Tag Archives: weakness

KnockOut

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“When I see weakness in a person, I just want to hurt them,” a friend of mine told me recently.

If she weren’t an international boxing champion, this might scare me a little.

She’s become instinctive about finding weakness in her opponents and using it to her advantage in the ring. Outside the ring, it gives her a sense about people. Though she doesn’t go around hitting random strangers, her insight helps me to stay focused on my own goals.

After all, the mind determines whether you go to the gym or stay in your sweatpants eating Swiss chocolate every day.

It’s incredible what weakness will keep you from. It keeps you from achieving that goal weight. It keeps you from signing up for that race, that once-in-a-lifetime event. It keeps you from living a life that makes you happy.

It keeps you hiding in the alley while the parade passes by; and all you can do is scour the street when it’s gone, peeling pieces of dirty confetti off the pavement, and wishing you’d been part of the jubilance.

Weakness.

We all have it sometimes.

I feel lucky I have a friend who can identify it when I’m standing so close, I can’t see it.

Then I can step back, look it square in the face and knock it out.

 

 

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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.


When the Well Runs Dry, Find a New One: Inner Strength and Crossfit

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One thing I love about Crossfit is that for one hour, the only problems I have include avoiding getting stuck with the bulbous blue 12kg kettle bells (which everyone hates), lifting heavy things over my head without getting a concussion, and seeing how much anti-gravity enhancement I can get (*jumping) during pull-ups.

Crossfit is the ultimate stress-reliever for me; and if you didn’t know me, you might think that after a workout I was on drugs because of that peculiar relaxed bubbliness that shapes my attitude as well as my physiology afterwards.

Life is good after a WOD.

But occasionally stress takes over a part of my brain, and even though I’m not thinking about it consciously, I’m not quite fully engaged in the workout.

Even though I read yesterday’s workout on the blog (at home) and on the board (repeatedly during my warm-up), I STILL asked my partner a million times what we were doing; and I STILL messed it up. I could read and hear and see the workout, but my mind wasn’t tracking.

I hate that feeling.

I also felt weak, but I’m not sure how much of that was physical and how much was mental.

Presses are hard. Yes. They’re kind of like the strict pull-up of lifting because you can’t compensate with momentum. Though I did 30kg in the warm-up, I got ‘stuck’ about shoulder high during the WOD. And once I was ‘stuck’ physically, I was stuck mentally.

I hate that feeling too.

Usually I can dig down deep to some source of molten anger and push through, but that well was dry.

I just had nothing left.

I was physically and mentally empty, and I couldn’t even come up with a great excuse.

If this were someone else’s blog, I would tell her that it’s okay. We all have bad days. That you have to let go of the pain, the stress, the frustration and let it all evaporate like a sweat angel from the floor. Because negativity will only hold you back.

I would tell her that a single day of a lobotomized WOD isn’t that bad, because at least, in the middle of a personal hurricane, with rubble flying at her from every direction, she took time to go to the box and to work some things out in a healthy place.

I would tell her there IS strength in her. She just needs to go Big Oil: cap the old well, move the drill to a different location and tap into a new current that’s flowing unseen beneath the rocky layers.

Strength is there, even when she can’t see it. Even when she can’t feel it or even understand where it’s going to come from. But it IS there. I believe that now.

On Saturday, I’ll walk through my old, empty house with my landlord. It will give me a real sense of closure to my old life. It will be difficult, because ghosts still run through those halls, and it will be hard not to romanticize it.

I’ll have to remind myself of the dusty, dry, hard times too, so I’ll remember to look to the future, and the vast stores of potential waiting to be unearthed.