136 Days – A Year From Now, You’ll Wish You Started Today

“You kicked my ass today,”  Emily smiled up to me from her newly formed sweat angel.

“Yeah but weren’t you working with 20 lbs ABOVE the prescribed weight for the WOD??”  I responded, still unable to move from the box I had collapsed on post work out.

It was another morning at the 5:30am CrossFit Survival class, post recent time change, so we were working out in the dark.  But Emily was as dedicated to her goals as I was, and the early wake ups weren’t about to throw either of us off our game.  February 1st had been my first day back to lifting after a long post 100 mile hiatus, and I think even before that I was simply going through the motions, frustrated that nothing was coming along at the pace that I wanted.  Emily, although much stronger than me, was similar to me in that running was within our comfort zone.  This, on the other hand, was not.  And together, we were starting to overcome a lot of obstacles.

My first major hurdle was signing up for our yearly CrossFit Total competition on Sunday.  I knew a week out from a major race, I should not take any risks and this actually kept my head in a pretty conservative spot.  I figured my lifts would be so much lighter than the other girls and in a way, I was nervous about embarrassing myself.  Allyson changed that for me really quickly.   We paired up together on the ‘lighter’ station which I thought was pretty crazy considering how much stronger Allyson was than me.  But she made me feel comfortable right away, and encouraged me on my lifts, although I was maxing out on her warm ups!

The biggest ‘win’ I had for the day was my deadlift.  Stepping up to the bar, I wasn’t sure what I should put on it.  The potential for injury was here, if anywhere.  This was once my favorite lift, topping out at 215 lbs prior to my back injury.  Although that is nothing substancial by CrossFit standards, that is something I had worked up to slowly and I was really proud of at one point.

155 went up without much effort, as did my 2nd lift at 170.  I took a chance and slapped 20 more lbs on it, promising my coach to ‘abort mission’ if anything felt wrong.  It didn’t.  The bar flew up.  In that moment I realized that I was finally past the initial issues, and that although I still had some limitations, I was beginning to progress once again.

I finished up 6th out of 8th that day.  Not first, but not last.  By Wednesday I was back in class, scaling my push jerk weight, making sure that my back felt strong with no hyper extension.  What I’ve learned in the last few months is that sometimes taking a deep breath and stepping back can be a bigger challenge than moving forward.   Injuries, regardless of how mild or severe, make or break athletes in the way that they are managed.  Simple awareness of your body and your limitations paired with persistence wins every time.  There is never an excuse to be stagnant, just challenges to overcome along the way!

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