the spaz of fitness has arrived

Home Sweet Basement

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2012 at 8:36 am

Okay, I confess: I’ve been a delinquent Jo. I’ve been negligent of my blog posts and have left you all in the dark for far too long. My last few days have been consumed with moving-related activities, which are even less fun than they sound. I’ve officially transitioned from my former, spacious, overpriced one-bedroom to a cramped, dimly-lit, basement studio. I like to say I did it in the name of CrossFit. The amount of money I’ll save each month is the rough equivalent of my CrossFit membership– hopefully a bit more, but it depends on how frugal I am with electricity and water usage, I think. Overall, I’m starting to feel pretty comfortable in the new space. It’s significantly smaller, which I don’t mind too much. It’s just the lack of natural light that gets to me… that, and my allergies and asthma– both usually fairly benign– have been acting up anytime I stay in the apartment for too long. I’ve purchased a used air purifier, but I need to buy a new filter for it before I can see if it alleviates my symptoms.

Anyway, my quest to lift heavier things is going well. I’ve hit PRs on all my lifts… To be entirely honest, though, that makes each day more terrifying. I know, since lifting is such a mental game, I should swallow that terror and approach the bar with so much more badassery, but a lot of the time the little Jo in me quivers with fear before I unrack the bar. Lately, to quell this fear, I’ve been repeating the mantra given to me by a certain very forthright powerlifter at the box: “I’m going to make this weight my b*tch.” Honestly, I don’t think I could ever pull off those words in real life, but the recitation of them through my head puts me in at least a less fearful headspace before the lift :p.

Also, I’ve discovered the delights of improvised fractional plates. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been struggling with my press– most likely because it’s the weakest lift, and I’ve read that it stalls quickly with most women. But I could feel that I wasn’t really stalling so much as not developing quickly enough to meet each weight increase. So… I found giant, industrial-sized flat washers, made by fastenal. Very fortunately, they have a specialty store here in town, and I picked up a pair. At .66lbs apiece, they allow me to boost my press by even smaller increments. It worked last week; I just hope it keeps going.

I recently enjoyed this post by Dave Chesser, the owner of Formosa Fitness. His reflection here resonated with me. I think it’s the reason that I was never made to be a competitive athlete. I enjoy all of this most when it’s at my own pace, for myself, without having to compare myself to the athletes around me. But this doesn’t mean that I should abstain from working out with other CrossFitters– actually, it means that I enjoy the company even more. I mentioned that I’ve returned to doing a lot more of the gym’s scheduled WODs as part of my conditioning, but it’s a very different experience this time around. When I first joined CrossFit, I embraced the competitive aspect of it. Even though I never wanted to beat any of the other athletes, I felt this anxious need to race the clock or to push my rounds at the cost of everything else– form, technique, sanity… Now, especially because we have classes focused around specific skills, I can pinpoint specific, personal goals for each WOD. For example, Friday, we had a 10 minute AMRAP involving med ball cleans, false-grip toes-to-rings, and EMOM air squats. I knew I wanted to work on my false grip and my form on the toes to rings… so I pushed through the med-ball cleans and air squats as quickly as possible while maintaining good form, and then I paid careful attention to technique when I reached the rings. I was also determined to maintain my false grip throughout the entire WOD. So instead of switching to a normal grip when I tired, I dropped down, shook out my arms, and restarted. I like this approach thus far… it means that I get a solid workout each time, and I feel like I’ve furthered a skill set. I can push myself and be inspired by the effort of those around me, but concentrate on my personal objectives so I can further my own development as an athlete.

That said, I also enjoy throwing in the occasional day when I just go in and do things by feel, with nothing scheduled. Today, I stopped in for snatch pulls and snatch balances and rounded out the day with prowler pushes and a game of CrossFit dodgeball. It was nice being able to just take things at my own pace, and just… kinda felt like a morning hanging out with friends– and who could complain about that?

Anyway, thanks for your patience and hanging out during my silence. I leave you with pictures of my new digs… the space is actually too small to get a good shot from any angle, but I tried.

The “bedroom”

And, the “living room”– by far the most photogenic space in the apartment. Fortunately, it’s not a true “basement” space in that the house is located on a hill so the back actually has a full window and its own door. Unsurprisingly, I spend 99% of my time in front of these windows.

(the shots are so close because I can only back up so far before I hit the wall… in fact, I’m standing against the wall in each of these pictures) But yes, home sweet home! Send me some sunlight 🙂

  1. […] lately… I have two approaches: either channeling something that gets me angry, or repeating Sgt. Powerlifter’s slogan: “I’m going to make this weight my b*tch.” It’s silly, but the words […]

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