for me.

3….2…..1….GO and down I went. I had asked Jan to give me the OK each time I was deep enough so then I could complete the movement. She was getting more and more excited each time she said Yes to each rep.  Before I knew it I had done 30reps and still had 6mins left.  Jan & Pepper were right there pushing me to get to the 50 Jody had set. I was doing sets of 3 then 2 and breaking them up.  

To depth and looking determined
Mel came over at that point when I was getting really tired and once again said ‘your strength is in your heart, keep going’. I remember looking her in the eye and nodding then continuing on.  Every rep I got closer to 50 Jan urged me on further as did Bel.  I could hear lots of people yelling out, Kristie behind me getting excited the more reps I did. 

The last minute and I was past the 50 so Jan and the crew just screamed at me to get more and more reps. I finally finished with 62 reps, and to be honest I could not believe it.  When I finished the WOD I went over and gave Mel a hug. I couldn’t describe what those words meant to me both during and before the event.
So after for 2 workouts I managed to defy my body mechanics and gravity to do things I never thought possible. I haven’t gone into these two events with a negative attitude just saying I couldn’t do it. For both the burpees and squats I tried and tried for the 2 days prior to the event and was not successful. Even minutes before it was Go time still no joy.

Why my body has chosen to perform the unexpected right at the last minute I have no idea but I am eternally grateful.  My goal at the start of the open was to compete all 5 weeks.  And if tomorrow I can get at least one 43kg lift overhead then I will be back next week.  That for me is a win in itself and I will be super proud of my efforts. I have fought for every rep and even when I thought something was impossible I kept trying. I’ll taken a lot of lessons out of this 5 weeks that I can and will apply to not only my CrossFit but also my life.

My strength is in my heart and that’s the best advice I have been given and will stick with me forever.