Trust The Process

When I think about things to share on my blog I often think about things I want other people to hear. Other times, like today, it’s more of a reminder to myself to practice what I preach. All too often I forget where I was when I first started on this journey. Chronically tired, out of shape, embarrassed, overwhelmed. I’ve come so far in the last 4 1/2 years. But I obviously didn’t start where I am today. It has been a process, a journey.

I started walking. Then walking alternated with running. When I started I could barely run 30 seconds at a time. Then I got the crazy idea to run a marathon. And I did it. I followed a training plan and I trusted the process.

I ended up being able to run far, not fast, but far. I went from an 18-20 minute walking/jogging mile to an average 12-13 minute mile. From barely going 1 mile to over 20 miles.  This took time. It was a process. Then I started CrossFit. And I’m pretty sure I was at a deficet when it came to strength. I couldn’t hold myself up on the pull up bar at all. I could barely navigate the use of the barbell. I still remember the first time I clean and jerked 95lbs as my 1 rep max. Just last month I did that 30 times in under 4 minutes for the workout “Grace”

For months I struggled every single workout. Burpees brought me to tears. My mindset going into every workout was “just keep moving. just survive” – I couldn’t even wrap my head around the idea of doing well. It was more like “don’t die” than trying to kill a workout.

Eventually I started to get stronger, faster, more confident. I just kept doing it day after day and I got better. This year I decided I wanted to train for an Olympic Lifting competition. So I followed a specific Olympic Lifting program. I got stronger in my Snatch and Clean & Jerk. I entered, and won, my first Olympic Lifting Competition.

And now here I am. After having major {elective} surgery with my abdominoplasty/skin removal and finding myself frustrated with my current performance. Not only was my body put through some major trauma with this surgery, but I was also out of the box completely for 6 weeks, and really out of my normal level of intensity for about 10 weeks. I knew I would be weaker coming back, I just didn’t imagine it would bother me as much as it does. The most frustrating part is knowing how hard I worked for the progress I had and watching how easily it slipped away. I mean, I had struggled and struggled for years to get a rope climb. It was just recently this year that I finally got that rope climb. Now I can’t even get in one good pull on the rope. It feels like I’m lightyears away from where I want to/think I should be. I just have to keep reminding myself to trust the process. It took time to get there the first time, It will take time to get there again. And it will take even more time to progress beyond that. I know CrossFit works. I know how to get stronger. I just have to put in the work. Show up, do the work. That is how you see the results. It is a process. Embrace it. You won’t always be where you currently are if you put in the work. I want to be stronger, faster, better. So I will put my nose to the grindstone and do the work I know it takes to get there. Every damn day. Because I’m worth it. My dreams and goals are worth it.

Have you ever had to remind yourself to trust the process?

I’m Done Coasting

Today is 12 weeks, or 3 months, since my Abdominoplasty/Skin Removal. I knew going into it that I wanted to take it easy for the first 3 months. Like I said in my last post, I just wanted to coast through recovery to give my body time to heal. I had to prepare myself mentally to scale back on workouts and I wanted to give my mind a break when it came to eating. The first 6 weeks were hard, I hated not working out. Then when I got back in the gym it was tough to get my head in the game because I felt so weak when I started back. Over the last 6 weeks I was trying to build my base back up. I was enjoying my new body, not being strict on foods, and just giving my best in the workouts.

Now that I’ve made it to the 3 month mark I’m done coasting. I don’t want to lose any momentum. I’m ready to see what this newly revealed body is capable of. This means starting a focused training program. I’ll be switching to afternoon workouts for the first time in yeeeeaaaars. It should be interesting. (Sidenote: A common misconception about running a gym/box is that you can workout whenever you want. False! You have to put your clients training above your own… that means you workout whenever you can!) I also need to start paying more attention to my food. I just got a new meal plan set up from Precision Fitness STL and I’m going to stick as close to it as I can while maintaining my sanity. If I want to go further than I’ve ever gone I’m going to have to get a little more uncomfortable. If you want to grow you have to go outside your comfort zone!

There is always the temptation to just stay here for awhile. To keep coasting. I’ve come so far. It would be so easy to just stay here. I’m healthy, I’m fit, I’m happy. Isn’t that good enough? Well, yes. And no. I could very easily stay here. Here isn’t a bad place. But every single part of my journey to fitness has made me push myself beyond just good enough. I know I have so much more to give. My body is capable of SO much more. Are there going to be days I mess up? Yup. Do I want to go to that “crazy” place of obsessing over food and working myself to death? Not at all. My short term focus goal right now is the CrossFit Open coming in the Spring. I want to confidently walk into it knowing that I can do at least one of whatever movements they throw out there. I want to be strong. I want to see more of my muscles pop out. Like I said in my post last week, I’m learning to be ok with the number on the scale… that Isn’t my main focus here. I want to have performance based goals. I want to fuel my body for performance. I want to keep growing as an athlete and a coach. I can’t wait to see what this body is capable of!

What have you done outside your comfort zone?

Returning to CrossFit after Surgery

I can’t believe it has already been 2 months since my abdominoplasty! I hit my 8 week post op mark Monday. I’ve been back to CrossFit full time for 2 weeks now. It has been such a weird thing coming back to CrossFit after 6 weeks off. Not only is getting back into shape hard to do after 6 weeks off, it is harder to do when there has been some kind of major trauma to your body. I’m no doctor, so as always be sure you check with your doctor about returning to CrossFit and what timeline you should follow.

My doctor released me to work out at 6 weeks. His only restrictions were that I listen to by body and if something was painful not to do it. Uhm, That is pretty much the advice I give to all our clients! If it hurts, stop. It is one thing to press through a tough workout, it is a whole different thing to press through an injury. There is a difference to being sore and being hurt. It is up to you to know your body and be able to tell a difference.

The process of returning to CrossFit after surgery has been just as hard, if not harder, mentally than it has been physically. When I first started CrossFit I was so unsure of what my body was capable of. Over the past several years I have been able to learn my body and build my confidence. I knew what I was capable of, what was within the realm of possibility, and what was a ways off. My body was reliable most of the time. I know it will be again, but right now I’m back to that place where I’m not sure what my body will allow me to do. So every day is kind of like an experiment. I believe it will be this way for the first few months.

So what does that mean for me? It means taking it slow. Super Slow. The first week back was all about just getting moving again. Super light weights, extra slow and cautious movement. If you are returning to CrossFit after surgery you have to know that you will not come back at the same place you left off. Duh, right? While I knew that, it was still hard to come back and feel so out of it.

There is a balance with everything. Yes, you need to be cautious when returning to CrossFit after surgery. But being cautious is very different from being afraid. You shouldn’t be afraid to at least try something. Last week I tried bar roll outs, and I knew it just wasn’t going to happen yet. Sit ups have come up in the work outs a few times and every time I tried to see if I could do it. The first few times I wasn’t ready. Last week I did sit ups slowly and carefully in a workout. It was exhausting and my core felt tired afterwards, but that is how you rebuild strength!

The first week I was back I tried to back squat and didn’t feel comfortable going over about 45% of my max. So I stayed there. You have to learn to listen to your body, even if your mind is telling you something different. Each day I’ve worked out I’ve felt stronger and stronger. Getting my endurance back has been the hardest part. It has been a blessing in disguise though, as I am now remembering exactly what it is like to be new. I finish last in class more often than not, but after 6 weeks of doing nothing I’m just glad to be able to do any kind of workouts!

If you are returning to CrossFit after Surgery or an injury or just some time off make sure to listen to your body and your coach. Don’t be afraid to ask for modifications. Remember, CrossFit is infiniately scalable! It isn’t supposed to be a deathly punishing workout every time. Just like that picture says – stay safe. have fun. You’ll be back to normal (or maybe even better) in no time!

Do you have any tips for getting back in a groove after some time off?