Friday, January 20, 2012

‎"A falling drop at last will carve a stone."~ Lucretius

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 183:

OH, BLOGLAND. It's been a rough one. Yes, I know, I've been absent. I have no stellar excuse.
Monday, I was out of commission for medical reasons (apparently, I have some sort of virus in my inner ear that pretty much needs to resolve itself... but for the 2 weeks or so until it does, I'm going to continue to experience random bouts of room-spinning vertigo... awesome.).... but Tuesday and Wednesday I have absolutely no good explanation for, other than it was "cold" and my bed was "warm" and my life was a little more chaotic than usual.
It is what it is, though, and maybe some part of me needed the sleep. I tell you, BlogLand, I SLEPT. I think between some unusual stress going on, and workouts and stuff, I think my body might've just been a little tapped out.

Having said that, I'm still struggling a bit to get back on track. Winter in the Northeast (ie., grey, cold.) really takes its toll on me. This year has been better than most, thanks to the consistent exercise and solid goals to chase down... but, I admit, my mood really tanks in the Winter. I get frustrated much more easily and my emotions are a little less sunny. I am working 2x as hard to keep my head in the right place, in the winter, much less the physical things.

This morning, my alarm went off at 7:30am. That is NOT terribly early, in the scheme of things (considering I regularly hit CrossFit for a class that STARTS at 6:45 am). However, I rolled over grabbed my phone to shut the alarm off, and saw that the temp was -3 outside. Immediately, I vetoed the run (not sure that was a "bad" decision, really... negative temps seem excessive), but I should've gotten up and busted out a WOD at that point and gotten it done. Intellectually, I know that my day feels better, I feel better and everything is all around BETTER, if I just get up and do it. However, at that moment in which the decision was made, I was feeling tired, my bed was warm, it was still dark/grey out and a wee whisper from Old Me said, "stay in bed....". And I did.

And all day long, at work, I kicked myself for listening. I KNEW I needed to get back into the swing of things, and if I don't do it in the morning, then that means I have to get a WOD done after I get home from work (7:30pm...), which can get a little rough, when life kicks in and you have to get other things done.

Regardless, on my way home, I thought about running... but it is legitimately a skating rink of ice on all the sidewalks around here right now. Attempting to run, on principle, is not worth the potential injury. SO... what to do instead. An inside WOD, in my living room, was going to have to be the decision.

Getting home, I struggled to put together something... I turn into a raving crazy when there's too much going on in my head, and tonight, I was a hurricane of stress and emotions and thoughts, and... yeah. It was just a mess. So I put together a "simple" yet real taxing workout... I needed to sweat some of this out.

Tonight's Homebrew WOD looked like this:
15 T-handle Swings (30#)
15 Push Ups
15 Pull Ups
15 Burpees
..... Repeat as Necessary, until brain or body gives out.

T-handle swings were the easy part (OOHH, have I mentioned that I desperately want THIS?). I'm definitely going to need to pile some more weight on there next time. 30#, while gave me a good workout, as I was able to swing it faster, was not heavy enough to be as taxing (at least for this wod) as it should've been.
Push ups were on my knees. I was actively trying to keep my elbows next to my sides for a "good" push up... but... yeah. Not experiencing a lot of success on that one. Eventually defaulted to typical wide-stance arm pushups.
Pull Ups... Yeah, also still a work in progress. I did those with a stool under me, with just my toes on the stool (you can't give yourself a whole lot of leverage that way), or sometimes with just one foot. I was mostly concentrating on the "negative", as in slowly lowering myself down from the bar.
Oh Burpees. They're Burpees... I have a blister on each toe from doing them barefoot on the carpet. Oops. Lesson learned.

Having said that, I plowed through 7 rounds, at a good pace.

I wanted to go for 8, just because, but I recognized that my form was going to start to suffer, etc. and I was all set for tonight.

I don't think that WOD had the effect that I intended though... I was pretty ugly when I finished it. More frustrated than anything. I still can't do a push up well (elbows in, etc.), or off my knees. I still can't bust out ONE pull up. I STILL need to take a short breathing break to get through 30 burpees.

I felt pretty discouraged BlogLand. I know it was just today, in a lot of ways, because of a lot of emotions and such in my head... but  I had a little meltdown, because this all felt a little bit futile for a while. Like, 183 days of this, and I still can't do a good push up? Not even ONE pull up? I can't get through a set of 30 burpees??? What the EFF am I doing thinking about doing a Spartan Race in May?

My brain just feels like we've been faithfully plugging away at this for quite a while now, and my body should get on board a little bit more. Why are push ups still sucky? WHY can't I master sets of 30 burpees, even though I do them all the damn time? Today my brain went bad with these thoughts. I saw old me in the mirror and perseverated on the still unchanged parts of me. I was angry at my body. I felt like it's never going to come together. I didn't feel good enough. I felt like my goals were perhaps too lofty. I felt stupid for pushing like this for so long and STILL being unable to achieve some of these simple things.

I felt lost. Angry, tired, sad, sweaty, fat, ugly, exasperated, and 400 other things.

I didn't feel strong. At all.

Usually, I have some capacity to at least feel strong. There are many things I can not yet do (run 10 miles, or do a bunch of pull ups), but usually I internally feel strong, knowing that my forte is in other areas (back squats, for example.).... But today, I struggled to grasp onto that thread, even. Being face down on your ugly brown carpet, in your big empty living room, arms wondering how they're going to push your giant body off the floor, is not the place you want to be to start having these discussions with yourself.

So, it goes without saying, BlogLand, that tonight was not one of my best. However, I am holding myself accountable, peeling myself off the floor and continuing to move forward. I ate pretty well today, I downed my fish oil (uuugh), and at least DID the WOD (didn't skip it!), so those are all positives. Every day can't be wonderful, I suppose.

Some days, though, are just a little more draining than others. Today. Ugh.

However, I have some good, mind-refreshing plans for this weekend. On Saturday, I'm headed off to meet a few new Spartan Chick friends for a Snowshoe/hike/other sort of gathering... It will be nice to put some faces to names, and spend an afternoon with some like-minded ladies. I think one of the things that I struggle the most with is staying on the path to chase my own goals, when I always have to go it alone, where I live.

With that, I'm taking deep breath and reminding myself that there is tomorrow. I reminded myself of all the personal reasons WHY I'm doing this, WHERE I want to get to and WHAT I'm committed to doing. It feels a little daunting right now... but I'm thinking a solid sleep and a good breakfast may help with that.

Off I go. Remember BlogLand.... It's not wrong to have a bad day... Just remember to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, learn something, and make the next day a little bit better.

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