Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Benchmark #1: Humility

Today's WOD was a benchmark WOD:

20 minutes of skill of your choice before or after WOD
Row 500 m
40 air squats
30 sit ups
20 pushups (I'm still doing "girl pushups" on my knees)
10 pull-ups (gray band)
Time: 8:22 

Today as I was driving home from my WOD, I felt like crying. There was more than one reason that I wanted to cry - first was because I felt nauseated and sore. I could not have pushed harder or better than I did today, and I was really happy because I "crushed" it today. They were all skills I have now with some scaling, and I felt really excited about finishing hard. Another moment of success was completing 5 burpees without getting on my knees, but was able to do at least half of a regular pushup in the movement.

The other reason I felt like crying was because all of this is extremely humbling. Starting as a beginner in a room full of experts, or at the least very accomplished athletes, has the effect of making me feel very silly, small, childish... For example, on the skill portion of the workout I chose to work on kipping--a move that is intended to help the body get higher on the bar when doing pull-ups. "Kipping" does not result in a strict pull-up, but it requires a set of movements that I have never seen before, let alone attempted to do. Seeing as how strict pull-ups are still really hard for me, this was daunting. The combination of moves makes sense in theory, but physically, I do not yet have the strength to put them together. After several attempts to do the move with the coach's help, I tried several more times, and by then my arms were burning, and all I could do was hang on the bar with my raw hands, which felt both good and bad. My skill work lasted maybe 7 minutes. I decided to move on to the jump rope--something I hate to do because after two difficult birthing experiences I have, well, issues with jumping. My goal was to get 20 reps with the rope without getting tangled in it. This I succeeded in doing, after several attempts. I'm afraid that I will need a few more shots at "kipping." (see video-this is NOT how my first attempts at kipping looked!)

As I started my WOD, one of the guys in my class helped me count down and push through the rowing part. Then another guy and a girl joined in and cheered me through my ENTIRE workout. I had never rowed before except in warmups, and my legs were on fire by the time I got off the machine and went to my squats. HO! Those 40 squats burned, and I wasn't even getting down low enough! Then the situps, then the push ups, then the pull-ups, and the whole time these guys are saying "C'mon...You're halfway...only 5 million more!" On the one hand I love the support, and on the other I hate that I need it. I still feel so awkward, so inept.

This whole experience is growing in me an understanding of the concept of discipline. Proverbs 12:1 says, "Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid." (Yes, the Bible actually says "stupid.") If I cannot allow myself to be taught, trained, and disciplined, it is only my pride at work. So let the pride be wounded--it is no harm to my body. Proverbs 16:18 says "Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." Discipline hurts. every. time. and still, pride is wounded more easily than the body. It is not the physical pain that could make me quit this as easily as the ache in my pride that I can't do what the others can do. If I can break my pride here with each WOD, then I hope I can break pride in the other areas of my life. So am I training my body here or my pride? The answer is Yes.


  1. I love the way you write! Your posts bring me laughter and tears! Keep it up! Btw, we have allll been there feeling like we're the weakest/most winded/slowest/novice/last to finish. Keep on keeping on and I promise, after just a few months, you will not feel this way anymore. You'll be giving a pep talk to the new people who feel that way. :)

    1. Just like you, right? Thanks for the encouragement! :)

  2. Kelly, I'm Esther! I've been at cfw for over 3 years so i look forward to meeting you soon:) I am usually at the late classes bc of work and weekend mornings. Love this blog, I enjoy reading about your experience bc i was once there too. And girl, don't call them "girl pushups" ;) we are strong women, getting stronger, way to go!!

    And I promise you when I tell you this...after 3 years, 3 days, 10 years, 10 months, we ALL need encouragement during wods. Just continue to remember how awesome you are for working out that day and you are getting stronger and faster every day:) also don't get discouraged around kipping, its a technical movement you'll get. Happy to help and share my tips:)

    1. Wow, Esther! I cannot wait to meet you! I will be at CFW on Thursday evenings for the CF Kids so if you're ever in at that time be sure to say hi! Thank you so much for the encouragement.

  3. Great post, Kelly. We have ALL been there. And lots of us have issues with jump-roping... ;) ~JV

  4. Btw, I just went back and clicked around to see any posts I might have missed - that's when I looked at this again and noticed your first Baseline time was 8:22?!?!?!??
    Holy jeepers - mine was 9:33!! (and yes, scaled with a thick band) See?! You're already doing waaayyy better than I was when I started. Fuggedaboudit.

    1. Yes, but I had Justin there pushing me through every rep! I wonder what it would have been on my own! LOL