It’s Thursday night, at about 10 pm. I was in bed, attempting to go to sleep but scrolling through Instagram and Facebook instead. Ironic, since I just finished preaching about the importance of good sleep and getting away from screens at bed time. My sleep has been shit lately. It could simply be the hot ass wet cloud of air that has descended upon the Jersey shore over the past 10 days combined with the fact that I live in a house that was built in 1900 and never got an AC unit put in. It doesn’t make for a great sleeping situation. Don’t know about you, but sticky air and slumber do not happily coexist in my world.

In my staring into the blue screen of my iPhone, I decided that my insomniac time would be better spent putting something hopefully helpful out into the world as opposed to watching dogs trip for a half hour. Although, that’s pretty amazing stuff. I constantly say how I’m going to write more. Blog more. The point of a blog is to share what’s going on, right? When did we decide that every single health/nutrition/fitness/lifestyle blog needed to be a virtual encyclopedia of how-to’s, research papers and listicles? When I started this thing it was about my life. My boring ass, fitnessing, beer-drinking (#RIP, girl), life. It’s time to get back to that and this night of being wide awake seems like the perfect time.

This week fucking sucked. In terms of my workouts. I mean, OK, that’s dramatic. Let me back track. 

For the past 5-6 months, I’ve been really dialing my diet by way of focusing on counting my macronutrient intake. Yes. Macros. No, not the ‘figure out how to eat pizza and donuts if it fits your macros’ thing, more like ‘make sure you’re eating enough protein and carbs to support your workout and maybe don’t eat 1 half a cup of butter every day’ thing. So far, it’s been fantastic. My performance in the gym has skyrocketed and I’ve leaned out while building up muscle. Pros for days! Everything I touched was a PR. Every day. Err day. All day. 

Cut to a week ago today, last Thursday. The workout:

Every 5 min for 40 min (6 rounds) complete for time:

800m Run
21 KB Swings
12 Pull ups

Now, some of my more CrossNerds will recognize that this is basically a shittier version of the benchmark Girl WOD, Helen, with is 5 rounds for time of a 400m run, swings, and pull ups. My Helen time is just over 12 minutes. Not great. Not terrible. To be honest, anything with running I never expect to do very well in. My goal is generally, ‘don’t walk’. If I achieve that, i feel good about it. There will be other workouts that I can push it competitively (like Grace, 30 Ground To Overhead, where my time is 2:51 because #GripItAndRipIt), but running WODs are not them. That being said, I haven’t had to walk on a workout in ages. Even when I’m Forest Gump pre-braces-falling-off running hella slowly and babies are crawling past me…still no walking.

Until today.

Holy fuck.

Round one took me just over 5 minutes. Same with my second. Then third round I came in and just barely finished the work in the time cap, with mere seconds to spare. Fourth round, didn’t finish the swings. It was at this point, when the clock had started and I was supposed to head out on my last half mile that I decided I was done. I wanted to quit so badly. My coach looked at me and said, ‘Get out there. Walk it if you have to. Move. You’ll be mad if you quit.’. I knew he was right. So I walked. And ran a little. And walked again. I still came up short on the remaining swings and pull ups when I reemerged into the hot-box that is Long Branch CrossFit, but even though I was the only one in class who didn’t finish, I didn’t quit either. Two years ago that would’ve pissed me off. I would’ve thrown a hissy fit about how I’m the most experienced one there and sucked it the hardest. I’m a grown up now. I don’t throw tantrums over workouts. It was still a shitty feeling, though.

The next day I thought it had all passed. The workout was totally up my alley. 1000m row and 50 shoulder to overheads at 75#. Finished in 7 minutes and change. A good 30 seconds before anyone else all day. I’m back. I thought. Yesterday was just a fluke. It was the running.

Nice try, asshole. 

July 4 – The Seven
7 rounds for time:
7 Handstand Push Ups
7 thrusters (135/95)
7 Knees-to-elbows
7 Dead Lifts (245/165)
7 Burpees
7 KB Swings (32/24kg)
7 Pull Ups

Once again – first two rounds each done in under five minutes. Significantly ahead of most of the other people doing the workout with me. My final 5 rounds took me an hour and ten minutes. Yes. You read that right. Every dead lift took seemingly forever. Every thruster. Everything. I rested for what felt like forever, then the moment I did anything I felt like my heart was sinking and my lungs were filled with cotton. I have never wanted to quit a workout so badly in my life. Why am I doing this? This is absurd. This is embarrassing. 

The feeling when even the ‘You Got This’ and “Come on, let’s go!” from your friends and fellow athletes makes you want to scream at them to shut the fuck up because they’re done and you’re on the fucking struggle. When all thought goes negative.

This time I was on my own. I decided that no matter what, I could keep talking that devil-will-make-you-quit voice down. I was going to actively fight back the negativity that was seeping into my brain. I decided I was going to finish. Even if it took two hours. Why? Well, last year when we did The Seven on July 4, I couldn’t even finish it. My back was so bad at that point that I could barely pick up the kettle bell after 3 rounds, let alone the dead lifts (even after scaling them down to 135#). Now, after a year of physical therapy, I was actually feeling great in terms of my back. The dead lifts were causing no pain and the swings felt fine, too. I wasn’t going to quit this time because it was hard. I wasn’t in pain. I could finish. So I did.

Then again. Last night. I wasn’t really in the mood to fitness yesterday, but I find that those days are the ones where it’s most important to move. The workout was some front squats and a bodyweight metcon…that I assumed would be easy. Strict pull ups, swings, and air squats. I went into it feeling cocky. I had PRd my front squat with a 2 second pause in the bottom. I was feeling like hot shit. First set of pull ups felt awesome. Banged out a fast 6, then 4, and moved onto the swings. Finished with almost 2 minutes to spare in the 5 min cap. There were two more rounds to go, and that’s when the wheels fell off. Finished the second just in time, and was 25 reps short of round three. 

And tonight. Tonight when I wanted to cry. Tonight when I barely had the motivation to walk up the flight of stairs to go back into the gym.

For time:
1200m Run
40 Alternating DB Snatches
40 Toes-To-Bar
800m Run
20 Alternating DB Snatches
20 Toes-To-Bar
400m Run
10 Alternating DB Snatches
10 Toes-To-Bar

Once again I went out hot. I haven’t run 1200 meters straight in over a year. Yes, it’s a gap in my training. I know. Moving on. It felt surprisingly OK. Snatches felt light. I got to the toes to bar around the 11 minute mark, and this has been where I start to crash and burn. Today was, apparently, no exception. By the time I completed 400 of the 800 meter run, I started walking. Again. Run to that telephone pole. Walk to the next. But he time I got back to the gym, my fellow classmates were heading out on their last run. I sat down before even starting the snatches, and sat down a few times during. My breathing was horrendous. I felt like my skin was on fire. My body felt like it was straight up breaking down. Now, some would argue that’s a sign to stop. If I felt like I was truly in a bad spot, I would have. I knew though, that I could finish this. I would be slow. I would take rest. I would be going for some time after everyone else was done. But I could finish. As a coach, I cannot quit in front of my people. What does that show them? I didn’t want to let my mind take over. The voice telling me to stop. I gathered myself and finished. Went back out for the worlds slowest 400m run ever, came back in and did my final 20 reps. I even did the last 10 toes to bar unbroken. 

Shortly after the workout, and after I had my post-wod snack, I was feeling better. I thought about the past week. In terms of training, it was likely the most mentally tough week I have ever had. I felt beaten down almost every day. I felt like I was falling every day. But every day I told myself, this is just a mental challenge. I knew that the workouts being hard this week is temporary. I also knew that I would learn from not letting myself quit. That not letting myself give up would make me mentally stronger in the future. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe I need to do some new calculations and switch up my macros a little. Who knows. I’ll figure it out. Regardless, this week, albeit a suck-fest, was probably more important than a week of crushing WODs and setting PRs.

So why am I telling you all of this in such a wordy manner? Because I want you to understand that not every day is going to be fun. Workouts are hard. Some days will be harder than others. Some days you will want to quit. REALLY want to quit. I’m writing this to tell you not to. To let go of the ego that tells you, ‘If you are going to take so much longer than everyone else you should just quit.’. That nags, ‘If you’re not going fast, it’s pointless, you should stop.’. That voice is your self doubt. It is the thing that also tells you you’re not good enough. Or thin enough. Or smart enough. Or strong enough. That you can’t do something. That it’s impossible. It the voice that wants you to give up. Giving up on a workout is, I believe, a smaller version of giving up on yourself. Even if it takes you twice as long as the next person. Finish what you started. You will never regret not quitting. You will learn. You will improve your mental game. You will look back and say, ‘That sucked, but I did it.”

Never give up on you.

The grind is where you find your fortitude.

The dark is where you learn how truly tough you are.

 

 

So now that that’s all out of my big loud head…maybe now I can get some fucking sleep.