So I’ve been extremely lacking in updating this blog, but it seems like it’s time you got an update. The last update was my first real “big league” crossfit workout. This update comes the morning after I finished my 90th workout.
Since last fall, I’ve continued with crossfit three days a week at Crossfit Recourse. Many days have started out with the alarm going off at 4:30 am to make it to the 5:15 am class. Many others have been the newer 4:15 p.m. class. And, on those nifty teacher-days-off when the rest of the world is working, the 9:30 am class has been fun. I’ve enjoyed hitting the various classes as it gives me a chance to meet a bunch of folks I might not otherwise have a chance of connecting with.
So, I can definitely see a difference from when I started. Six weeks after I began crossfit I was down 25 pounds, a weight I have pretty much maintained, though I can feel a consistent migration from flab to muscle at the same weights. I’ve also seen the weights I work with during the workouts consistently increase, to the point now where I have a reasonable shot at doing a good number of the workouts “as prescribed” (Rx). Not all, mind you, but it’s at least a point of consideration each time I walk into the gym.
I feel better in general, and a number of my regular aches and pains have definitely improved. Prior to starting crossfit I was having regular problems with my right knee, but have been doing MUCH better since getting in shape. My right shoulder underwent a substantial surgery 15 years ago that has left me sore and in pain for years. Since I started crossfit the regular dull ache has subsided considerably. Unfortunately, I now have acute intermittent pain in that shoulder attributed to something floating around in the shoulder capsule that will need to be removed, but that looks like an artifact of the surgery 15 years ago, not related to my new fitness habit. Two days ago we did a workout where I ended up doing 95 pull-ups, 190 push-ups, and 270 air squats. Shoulder was fine. Yesterday the workout involved push pressing 145 pounds overhead, as well as a bunch of 135-pound cleans. No problem. This morning zipping up my coat on the way to work left my shoulder in agony. So it’s time to get it fixed, surgery is scheduled, and I’m most concerned about backtracking after working so hard the past months to get back in shape.
The workouts have also started to become fun. OK, not thrilling, not “look forward to it all day” fun, but sense of accomplishment-fun. And the community of athletes in the gym is outstanding. We have young’ins. We have senior citizens. We have teachers. We have cops. We have bartenders. We have laborers. We have bosses, and we have bossees. It doesn’t matter — the entire group, every single person I’ve met, is supportive of everyone else. It’s a highly differentiated group all with the same goal — to improve ourselves and help each other. And that makes it fun.
And the instructor, Chris, continues to amaze me with his individual attention to helping everyone achieve their goals. He shares in our goals through each and every workout, helping push us where needed, pull us back when we’re about to do something less than brilliant, and providing general direction as we set goals and then work to achieve them.
What I’m most amazed at is the ongoing level of challenge. Yesterday was my 90th workout. Every single workout has pushed me to the point where, at some point in the workout, I think to myself “I can’t do this, it’s time to stop and take a break.” And every single time, I’ve found a way to push through. Crossfit is a physical endeavor, yes, but the major challenge each day is mental. Finding a way to keep going when the rest of your body has long since passed its comfort zone. And so far, I’ve been able to make it through. Every. Single. Time. That’s not to say you want to push yourself through to the point of doing something dumb and hurting yourself, but there’s a difference between moving past what you think you can do, and moving past what is safe. And our instructor keeps a very careful eye to help us make sure we keep safety a top priority.
I have two more weeks before I undergo shoulder surgery which will pull me out of crossfit for several months. I’m dreading the backward slide I know I’ll have to work through, and all the work I’ll have to repeat to get back to where I was before. That will be another challenge. Finding the motivation to push through to get back to where I was, when I know how tough it was the first time, and how hard I worked. But I’ve gone 90 workouts so far where I’ve given everything I had, to the point where I’m nearly dragging myself off the floor as I leave the gym. I can’t see stopping now, and I’m counting on that great community surrounding me to help keep me focused and on track!