Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Taking the Wins

Over the last week I have noticed some more improvements in my CrossFit sessions.  Sometimes it’s only a tiny improvement and other times I completely surprise myself with what I have done.
I always underestimate my capacity.  Always tending to stick to the safe side rather than taking on too much and failing. That is where CrossFit is a good thing.  It teaches you to push yourself and to continually challenge your beliefs about yourself.
They say that a good coach knows when to scale you down, but they also know when to scale you up.  I experienced this last week when I was figuring out my weight for a WOD involving clean & jerk.  The workout would have 30 in total.  I warmed up with 15kg which is about my usual.  I felt like it was hard and would challenge me to do the sets unbroken.  Marc rocked up checked my technique and then told me to whack another 10kg on the bar. What? My PR for a push press is 35kg and I had only cleaned 30kg before so felt like 25kg was getting close to my upper limit. 
Without question though I went over and loaded up the bar with the heavier plates.  Did a few reps and whilst hard got through them. Marc asked how it felt and I said heavy, his response was to add another 5kg and take it to 30kg and see how it looked.  We could always knock it back. Sigh.  Off I went to get the weights all the time thinking that there was no way I could do 30kg for the WOD.  I warmed up a couple and Marc was happy and wanted me to at least do the first set with it at that weight. I was a bit apprehensive and really wasn’t sure I could keep up the intensity as well as do that weight.
I got through the first set then headed off to do my 5 rounds of Cindy, I was surprised at how I got through the 10 reps, only breaking it up after 5.  Came back for the second set and had to break up the reps further but got through them.  As I was getting ready for the 3rd set Marc asked how I was finding the weight. I said it was hard but as I’d already done 2 sets may as well keep it for the 3rd set. He smiled and went ok then.
Bottom line is I finished the WOD at that weight and had surprised myself.  It was double what I initially was prepared to do and to be honest I’m glad I did it. Means no going backwards now though, and I have to challenge myself with my weights.
The other improvement I have noticed is my upper body strength.  On Thursday Sam had me doing knee tucks on the rope.  When I first started she had me try those on the rope and I could barely support my own weight for half a second. Now I was lifting my knees above 90deg and holding them for a second or 2. I did 4 rounds of those so 40 in total.  Would not have done that before.
My work capacity has also increased.  Taking much shorter breaks during a WOD, moving with more intensity and recovering relatively quickly after.  I have to say that after 3 weeks of full commitment to CrossFit I have noticed huge improvements.  More so than I have ever noticed in any other training I have done.
I still can’t get past the mental barrier I have to a box jump.  I haven’t tried jumping really since before Christmas in a session with my PT. I was so close then. But put me in front of a box and I just freeze.  I just can’t commit to it.  It is so frustrating.  I am determined to get one sooner rather than later.
I’m going to try a little reverse psychology on my brain and step up onto the box and then jump off. Just to show my brain it’s ok.  Not sure if it will work but we’ll see.
CrossFit continues to challenge me every single day.  Most days I get a pretty good beating that leaves my lying in a pool of my own sweat on the floor.  It challenges my thoughts and beliefs, it encourages me to try to, to be more. Above all it has given me a focus & purpose just when I needed it most.  CrossFit is more than just a workout to me. It is now a way of life.  It gives me a place where I can be me, I can be respected for my efforts.

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