the spaz of fitness has arrived

When One Door Closes: The End of the Open and New Beginnings

In General, Training on March 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Well, it’s officially that time– when I must graciously (gracefully?) (gratefully?) bow out of the CrossFit 2013 Open. I knew this was an inevitability when I signed up. Eventually, in order for the events to be competitive, they’d need to raise the weights to something respectable for women like Annie and Kris and Talayna– something that would try the limits of my pitiable strength. For the record, I almost predicted 13.4 exactly — admittedly, I thought it would be 13.3, but I definitely speculated about a clean-and-jerk/toes-to-bar infinity ladder. The weight for this ladder, unfortunately, is 95lbs. I’ve cleaned 95 lbs less than ten times in my life. I’ve jerked it once. I’ve never jerked it directly following a clean, and the last time I cleaned it, I weighed 108, it was just before the powerlifting meet, and I was a tad heavier than I am now (and avoiding all metabolic conditioning like the plague). It seems to me ridiculous that someone as small as I am can shed muscle, but my body never ceases to surprise with its strangeness.

Anyway, after the workout was announced, I decided to go in today to see if I could even manage my former 1rm. Admittedly, I’m a bit beat up from deadlifting 215×3 (PR!) yesterday, but still… I stalled out at 90lbs and that took everything out of me. I’m not going to ask a judge to sit and watch me try (and likely fail) to clean 95 for seven minutes just to stay on the leaderboard. The members of our lovely community have asked me if I’m going to attempt the WOD, and they’ve expressed their condolences that I won’t be able to participate, but while I appreciate their compassion, I really don’t find it necessary. It’s not a big deal to me. I knew this would happen– I don’t feel left out, and… most importantly, I’ve fulfilled my goal of the Open: participate without psyching myself out, without worrying about disappointing anyone, without investing too much in the competition. It was just fun. That said, I’m also disappointed with where I am right now. Last fall, when I cleaned 95lbs, I wanted to be able to Rx Grace by this spring… which obviously hasn’t happened. I take full responsibility for that backsliding… I didn’t take into account how returning to metcons would deplete my muscle gain– in fact, having never made that shift (metconning to strength training to back again) I didn’t anticipate how my body would shift and adapt.

So… I have an announcement that I’ve been keeping under wraps for a bit. For an experimental period– at least the month of April, I will be working with and individual coach via distance-training. I have my reservations because of the limitations of distance, but she’s a professional CrossFit athlete and coach and Level 1 seminar staff member whom I respect greatly. In fact, she was my first-ever CrossFit hero. And the opportunity to work with her was too great to pass up. She’s also willing to work with me so that I can still participate in some of the box’s WODs, which was vital to me– I want to remain a member of this community, and she understands that impulse. For April, she’ll be programming my strength work, some skill work, and my nutrition, and my conditioning will remain with the box’s programming. It’s not optimal, but I hope it will work and allow me to grow as an athlete and future coach– to learn from one of the best– and still remain a constant at LionHeart.

If I can be blatantly honest.. I’m terrified that if I fall short here it will be a sign that I’m really as hopeless an athlete as I think I am… that even with the guidance of one of the best, I’ll still go nowhere. But… I look forward to this opportunity, and I’m doing my best to quell the insecure little squeaky Jo inside my head. This is an incredible opportunity… and one I need right now. I’d like to stop overanalyzing my training… I need to learn, once and for all, how to eat like an athlete and not like the asthmatic, entirely sedentary kid I used to be. And by experiencing this side of the coach-to-individual-trainee relationship, I’ll hopefully also be better and more capable of becoming a coach in the future.

As for how my Zone diet experiment went? Meh… it was definitely interesting. I know more about how my body responds to different foods in different proportions. I still feel like the prescription given to me was too little food. I didn’t lose weight on it, but I didn’t gain either. Admittedly, proportionately, I was/am stronger. I have a 3/4 bodyweight press and a bodyweight bench now. My deadlift is well over 2xbody weight– approaching 2.5 I’m five lbs short of a 1.5xbw back squat. However, the numbers themselves are pitiful because my weight is so damn low… and while I’m sure there’s a way to tweak the Zone to help me get up there, I don’t think that’s what I’ll be trying next. I’ve since abandoned the Zone and returned to drinking almond butter from the jar. I’ve put on a few pounds that seem to be sticking around… though I’m not any stronger yet for it. Mostly, I’m just biding my time until I start with my new coach April 1st. I intend to follow her prescription to a T– if there’s anything I can do in this world, it’s “homework” ;).

Oh! Since I won’t be participating in 13.4, I’d like to brag a little bit about the awesome people in my life who have and will. The Cookie Monster, despite having only been to a CrossFit gym a handful of times in his life (though having strength trained all of his life) did a very respectable 60 reps this morning– and it was his first time ever trying toes-to-bar. Coach Zebrapants, our resident firebreather, beasted out 105 reps, which I’m confident will be very competitive for our region. And I want to wish a special good luck to the Mega-tron, who will be attempting this WOD with a 1rm of 105… which means the clean-and-jerk portion will achieve new levels of suck. In fact, I think we hit our 95lb clean PRs on the same day last fall… clearly, she’s outpaced me, and I’m damn proud to see it happen.

Good luck to the rest of you as well. Be safe, have fun, and stay awesome 🙂

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