Friday, March 19, 2010

I CrossFit

A couple of weeks ago I dragged myself to CrossFit in an angry mood. I had been going for 2 months and I just wasn't losing weight fast enough. Kelsi, one of the coaches, cornered me and asked about my attitude problem. I started crying about being fat and not fit enough. She reminded me that in 8 short weeks I had made some great progress. "I know, I know!" I sobbed. "But I'm still so fat! I can't do things that the other girls can do!" She started laughing at me, in a kind way, and suggested that maybe I needed to be a bit more patient. Then she gave me the standard litany of weight-loss truths: you're gaining muscle at the same time, so you won't see big drops on the scale, losing weight in a safe and sustainable manner means only 1-2 lbs. a week, and I could achieve more rapid weight loss if I was willing to eat an extreme diet. Yeah, yeah. I know all those things. I'm doing it the right way, but it's the slow way. If I'm working this hard, I want some big results. Anyway, I wiped my face and went in for the WOD (workout of the day).

Unfortunately it was a series of heavy lifts. I am super competitive with the lifts. I don't try to keep up with anyone when we run, but if it's dead lifts, watch out. Well Cheryl was in my group. Cheryl is my height, half my weight, and it's all muscle. I did my best to keep up with her and in the process truly hurt myself. I wasn't able to workout for the rest of the week. Brilliant.

Well, that was 2 weeks ago. In the interim, I've been going regularly, doing the WODs, and trying to have a good attitude. Of course, I only lost 2 lbs. in those 2 weeks, and that's not good enough for me. Then yesterday, a miracle occurred. "Karen" came up in the rotation. Karen is 150 wall balls for time. Brutal, but a workout that I had done before. It was the first opportunity to actually measure myself against an earlier version of myself. I was ecstatic.

10 weeks ago, my very first workout on my very first day with CrossFit, I did Karen. I think I wrote about it here. It took me 19 minutes and I was blubbering through it. I was so angry and sad that I had let my body get so out of shape. Yesterday, I did Karen again. My time was 10 minutes! In 10 weeks I had shaved off 47%! Holy shit! That's unbelievable! Suddenly, being fat doesn't matter. I can do 150 wall balls in 10 minutes. My skinny-ass sister could not do that.

I am strong. I am getting stronger. I will reach my appearance goals eventually, but they are not so important to me today. I am getting fit. I am changing my body. I don't need to be patient for results, I just need to change what I am measuring. Monday, I ran a 5k. The last one was in January. I improved my time by 2 minutes. That's real progress that I can see and feel.


  1. Jen, you're doing great. Now is the time where you'll start seeing big improvements over your past times. And that's all that matters - we're not there to compete against each other. If I was trying to compete with Cheryl or Kendall or Kelsi or 20 other women there, I would have stopped going 6 months ago. We all know where we individually came from and where we want to go. Just focus on you. You're doing great.

  2. I am seriously inspired by you. Keep going.

  3. Drive carefully. It is not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.............................................

  4. Isn't it great to know that weirdos can come out of the woodwork and spam your blog posts?

    I realize I hardly know you, but I feel like we're kindred spirits. I felt the same way you did early on, and like you, I'm trying to just squash those feelings and stop comparing myself to other people.

    I knew I was in pretty crappy shape when I started, but I'm big and strong, right? Then I watch someone like Ben toss around weights I can't hope to lift anytime soon and it's a little humbling. But I got over that pretty quickly and just started worrying about myself and not how everyone else is doing.

    And like you, I felt pretty awesome with myself because I knocked a pretty hefty chunk off of my Karen time. But apparently it wasn't as good as SOME PEOPLE so I didn't get an awesome t-shirt.

    So we will both continue to rock Crossfit, and someday we will be as awesome as Cheryl and Ben. And if not, we can always just run over them with our cars.