Sunday, November 10, 2013

Crossfit Strong

I have a confession to make - I haven’t done any triathlon training for almost 2 months. By tri training I mean specifically swim, bike and run. I have run here and there, but I haven’t been in the pool or on my bike since my last race at the beginning of September.

I believe in taking a clearly defined off-season every single year. I think it is important for the body and the mind to recover from months of intense training to avoid injury, burnout and more, however each season it seems like my off-season has a way of taking on a life of its own. Two years ago my season was cut short by a bike accident, so my off-season was a forced one. Last year I took a few weeks after my full-distance triathlon to recover and then promptly got really sick and hit some emotional lows that ended up turning into 15 extra pounds by the end of the holidays.

This year, though, I decided to take a bit of a different path and focus on getting strong during my off-season. Crossfit has been my path to that. I have been wanting to try Crossfit for a couple of years, but it just never worked out for whatever reason - time, money, location - until now. I was excited when a new box opened up in my stomping grounds. As soon as I was not sore from my last race, I was in there trying my first class.

And it kicked my butt.

I mean, I think of myself as being a pretty fit person. I have enough endurance that I can just go all day long. I can swim, bike and run miles upon miles, hours upon hours. But let me tell you, just the warm-up had me shaking like a leaf! By the end of the workout, I knew my body would be paying in full the next day!

So now, two months later, I’m still at it. I will be getting back into tri training this month - just gradually easing back into a good base-building routine, but I’m going to keep up with Crossfit for 2-3 days a week through the winter. I am totally loving it and hating it all at the same time.

There are several things it has shined a light on for me. Number one is that I was not very strong when I started, but I am getting stronger each week, and, more importantly, I’m thinking of myself as strong. When I look in the mirror I am seeing muscles and that says strength to me. It has also showed me how competitive I am (not a big surprise!!), and I am proud to say that I have worked very hard to not let my competitive spirit take over while I am doing crossfit. In my opinion, that is the quickest way to get injured and I am doing it to get strong! I am able to recognize when enough is enough, while still pushing hard to the end of a workout or a lifting series.

I have also had such a great time getting to know the other 9:00 a.m.-ers too! It’s not always the same crew, but there is a core group of girls that is usually there when I am and we cheer for each other and push each other on! Right now I am working on getting one strict pull-up with no band! I still have a ways to go, but you can be darn sure there will be a video when I get one!!

Another unexpected blessing has been connecting with my sister who started doing Crossfit in Florida around the same time I did. In fact, I think it was her starting that finally gave me the kick in the pants I needed to start myself. It has been so fun talking with her about what the WOD was for a particular day or commiserating over burpees and box jumps.

Crossfit has definitely been a good fit for me. I can see and feel my body changing, and I am loving it!

Here’s to being Crossfit strong!

Me as Captain Crossfit for Halloween. And, YES, I did the WOD in costume!