CrossFit Journal of a Fitness Flunkie

It’s been a rollercoaster of emotion since I started CrossFit July 30 of this year, 8 weeks ago. This self-proclaimed Fitness Flunkie is on her way to becoming…wait for it….a Fitness Phenom!

If you’ve been following me, you know I’ve written a couple of posts about the experience so far – right before my first class (Gym Class Jitters), and then again after the very first week (CrossFit New You Review). But neither of those entries really give you a feel for what the journey has been like so far. My Facebook friends know, though.

Yeah, yeah….I know it’s only been eight weeks. Let me take you along for the ride, courtesy of some posts I made at the time.

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July 30 – Day 1 Under my belt. Please send love and support as I sure as heck need it.

PS – CLEARLY this pic was taken before I did anything, given the complete and total absence of sweat. You know my face would glisten within seconds of hearing the word “burpee”.


August 1 – Day 2 of CrossFit New You Challenge and guess what I discovered? I got this!


August 3 – Day 3, and can I tell you I’m loving CrossFit so far? Got my freak on today with burpees, DASL style (those would be my initials which serendipitously spell “dazzle”) , which, for the uninitiated, isn’t anything all that dazzling but it works for me for now!

Michelle is a total bad a$$ coach, teammate Jessica is a goddess, and this chick right here is a freaking queen for getting through it and Week 1.

I got this.


August 13 – Started Week 3, aka Day 7 of 18, in the CrossFit New You Challenge. Practiced our first Olympic lift today, the Hang Power Clean. My cousin was right about the steep (whoa is it steep!) learning curve but as a group we did pretty good tonight. I gotta work on the hip thrust and the “scarecrow” position which requires a bit more strength from the deltoids than I have but I’m completely envious of my coach’s arms so …. #goals. Worked with a 35# bar which was respectable!

I can’t believe how much fun I’m having. Now I laugh that I once thought this was so radical. It’s actually empowering. I feel strong and it feels like I’m getting stronger each day.

Lost 4.5 pounds in two weeks too. That might be because I’m actually tracking calories and trying to target a certain number. I am usually 200 over every day but clearly it must be less than I had been taking in when I didn’t track at all. So…. #bonus.

Drinking tons more water too. Not quite at my target level but easily doubled or tripled what I had been drinking before.

I ❤️ us: my New You Challenge teammates and coach. CrossFit is easily one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.


August 15 – Hear ye, hear ye: I hereby declare August 15 “Bada$$ Beast Mode Day” since I killed it morning, afternoon and night.

Ok, normally I don’t go on about this kinda stuff, but today was flat-out awesome and I just have to share!

Morning: presented to our board of directors on our enterprise risk management program which I run. Killed it. Had our VP of strategy tell me that I exuded fantastic executive presence and confidence, in full command of my subject material and at complete ease answering their questions. Flying high after the whole thing was done. 

Afternoon: prepared a presentation for my coworkers intended to be education and my analysis of 60 privacy laws that we are subject to and my recommendation for how we improve our privacy program and consumer marketing as a result of that analysis, all the while protecting the constituents who count on us to do so. Killed it.

Night: today at CrossFit Day #8, I dead lifted 75 pounds roughly 30 times, jumped rope 160 times, ran 400m, and did some bicep/tricep work…forget what they’re called but I was spent when it was done. Another half pound gone. Better than three weeks ago when I wished I was doing something like this, bettering myself and getting stronger. Killed it.

Beast mode. August 15. Carry on.


August 20 – CrossFit Day 10: today was a tough one for me mentally. We didn’t do an enormous amount of cardio but enough. Man, I hate cardio. My lungs feel like they’re no bigger than a zip-lock snack bag. Why is that? Why has it ALWAYS been like that for me? Will it ever improve? Seems like the answer is a flat no.

We did some weight lifting which was challenging but fun. At least I felt like I could do it. I can feel the muscles in my arms getting stronger.

Not gonna lie: today was the first day in three weeks I didn’t want to go. I’m feeling demoralized about it getting harder. And tell me how one day of eating birthday cake magically added five pounds back on my frame overnight? That ticks me off.

Still, I went. And I got through it. We all did. Here’s to another day.


August 24 – I just finished Week 4 of 6 in the CrossFit New You Challenge. 12 workouts in, at this point. As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, I never once considered myself an athlete. I am the furthest thing from it. Kinda like how I’m a creative soul trapped inside of an accountant by education…I have capabilities that go unused on a daily basis.

maria-fernanda-gonzalez-461523-unsplashOne of the most surprising things is how I’ve been remarkably upbeat about attending class. There were two days out of the last four weeks I just didn’t want to do this. Not that bad! I’m basically starting from ground zero but to have only two down days this entire time? Put a notch in the win column.


August 29 – You guys: today was pretty challenging. I don’t even remember my workout time. 32 minutes and some odd seconds? Whatever.

At some point toward the end of the burpees, I started to tear up for the first time in this whole challenge, five+ weeks in. 

Coach Michelle was concerned that I wanted to quit, but that wasn’t it. It was more me thinking about how I WANT THIS SO BAD. I want to be fit and strong and flexible. No more excuses. No more “window shopping wishes”.

It’s so hard right now when your body fights everything you ask of it, but at least I can do it. At least I’m healthy and able enough to give this a go. I finished every bit of this workout today.

Ok, so I modified the box jumps. Sure, my bar work isn’t 100% to form, what with my tiny little hands trying to hold all this body weight upright, but I did it.

#dirty30 #goals #newyouchallenge


September 6 – If you had told 10 yo me that 51 yo me would not only hang from a bar AND pay money to do it, she wouldn’t have believed you. She might have cried.

If you had told 21 yo me that it was a chin-up bar and not one that serves beer, she wouldn’t believe it either. But instead of crying, she’d cheer!


September 10 – 😔 You guys… As you know I’ve been hitting the gym for 6 weeks now. I can tell I’m making progress but I don’t SEE it yet and it’s getting me down. Yes, I know it’s only six weeks. Yes, I know it took nearly 20 years of high stress to put it on as I had no outlet for dealing with endless life changes. Yes, I know I have tons of support on this journey, but I’m feeling so crappy right now.

I’m crazy anxious to see progress, a lot of progress, because um, gym photos of me are not the most flattering thing ever and it looks like those will be posted on a fairly routine basis. 😳 Sure, I could untag myself but you guys see me looking like this every day so what’s the point of that?

Really, I monumentally struggle with my looks when I try to clean up and look nice, but to be all red-faced, sweaty, saggy, and uh….LARGE is not fun. I’m embarrassed by my size. I am really embarrassed. I am trying to channel that anger and embarrassment and disappointment in myself into motivation to change. I just don’t know if I can really pull this off, ya know?

What’s needed is a lifetime of sustained effort, and that’s hard to imagine. I’ve never done this before other than a crash diet thing 20 years ago which was not healthy. And the funny thing is I looked fine back then. Being too fat was simply something one of my many bad boyfriends made me feel at the time, but it’s something I’ve carried with me ever since. Kinda like a dagger stuck in my heart…

This is so hard, and I’m so discouraged, but maybe facing this head on with full transparency is what will help. I don’t know. Just feeling pretty weepy right about now.

But, I’m not quitting… I will not quit! That thought hasn’t crossed my mind, at any point so far. I don’t think it will. I don’t think the past six weeks were a total loss, and I know miracles don’t happen in that short of a period of time. Just uuuugh. I want to fast forward a few weeks, or reverse several years.

Sigh….

I am trying my darnedest to apply the determination that I easily apply to every other part of my life to this.

51 is a tough age. It isn’t going to get easier. Hormones are gonna start wrecking things for me pretty soon (TMI? LOL) It drives me crazy when people complain about how old they are or feel. I don’t ever want to complain about that. I am just grateful I am relatively healthy and can do this. I’m determined to do this even though I’ve never been an athlete.

I truly didn’t expect miracles in just six weeks. Logically I know I’m in a pretty good place. Emotionally? Well…yeah. How I wish I had done this a few years ago but that just wouldn’t have been possible. My kids are relatively self-sufficient only now. This is what I get for having two of my three kids in my 40s…not exactly the plan early on in life but they are my world, and I will do everything in my power to be here when they are young adults.

I love the my gym family. They are a huge blessing at a time when I really need it because it is so hard to be a cheerleader for me! I am wracked with self-doubt, all the time. I don’t have these conversations like that with anyone but my husband, and then he tries to cheer me up but I completely ignore every word he says. For a brief moment years ago, I had my act together, and then it all came apart and I’ve been picking up the pieces ever since. I hate surviving. Thriving is where I like to live but it’s been a long, long time since I knew that feeling. I don’t even remember the number of times I have admitted, “It all comes down to diet and exercise…The answer to *everything*: diet and exercise.” Countless conversations like that! Get the diet and exercise right for the body and suddenly the other things mind and soul will fall into place too. I’ve been trying to slam the “soul” puzzle piece into a place where it just doesn’t fit. And the mind piece of the puzzle? Well, I’ve lost that one. Lol

I do know my insides are thanking me. It kills me: I totally know the intellectual side of the argument for working out but vanity is talking and taking over at the moment.

And to think I have a daughter! I am trying to be a good role model for her. Then again, she’s a bit of a role model for me with her dancing… And I know this whole thing is far more about health versus looks but dang it, I want to look and feel good about myself again.

CrossFit will be a tougher haul when it comes to weight loss, but I am on this journey for health, flexibility, and strength reasons too. The social aspects of CrossFit are a HUGE bonus I didn’t expect at all. I thought it was a decent possibility at this particular gym (it sure looked like people loved it) but it’s over the top awesome.

I do feel good about my ability to stick with it this time…I just need to get over an immediate hump. The first photo where I don’t look like I have for years will be an incredible win. Then again, two people at work said something to me this week, so apparently I’m finally moving the needle.

Nevertheless, my “why” is bigger than physical look alone. I’m impressed with friends who have made changes of their own, taking charge and going after EXACTLY what they want and getting it. They are such a huge inspiration and I thank them for sharing their victories along the way.

No way am I giving up. I’m very fortunate to be relatively healthy such that I can pull this off. Believe me, I know how fortunate I am, even as I think about people I know dealing with cancer or diabetes diagnoses and other very serious health issues.

I am proud I gave this a go as it was THE most radical thing I could think of. Can’t play it safe any longer. Life is too short for that. And yes, I’m getting a lot of “shocked and awed” responses when I mention I started CrossFit. It is pretty radical but it’s also way more doable that I ever imagined. Believe me, if I can do this, anyone can.

I do feel different, and I’ve had a few of the most crazy productive days at work over the last month..tackling stuff that is intricate – complex – and I feel like I’m killing it. It’s been a long time since I felt that way professionally, so I take that as a NSV (non-scale victory).

I try hard not to compare myself with others. I’m a pretty different kinda chick so that isn’t a meaningful comparison, for starters. I have adhered to the belief that I compete with no one but myself, which is why living the way I have up until this has been particularly tough for me. I was better than my current physical condition many yesterdays ago.

September 24 – Today marks eight weeks I’ve been giving this a go. And you know what? The workouts are starting to get easier. I can’t believe it. I threw more weight on the barbell and I don’t think it was enough. I was almost able to get full depth in my back squat! Wha????  

That’s CRAZY. All this in eight, short weeks? While I still can’t do a full-fledged pull-up, I can mimic the motion and I can do 15 at a time with a small break in between. It doesn’t kill my hands either. Am I actually getting stronger? This is absolutely crazy.

I love it. I’m down almost 10 pounds and people at church who only see me once a week are starting to comment on my progress. I appreciate the outpouring of encouragement. And I can’t wait to go back.

bruno-nascimento-149663-unsplashIt’s almost to the point where three days a week isn’t enough for me. I can’t wait for 6am Wednesday morning for my next class.

Wha???? Did I say that? I’m not even a morning person.

#bonus #onmyway #staytuned

 

Photo credits: kettlebell – Maria Fernanda Gonzalez and shoes – Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash.com

 

Author: silonda

I'm not your average Midwestern American woman: an older mom to three kids and married to a musician, hiding out in a small town. I’ve worked as a serious business professional my entire adult life but my soul is really an artist. Wonderlust (i.e., insatiable curiosity) and wanderlust lead me to read voraciously and travel often. The introvert in me likes to quietly observe and share what I discover through writing but buried inside is a pretty funny chick full of spunk and verve who is eager to come out and play. Deep thinking and feeling (all the feels) is my default mode and then I'll crack a joke about it. I’m constantly striving to cultivate whatever makes for beautiful and to love UP.

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