Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hey Look! A non-baby post!

I've been meaning to do a non-baby post for quite awhile, but he takes up so much of my thoughts!  Who knew a baby would be so all-consuming?  Ha.  I suppose that is why some people dedicate blogs to baby/parenting only.  CrossFit is an important part of my life, and remains so even after baby. 
Coming back to the gym after my maternity leave, I felt almost as I did the first few times I ever stepped into a CrossFit gym.  I was nervous, felt I probably wasn't in shape enough for the workouts, and had no idea what weights to use.  I don't recall the exact first workout I did 3 months ago, but it involved burpees.  Lots of them.  I remember being SUPER pregnant at the gym a few months prior to that and kind of missing being able to do burpees.  Not that I like doing them, but more of just sad over the fact that I couldn't do them even if I wanted to at that point in time.  Ask and you shall receive, eh? 
It was slow going, that is for sure.  Instead of quickly falling to the floor, I would crouch down and walk my legs out one at a time.  Instead of pushing up and hopping my feet underneathe me in one swift movement before jumping up, I would sort of push my torso up and get one leg under me and walk up before completing the jump.  Needless to say, my first burpees back were sloppy, slow, and sooo ugly.  I think I looked at the clock and by the first minute of the workout I had completed 7 burpees. Not only that, but I wasn't really out of breath.  I mean, I was working hard, but burpees done correctly are an aerobic move that kill your lungs.  If you aren't moving your body fast enough, you don't get that same feeling.  I realized that for some exercises, you need to be in shape enough to do them properly in order to get the benefit from them. 
I completed the workout to the best of my ability, but it was a humbling day.  Not just because of the burpees, but because of everything.  Our hour long classes typically follow this pattern: mobility, warm-up, strength, workout.  During our routine mobility movements and warm-up, I noticed I didn't have as much mobility as I used to have.  Things were more "creaky" my hips were tight, my knees were not used to squats, sit-ups were hard, and a 400m run was breath stealing.  We then moved into a strength portion of the day, and picking up a 35# bar felt HEAVY.  We were moving towards a 5 rep deadlift, and I think I stopped at 135#.  I think my previous PR for 5 rep DL was along the lines of 215#.  Then we did the burpee workout mentioned above.  Like I said- humbling day.
When essentially re-learning these movements/regaining the muscle memory I realized I have a second chance here.  I can take this opportunity to work slowly up to my old lifts, but really work on my form.  Really focus on explosive hip drives with my cleans and snatches.  Work on keeping my elbows high when doing front squats...little things like that make a huge difference and eventually, I will be a better lifter.  I have the chance to make myself even better than I was before.
Fast-forward to today.  A good 2 months has passed where I've been averaging 2 days a week at my CrossFit gym, and 2 days a week at our mini-gym at work where I mostly run on the treadmill, plus long walks on the weekends.  Week over week I can feel the progress I'm making at CrossFit.  The 35# bar is no longer heavy.  My mobility is returning.  400m jogs are refreshing.  And?  Today I did 13 burpees in one minute.  Like, real burpees- falling to the ground, jumping up in one movement.  I know that's not smoking fast, but its a huge improvement in a short amount of time. 
That is why I love CrossFit.  The results are fast, measureable, and as cliche as it sounds-functional.  I can't tell you how many times a day I am thankful that I can squat down to pick up a dropped pacifier with a screaming 15lb kid in one arm.  Or how I can carry 2 gallons of water in one hand and a full bag of groceries in my other while wearing a baby as I walk to my car in the parking lot.  I like being able to just head out the door for a run or long walk and not have to worry about being in shape enough.  I like being able to do hours worth of yard work and not be sore the next day.  This is nothing I haven't said before.  I am grateful for the sort of "second chance" to see how amazing CrossFit is for me and everything I want to do. 

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