July 13 – A good anniversary

I got up this morning and looked at my Timehop app….something I do every morning while I’m waiting for the shower to warm up.  Thankfully the app takes 2 seconds to look over, because water warms up quickly these days when it’s 100 degrees during most of the day. Anyway….Timehop reminded me that today is a very good day, the one year anniversary of us closing on our house.  While I would not recommend moving to anyone living in Texas during the month of July, it was well worth it. We now have enough space for everyone, and a place to truly call home.

I also realized that this was my 6 month anniversary of joining Crossfit Aggieland. I looked back at my post from February regarding my start of Crossfit to see how far I’ve come.  Yes, I’m well aware that 6 months is not that very long in many cases. I will definitely feel more accomplished when I can say I’ve been giving it my all for a full year.  But I can definitely say changes have come in 6 months.

The saddlebags I wrote about that went kaboing kaboing?  They’re gone.  I still run slower than a turtle in peanut butter, but I’m running. Granted, I run for warmups and if a run is included in the WOD (workout of the day)…not for pure joy anymore. I have developed what the doctors are saying is exercise-induced asthma. I have a new-found respect for Ben and what he has had to deal with his entire life.  There are days when I’m not sure I can get any air into my lungs after a particularly hard WOD. An inhaler has become my new friend.

I’ve found it’s even harder to breathe when you are working out in an oven.  Did I mention that our gym is a metal building with big garage doors?  And that the doors are always opened?  So basically we are working outside with a roof over our heads (and a big ass fan turning the hot air). That’s not so much a problem in the spring when it’s a beautiful 70 degrees outside.  But come July in Texas, it’s 95 in the shade and feels like 110 (don’t believe me? check The Weather Channel). And there we are, working out in the middle of that – running, lifting weights, doing burpees, you name it. I am amazed every day that I work out and don’t die of heat exhaustion. I actually think it’s helping me acclimate to the Texas summers.

The pesky little breathing problem aside, I have found that I am getting stronger, little by little.  No, I can’t compete with the college kids, but I’m not trying to. I can now Snatch 65 lbs.  When I first started, I couldn’t heave 45 lbs over my head. Box jumps – I can now do a 20″ box jump.  When I first started out, I couldn’t jump on top of that box to save my life (and I have the scar on my shin still to prove it). I have increased my deadlift from 45 pounds to 210 pounds (max).  I’d say that’s a marked improvement in strength. Every week I am pleasantly amazed at what my body can do that it couldn’t do last week or last month.

Which brings me to the best benefit of Crossfit. I haven’t stepped on a scale in about 4 months. The scale is a tool I used to use to beat myself up. It didn’t matter if I felt great….if the number on the scale said something different, my mood and my view of myself instantly changed.  I am no longer a slave to that stupid machine.  The only time I get on a scale now is when the  doctor’s office makes me – and we all know those scales are wrong.

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I now measure my success in how my body feels and how it performs at Crossfit.  Yes, we all have off days, this I know and it happens to me too.  But most days I’m there pushing myself to go a little farther than I have before.  There are days I just can’t, and I scale it back. Then there are days that I’ll surprise myself and actually get my toes up to the bar during a toes-to-bar WOD. I feel stronger, and more importantly, I feel better about my body than I have in a long time. Yes, I’m fighting the uphill battle against aging, but I’m doing my best to slow it down to a crawl.

Did I drink that Kool-aid…am I addicted to Crossfit?  I guess I’d have to say yes. Many people think our workouts are nuts.  I’d say, unless you’ve tried it, don’t judge.  You too would be amazed at what your body can do if you just try. I’ve even passed my addiction on to my youngest – Daniel started Crossfit for Teens this summer and is excelling.  One of the coaches told me he has the best squat in his class and that he’s a natural.  I think even he’s excited about seeing his improvements and what his body will do.

Will I continue with this path?  Heck yeah.  I’ve enjoyed the past 6 months of exercise more than all my gym time over the years combined. I’ve done more in the past 6 months than I have with any trainer pushing me. I’ve done more in the past 6 months than all my spin classes combined. And all I have to do is commit to one hour several times a week. And the bonus? It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than a therapist.  Ask my husband…if I haven’t worked out in a couple days, he can tell, as my mood changes….and he quickly reminds me that it is time to go work out.