So to sum it up in a few words? I will defer to the title of a book released two days ago and one that I ordered last night called "Embrace the Suck." I'm not much of a reader but I've read a whoppin' two books in the past few months and I kinda like it! :) So, I'm going to give this a spin. I've also been a sucker for CrossFit videos on YouTube. From inspiration to instruction, there are a plethora of them out there. But yea, Embrace the Suck is perfect. Some days, it sucks big time and other days, just a little but it always does in its own, mysterious, sneaky, puddle-of-sweat kind of way.
Going back, let's remember I have been a long distance runner for over 17 years. My first marathon was in 1997 and in recent years, my passion is within the ultra marathon distance. Not a lick of upper body work in there. Basically, my legs have been strong and my upper body has simply existed. Period. This is taking awhile to balance out and because of that, those movements and lifts that are big on upper body strength, I struggle at. Those that directly rely on leg strength, I'm doing well (e.g. box jumps). So, as I look around the gym at folks much younger than me (the overwhelming majority), it is easy to compare myself to them and what they are doing. I have said it before and I'll say it again: comparison will end you in this environment. Ego, etc. must be left at the door and not brought in. It contradicts human nature but it's true. Like a great friend told me two days ago in some tough love, "get out of the way of yourself...you have met your match at CrossFit." True dat. Regarding weight and seeing progression in the right direction, here is a quote from Steve Madden, the author of "Embrace the Suck," during his Q&A Sports Illustrated interview yesterday:
SI Edge: People I talk to who don’t want to try CrossFit don’t want to try it because they’ve heard it’s easy to get hurt. What’s your protection against injury in CrossFit?
Madden: Sanity. Self-awareness. First of all, you need to make sure you’re doing the exercise properly. You need to make sure that you can do it properly repeatedly. You need to make sure you can do it properly, repeatedly, with weight. And you need to make sure you can do all of that when you’re fatigued. And if you can’t, you’re not ready to add more weight.
The times I’ve seen people get injured, it’s when they don’t do the exercise right to begin with. Some of the guys I started this whole thing with were willfully ignorant of their form, until they got injured, and then had come-to-Jesus moments making sure their form was right, and not worrying about how much weight they were throwing on. If you do all the other stuff right, the weight will come.
Oh so true. That first paragraph just nails it. I am fortunate...I have awesome coaches/trainers that are HUGE on form, safety, and proper execution. Remove that and you have a recipe for injury and disaster.
|24" Box Jump|
Generally speaking, I love it and I love the relationships with my fellow athletes that are new and growing. I love the challenge and I love how my body is already changing. I love the fact that I just bought my first pair of size 33 jeans last week IN MY LIFE!!!! I love how when I do run, it's strong. But yea, it sucks but choosing to "embrace the suck" is key. If it doesn't suck, then I'm probably not giving it my all and let me tell you, it is a cruddy drive home after a workout if I feel like I held back. It is like a barbell around my neck in the form of self-guilt. I want to give it all and no less...and I will be hardest on myself every single day if I don't deliver.
I'm looking forward to the weekend. My goal is a 20+ mile run to remind myself I'm still a runner and get my head screwed on straight for that January race of 50 kilometers down in the mountains of West Virginia. It'll be here before I know it! On to Week 6, Day 3...