Friday, January 13, 2012

Fight Gone Bad

I’ve had a hard few weeks mentally & emotionally the last month or so.  Lots of things to deal with and adjust to.  It hasn’t left me feeling the greatest desire to train or push myself to inflict more pain on my battered spirit.  Seemed much easier to assume the foetal position on the couch with a bottle of bourbon.
I had a discussion with my coach Sam last Saturday.  It was an honest and frank discussion about where I was, where I had been and what I wanted to do.  From her perspective there was a lot I needed to do as well.  It’s hard to sit & admit to your failings and things you aren’t proud of.  But I am beginning to realise that before you can change and move on your need to be accountable and own yourself.  Permanent denial is not a great place to be.  It was the second time within a couple of days I had to admit where I really was and what I'd done wrong.  Two hard conversations.
I made a commitment to her that I would train hard & train daily; giving everything I had in every session.  Monday a crisis hit and I crumpled into myself.  I could not even perform basic functions, I was lost. But I did something different. I texted Sam to let her know I couldn’t train but that I would be there the next day, she would have my full commitment and that I needed her help.  We set up a 1:1 session as I wasn’t sure I could cope with the class.
Usually in that situation I would have just hidden from the world and made a million excuses when I went back a couple of weeks later.  But I didn’t, I made a commitment to train and asked for help.  Maybe on some level I knew I had to in order to save myself from myself.  I hate the thought of disappointing anyone and for Sam to be investing time into my goals then I didn’t want to disappoint her especially.  She didn’t have to have that conversation with me on Saturday.  They still get my fees regardless of if I go or not.  But she took the time to hear where I was and where I wanted to be and to help give me some direction. 
I arrived at the session feeling very fragile and not sure I could get through it.  A very good friend of mine told me that I had to train, even if I cried through the entire workout, I needed to do something for me. So I went.
In order to help me get to my weight loss goals we are structuring my training to really hit the high intensity stuff. Completely shatter me each and every session.  Sam will push me harder helping me to take fewer breaks during a WOD and keep the intensity up.  I just need to do the work.
So with some glee (whenever she’s excited about a WOD I can guarantee it’s gonna suck for me lol) she wrote on the board ‘Fight Gone Bad’.  I’ve never done this benchmark WOD so had no expectations. 
Fight Gone Bad is as follows:
For total reps
3  rounds
1min 6kg wall balls
1min 25kg Sumo Deadlift High Pull
1min 20in box jump
1min 25kg push press
1min row for calories
1min rest between completed rounds.
The principle between Fight Gone Bad is to simulate the intensity of an MMA style fight, go hard to 5mins then 1min rest for 3 rounds.
We went through each of the movements in the warm up and I thought ok, I think I can do this; it’s just a minute per movement right? I was about to learn just how excruiciatingly long a single minute can be.
My heart always seems to stop as I hear that clock count down from the 10sec warning till the start buzzer sounds.  In that moment I am truly scared about what lies before me and what I will find as I go through the WOD.  This happens each and every WOD.  I love that feeling though.
I started well with the Wall Balls and smashed them out hard and fast, well hard & fast for me : ).  There is a bit of strategy involved in this workout about how you pace yourself and what rests you steal.  It is intense and the pain never stops. Because I had never done it before I wasn’t thinking strategy, I simply wanted to accumulate as many reps as I could.
As I moved from station to station it got harder and harder.  I was stopping more to try breathe which was proving impossible.  And this was only in the first round.  All the while Sam was next to me saying keep going, don’t stop, quick rest back into it.  All of which kept me going long after I would have usually quit. 
When I completed that first round and had my minute rest I sat there on the rower trying to contemplate how I would do that another two times. And all too soon came the 10 second warning.  Each movement was shattering me.  I felt as though I was going so slowly.  This really was a fight, a fight within me to keep going.  My head was not in the greatest place prior to the workout so this WOD was just stripping me right back to my core.  I kept saying I can’t do anymore, I can’t keep going but somehow I did.  Sam never gave me the option to stop, she keep urging me with just get 5 more or 2 more or whatever. Each time I stepped up and did it.  Not pretty but I was getting through them.
When the final row was completed I simply unhooked my feet and slid to the floor.  I was completely spent and shattered.  I had nothing left physically, mentally or emotionally.  Hell I had trouble even remembering my name.  Sam came over and gave me the good news that we’d be doing this again in about 4 weeks to see how I’ve improved with more consistent training and also that it never gets any better. Gee that’s something to look forward too!!  I had finished with 148 reps in total.  Close to what Sam predicted.  The challenge next time is to better that.
I am always surprised at my capacity to complete these workouts time after time, they aren’t ever fun and they hurt with an intensity I’ve never felt elsewhere, but yet I still keep getting through them. 
At the moment life is hard. I have my own things to deal with and fight through.  I guess Crossfit teaches me that even though every day feels like a fight gone bad kinda WOD, I can come through each day just a little bit stronger than the day before.
There is always improvement, no matter how small. And with commitment and application & the right support these improvements can lead to big achievements.
Bring on the fight - I'm ready


  1. Wasn't sure what to write! But I wanted you to know that you have my support! Will continue to keep reading how your going! I'm glad your starting to open up when you don't feel well! I use to be the same! Keep everything, dealt with it alone but in time I've also learnt that it's good to let it out sometimes! It doesn't make things 100% but it definitely does help. 

    Good on you for getting back into training despite what your going through! A good workout would help! Especially a crossfit one lol xx

  2. Theres a lot of fight in you Lisa, keep pushing through the tough times, learn, grow and you'll excel :-) Fight Gone Bad seems like a great physical way to plough through emotional hardships. I know you'll top your reps next time. Hope you feel better, lovely.

  3. You are a force to be reckoned with Lisa. Thanks for sharing your pain, achievements and journey with me. I'll thank you forever for that. It's like Daniel says to me "if nothing changes...NOTHING CHANGES!" (Heidi Porter)

  4. And this is why you were named "most inspirational" in round 2 my friend :) Good on you for facing things head on and with lots of fight. I really hope things get better soon x

  5. Just like Sam i am not giving you the option of stopping!!!! As hard as life get's sometimes, you have to be accountable and responsible so that you can lead the best life you can for as long as you can. You are strong, you do have that inner mongrel you need to survive and succeed!!!! I am very proud of you my friendxx (Nicole Coogan)