Tag Archives: reps

Crossfit Isn’t Dangerous–I Am

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My grandma sent me an article about how dangerous Crossfit is. I read it, and like any good Crossfitter, I found it amusing.

Grandmas are supposed to worry; and someday as I’m doing handstand pushups and running ultra marathons, I’ll probably worry about my own grandkids too. It’s kind of the Oma’s job.

While I don’t entirely buy the ‘karma’ idea, I did manage to injure myself after I read the article. But I can’t blame Crossfit–it was entirely pilot error. I can’t pinpoint exactly what I did, but I think there was a problem with my improperly executed push-ups that left my shoulder-blade hurting. And like the stubborn marathon runner I am (pushing through pain) I kept working out until I literally could not put any weight on my left arm whatsoever.

Stupid, I know.

I tend to learn things that hard way (it’s a character flaw).

This shoulder ‘incident’ has left me feeling weak. While everyone else gets to do the WOD, I get the ‘injured runner’s special.’ It’s frustrating to NOT be with my fellow bogatyrs, swinging kettle bells and (as much as I hate the exercise) doing push ups.

It makes me feel weak.

We tend to think a lot about strength in Crossfit, but the ‘W’ word isn’t tossed around much.

That’s because no one WANTS to be weak–that’s why we Crossfit.

Weakness means not performing up to standard or to be structurally compromised or inefficient.

But being weak is so much more. Like strength, weakness is also a condition of the mind. Weakness causes people to roll over and die when things get tough, rather than facing challenges head-on.

We all have moments of vulnerability, moments where we WANT to give up. But the truly strong people will observe the weakness, and then elbow it out of the way as they push past.

Injury is not weakness. In fact, forcing oneself to recover from injury takes more mental strength than pushing through pain. It means staying humble by using a lighter weight; it means complete trust in your coach’s modification; it means willingly, purposely decelerating, though everything in you wants to put the pedal to the metal.

There is strength in self-control.

Given time, most injuries will heal, and with Crossfit, you can bet that you’ll eventually come out stronger than ever.

Weakness of the mind–that’s another story. No amount of time can heal it. Once it takes root, it will completely take over until lives are brambly and tangled with it.

The emotions we have are important outlets. Sadness, when it comes, needs to be recognized and given its proper respect. But it’s not a place to linger; and it’s certainly not a neighborhood you’d want to buy a home in.

So, we move on, without asking ‘why;’ without wishing we could change time; without hoping it was all a bad dream. We just keep moving forward. Though we might hobble along, we still keep moving. We don’t stop. We don’t look back.

Because if we look back, our progress stops cold in its tracks.

That IS weakness.

The best runners keep their eyes on the horizon. They don’t look down, and they sure as hell don’t look back.

If we’ve stumbled, then we learn our lesson, do things better, and make things right.

Being injured might make you feel weak–but that’s not true weakness.

True weakness is stopping to watch the clock run out instead of trying.

Even if you’re injured, you can still move forward, albeit slowly; because in this life, every rep counts.

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Coach Humor

Crossfit isn’t just about the body; it is also about the mind.

Your coach, in his endeavor to be increase your mental acuity, will test to see how closely you were paying attention, which usually ends up with everyone laughing.

For example: a 30 second hollow hold (with a kettle bell) that turns into something closer to two minutes.

I was a little distracted coming into class yesterday, and when I saw we were doing 8 rounds, I thought, “Oh, crap! I’ll never remember which round I’m on!”

When I first started Crossfit, I would constantly lose track of reps and sometimes muddle along until everyone else had finished and call it good. At LEAST I can keep track of my reps now.

But rounds…those can be a different story.

I don’t know if it’s because my brain is 40 years-old; or if I wasn’t focusing; or if the local anesthetic from my dentist appointment earlier had gotten to my brain; or if eating a pint of pineapple-coconut Haagen Dazs (yes, the entire 600+ calories) right before class wasn’t proper fuel; but I was a little bit off yesterday.

During the sprints, Sibylle and I passed each other, and she called out, “What round are you on?”

“I don’t know!” I answered.

“Five? Six?” she asked as we made the u-turn and passed each other again.

“I forgot!” I called.

So she asked Mickey, who can’t be more than 19, and thus has no excuse to NOT know what round he’s on.

When I reached my station, Sibylle said, “You’re on round 7.”

I felt like I’d won a prize. Only one more round!

I was glad SOMEONE had been paying attention.

But during the Simple Sets, my brain shut down for good. While I vaguely remember Rob saying these were 30 second holds (or ‘Hollow Robs,’ as we call them) I wasn’t looking at the clock. I was just listening to Rob’s voice saying “Hold…Hold…Hold…”

It was the longest 30 seconds ever.

I looked over to see that Sibylle and Mickey had set their kettle bells down and were laughing.

Susi (Rob’s wife, who I’m convinced is really a SuperHero, she just chooses not to reveal her true power to make us all feel better) told me to say something bad about him.

But I’m the kind of person who likes to formulate her thoughts, and remembering a picture posted on Rob’s facebook page, I thought I would write up a blog instead.

So, here is an undated photo of Rob, stolen from his facebook page.

coach

I can’t be certain, but I think it was taken during his days as a laboratory experiment. I’m glad he escaped the evil scientists and found Crossfit, because he looks a hell of a lot better now.

And now, it’s time to prepare myself mentally for another WOD.

I’ll be paying closer attention this time!