On Saturday my body was just wrecked. I tried to do some muscle-up attempts but I was just too tired to get the right level of explosiveness, and even my strength was lacking: I was going to try for a 5-rep max strict press strength session but after having difficulties at a relatively low weight, decided that I was going to call it a day. Unfortunately my mind was also affected: I was very tired, and not feeling too terribly social, although I did spend some time at the Hope Street market for Brandon’s birthday (and the rugby: SA beat Fiji and Ireland beat Australia, in a big upset). Was nice to talk to Les and Jon more, and talk in a more social setting to some of the newer CrossFitters who had trained in the morning.
Flattering, too; as one of them told me that they want to be like me. Not the first time I’ve heard that, and it is flattering even though in the grand scheme of things, firstly, I am not that good at all, and secondly, that the importance of fitness is really about how you yourself improve because there will always be people better than us, and people worse than us. I’m certainly never going to win the CrossFit Games but it’s interesting for me to see just exactly how good I can be. Not to mention that as I’ve said before it’s super fun to be able to do things that used to be impossible.
Having said that, when you focus as I do on all the things I want to be better at, you can sometimes lose perspective. I probably spend 90% of my time thinking about how I could be better, and I encourage other athletes to analyse their workouts and tell me how they would approach it differently the next time. When you are a competitive athlete, I suppose you have to do this, but it’s also in my nature. As much as I’m a glass-half-full person, it doesn’t escape my notice that the glass is half-empty. It’s a skill that’s served me well as a product manager, and will serve me well as a consultant because one of the key reasons companies fail is stagnation and inability to see that they need to change and grow with their customers (assuming they get to that point to begin with).
It may be flattering but I do also think that it’s actually a good thing for me to be a role model because I do take the lifestyle seriously, and I believe in why I do it, and the fact that I wasn’t an elite athlete to begin with like Rika or Mona or Honorata makes me more accessible (these particular ladies were amazed to hear that it took me 7 months to get my first pullup!). Speaking of role models, our girl Lynda is developing some serious strength! It’s so cool to see everyone getting so much better and stronger. She and I both are real examples of people who came to CrossFit as non-athletes (I was even overweight!), and after a year or so emerged completely different.
But to illustrate the point, I dug up some old photos of myself, and some more recent ones. I used to joke that my genes were so bad I could walk past the refrigerator and gain weight. Turns out I was just eating wrong. But in a way, it’s wasn’t my fault: there is so much mis-information out there about nutrition, and no one had ever let me in on the secret. Oh, and I still have body image issues, specifically, I think I need to drop my body fat percent still further. Goodness, our modern society is quite hectic in this regard.
So hey, it may be a cult but it’s a good cult, and I do have a chip on my shoulder because I spent so long not being healthy and not enjoying my body, and not being happy about it. Remember that next time you’re cross at me for showing off my latest hand rips, or I make some snide comment about the bread you’re eating harming your digestive system. Or, if you say that you still can’t do handstand pushups, and I tell you it’s probably because you’re still eating pasta.
Moving on. All in all, I think the injury plus what was actually quite a workload on Friday just drained me, and I wound up taking the weekend quite slowly, invented an awesome curry recipe, and caught up with a few friends. One of them, Charlotte, pointed out to me that I used to talk about work all the time and now I talk about CrossFit all the time. I spent a few minutes thinking about this, and I realised it’s not because I’m that much less interested in work. In a lot of ways I am a lot more motivated now than I was a year ago. It’s actually that what I’m doing now is much less accessible to explanation without a lot of other explanation. That’s the nature of management, consultancy, and systems design. I mean, who really wants to hear about the struggles I’m having trying to merge several tools into one that strips out the useless bits and adds in some things that are missing, or the details of what market research we are conducting and why, when discussing it amongst the team takes 45 minutes?
I was also exhausted today by early afternoon. Three cups of coffee had no effect whatsoever, so rather than persisting in my failed attempts to drug myself I decided to go home and rest. This is another thing I have learned from my journey into health: how to listen to my body. Now I know just how badly I handle dairy, and now when I sleep 10 hours and am again exhausted by mid-afternoon I conclude that my body is busy healing (the knee looks fantastic … relatively speaking, of course). So I’m going to rest and not go back to the gym until a day comes along when I’m not feeling absolutely drained by 2pm.
• “You look like one of those girls from the CrossFit Games!” – Charlotte (…. I had just shown her a video of one of my failed muscle-ups!)