Lessons Learned – A New Year Do-Over

Yes, I wussed out again. Remember when I told you about the girl that I work with who does CrossFit? And how excited I was about it? And how I was going to renew my focus on being able to do CrossFit in the new year? That was great, and a great feeling, but great feelings can’t get you through a workout. As some of you know, I have been doing CrossFit workouts at home for about six months now, although not all that consistently. The day after I posted that post, I looked up the workout for CrossFit Greensboro. It was a Saturday, and I was pumped.

Until I saw the workout: 800 m run? How far is 800 meters?

I pulled out Google and looked it up. And my heart sank: 800 meters is roughly half a mile.

Now, I’ve never been all that big into running. I have several family members who do the long distance running thing, and I have sat back in awe that anyone can do that, while secretly wishing that I could do it too. My second foray into a CrossFit gym had me walk out of the gym, completely worn out, after a half mile run. And that was just the warm up that day! I just don’t have the stamina and endurance to do it. Let’s face it – I’ve been sitting on the couch for seven years now. Stamina and endurance have a tendency to disappear when you do that.

Of course, there was more to the workout, and I considered dropping the running part and just doing the rest. 50 pull ups, 100 push ups, 150 squats. Oh, and then we were supposed to run another 800 m.

I debated dropping the running and doing the rest. I debated riding down the road to this gravel track nearby, doing the running, coming home to do the rest, and driving back out there to do the second run. I weighed it all. And then I stopped and got completely honest with myself. Do I really want to walk into a gym where they expect you to do these kind of runs every now and then, knowing full well that I simply can’t do it? One of the reasons why I walked out of the gym the last time was because I was so completely embarrassed by my performance. Do I want to put myself through that again? Is it worth it?

I weighed it all week, although not entirely seriously. I talked to the girl and told her that I planned on coming. I worked the cost into my budget. I stopped thinking about it. And then I talked to another friend of mine who I used to go to a different gym with. She told me how much I had inspired her to get busy in the gym. She’s been going all year. She hasn’t gotten hung up on what gym to go to and what workout to do. She has simply been going and getting it done.

I went to my old gym with her yesterday, and I have to say that I have missed it. I downloaded the “Couch to 5K” app on my phone so that I can work on my running, stamina, and endurance in a place where I won’t feel intimidated and embarrassed. I did my first workout with it yesterday, and it was really all that I needed. A structured running workout that I can restructure to my pace, because even that workout will get to be too much for me in about a week. And this morning I did some squats, and you know what? I realized that I don’t need a CrossFit gym to do this. I can tell that I am doing the squats right now. I am getting better at it. I have been working on my squats for an entire year on my own, and I am conquering them on my own. It took a while, but when I noticed that my center of gravity was different going down into the squat than it used to be and that I was getting lower into the squat than I used to, I was so proud of myself. Because I did that all by myself. Shoot, I’m getting choked up just writing about it, because that has been my goal for an entire year, and this morning I knew that I had reached it.

I told my friend yesterday that she ended up inspiring me just as much as I inspired her. I need to quit trying to make this so hard and just get out there and do what I can do. Every trip to the gym is a victory, and when a milestone is reached like the one I reached this morning, it is an even bigger victory. There are ways that I can identify goals that I want to reach, but I don’t need the name and the big, expensive gym to reach them. I just need patience and dedication. And I have shown myself that I really do have that. I told my fiancĂ© yesterday about my friend saying how much I inspired her, and I asked him why it has been so hard for me to inspire myself. Well, now I see how that works, and I see the bigger picture.

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Changing It Up

Okay, squats are NO JOKE! Especially when you realize that you have been doing them wrong ALL YOUR LIFE.

Thank goodness for CrossFit Winston Salem. I have already gleaned quite a bit of information from their website, including the CrossFit Journal, which has a training guide which includes… The Squat Clinic. I can already tell that this handy gem is going to be invaluable to me as I work on strength, technique, and form on my squats. Because I have none. Definitely no strength. My technique and form? What are those?

So tonight I did my first EPLifeFit workout since whenever I did the last one that I did. I can tell that my form has improved somewhat, just from what I learned from the EPLifeFit site. The information that I got from the training guide was priceless. I actually felt for the first time that I would be able to work up to a squat the correct way. And when my workout was done, I was jelly. My legs, my abs, and my arms were straight jelly. It kind of reminded me of how I felt after my first CrossFit workout. And it was great.

So I went shopping today and got food for the week. I was going to make the pork chili, but I am so scared that I am still burnt out on it. Plus the Wal-Mart that I live near now sucks! They didn’t have any poblano peppers. So I modified that recipe, but I can’t tell you about it until I know whether it came out well or not. I used the ingredients that I ended up getting for the chili that I didn’t make to put together a meatloaf – Southwest style:

2 lbs. ground beef
1 egg
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 (4 oz.) cans green chilis
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

So you put all of the ingredients in a bowl, mix it up, and form it into a loaf in a baking dish. Then y bake it at 375 degrees for an hour. Serve it with guacamole and cilantro!