Friday, January 4, 2013

Benchmark #2: Vision

This has been my most difficult week of CF so far. I have had varying degrees of success at three different benchmark WODs--Fran on Monday, Elizabeth on Wednesday, and Nancy today.

Nancy: 5 rounds for time
400 m running
15 overhead squats (OHS)
Time: 19:57
I am thrilled that I finished in under 20 minutes. Thrilled. So in my little beginner CF world, I crushed it.

Knowing that I was going to have to run in below-thirty degree weather had me awake last night, tossing and turning for two hours. I was literally wrestling with myself as to whether or not I was going to do this. I was facing the reality of being quite sore, as I had inadvertently overdone exercise yesterday with 500 reps of jumping rope followed by practicing box jumps. My knees were hurting, my triceps were still very sore from Elizabeth and running has always, always been my nemesis. It took every bit of mental strength to tell myself that I could / would do this today. But as I lay in bed, fretting over my sore muscles and feeling sorry for myself that I was going to have to run in the cold, I had a couple of revelations.
  • CF is designed to push me to the outer limits of what I can do psychologically. What I mean by this is that whatever I think I can do, CF knows that I can do more. I have reached my level of "can't" when I experience muscle failure, or simply do not know the proper technique for something. Muscle failure is merely a temporary limitation. I will be stronger on the next attempt, and so for now I will switch to a more scaled option. Lack of knowledge is easily fixed by asking a coach, watching videos, and practicing. 
The fact is that now that I have experienced this feeling of being pushed further than I thought I could go, would I really be satisfied with anything else? Anything less would be tantamount to failure. Failure is not an option, here. There is always a way through whatever is presented, always a way to scale, always a little more push. When I fall unconscious or die, then I'll say "I can't do it today." Last time I checked I was still breathing and conscious.
  • I must have VISION to see through today's WOD.   The thing that got me to the box today to complete this WOD is the establishment of a VISION that has been emerging for the last two months. I realized early on that I cannot just careen from workout to workout in a haphazard way, wondering what was going to befall my poor body. I have to have an understanding of where I am physically, who I am mentally, and where I want to be in the future in both of those areas. I have never been strong--in fact I am probably one of the weakest people I know, especially after being largely sedentary aside from walks and the occasional hike. So here I am at the beginning of my thousand-mile journey. Will I make a commitment to myself for the rest of my life, or is this an experiment? Research proves what common sense knows well: that I must commit to peak fitness for the remainder of my life, or I will lose my health through disease or injury and lose my mental capacity and my ability to think clearly. It is pretty common knowledge that fitness is tied to both of these things. Therefore, today's WOD is just a tiny stepping stone in that direction. I have to see through this to who I am and who I want to be! Success, and even perceived failure in one workout have little to do with the VISION of a life lived to its healthy fullness, but the accumulation of these over time build up to a treasure of fulfilled VISION.
Today I was so encouraged to have those who finished ahead of me cheering me on, pushing me to go lower in my squat and to finish strong on my run. I really was able to "see through" the experience of pain and exhaustion to the completion of the workout. Thanks Justin, thanks Pamela. Thanks to everyone who said "good job!" and gave a hi-five. Just. Thanks.

I know that there will be many more days like this, and to get through them is going to take discipline and leadership, which are other "benchmarks" that will be coming up in later posts. For today, it was VISION. It got me through. I won.

By the way, I have never felt so deserving of a weekend in my life. 


  1. Kelly, I hate that I haven't had the opportunity to meet you yet but I do check this blog every now and then and love reading about your journey. You have no idea how awesome you are doing. 3 benchmark wods in 1 week is a lot. Good for you for doing them and now having a comparison point for the next time. Nothing makes me happier than seeing people come into the box and start doing things they never thought they could do. I was the same way so I love seeing it in others;-) Congratulations on your recent step forwards (or jumps!) this week. Hope to meet you soon! PS - I noticed we have a mutual friend on FB, Gretchen Wills?? I have known her for 20 something years, she is my sisters best friend from HS!
    Esther (E on the crossfit woodbridge site when I comment).

    1. Esther! You have no idea how much your comment encouraged me. I can't wait to meet you at CFW soon. Thanks for peeking in on the blog, it means a lot to me.

      (I know Gretchen from Church. She and her husband are so sweet and their boys are so cute!)

  2. Kelly - I hope by now you've met Esther, you will love her! :) I'm so proud of you, too. ~JV