That was weird, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’ve gotten into this mental thing where if I don’t leave thinking that OMG I AM SO TIRED AND THE WORST EVER AT CROSSFIT, then I feel like I should be working harder.
In retrospect, that’s pretty silly. I should be working smarter, not harder.
Burpees are still my kryptonite. I did pretty well on the strength based movements (light deadlifts and DB push presses), but damn. DAMN. Is there a way to get better at burpees without just practicing burpees? If I had moved as well on and fast during the burpees as fast as I did the lifts, then I would have nailed the workout.
So conditioning work? Just a couple of dozen burpees a day? Damn. Damn. Damn. I hate burpees more than I hate people who don’t answer their email, and that’s saying a lot (which is also hilarious, because you know who’s bad at answering her email? THIS WOMAN RIGHT HERE).
Two and a half weeks to get as much out of this box as I can before leaving for Westminster, then Jerusalem. I have been surprised at how sorry I will be so say good-bye to this particular box.
My running buddy took off for even cooler climes at her new post this weekend, so it looks like I’ll be on my own in knocking off a few spots off my DC running bucket list before I take off for Maryland, then Jerusalem, in a few weeks.* We’ve been in DC since February, and it’s only now that the rapid departure of our friends is really starting to sting. A few friends here, a few friends there, I can live with. But now that it’s starting to feel like we’re among the only ones left? It hurts a little bit more to say good-bye than it did a few months ago.
This is, perhaps, the worst part of the transient nature of my job; every single time we move, I forget that it’s going to be like this. Before Camille left, we hugged, and she said, “Next time we’re in the same part of the world, we should do this again some time!” It’s heartening because we probably will land in DC or somewhere else at the same time again; but heartbreaking because it could be another ten years before it happens.
Last night, I went out to dinner to say good-bye to another great friend. We will serve our next tours in the same part of the world, and will most likely serve together at some point in our careers, but that doesn’t make it any easier to realize that it’s going to be months or years before we see each other face-to-face again. And when we do, it will only be for a very short time.
I’ve never before been envious of those that put down roots and stay in the same place for years and decades at a time. I’m not envious now, especially with the communication power of the Internet, but I can’t help but think about how different life would be with constant in person contact with friends and family. My support network is scattered across the world right now, and as wonderful as that sounds in the abstract, it can be really tough when I just need a friend to lean on.
The good news is that Skype exists! Several mothers of toddlers who were at the FSI daycare together are organize Skype sessions for our girls’ to see each other, from places as diverse as Cairo and Prague and Bujumbura. That’s amazing. And something I never would have imagined when I began the life of a nomad straight out of college. One of my primary personal goals for my next tour is to maintain more regular contact with my friends and family, both back here in the States and everywhere else they’re traveling.
In any case, we got a lot of great photos of our sunset run around the mall! Running makes everything better. Especially with friends and the kids.
* If anyone’s up for 15-minute miles (with or without the toddler in tow), I’ve still gotta hit Rock Creek Park, Embassy Row, the White House, and the other side of the mall.
Yesterday, Jasmine threw a temper tantrum in the parking lot, and I picked her up and carried her all the way to the car, along with the groceries, and I wasn’t even winded.
Today, Jasmine and I did yoga together when I got home from CrossFit. And then I stopped and just took pictures because ADORABLE.
A couple of weekends ago, I had the first workout at my CrossFit gym box where I didn’t feel like I was lagging behind everyone else. And lo and behold, when my partner and I finished, our score was in the middle of the pack. And not just because my partner did most of the work, which often happens to me too.
The last couple of weeks have been encouraging in terms of running too. Yeah. Running. WOW. Seriously? I ran for 25 minutes straight the other day. That is out of this fucking world, considering that in May, I couldn’t run two hundred meters without stopping to walk. Here’s the thing, though–I’m still a fat novice runner, a fat novice lifter, and a fat novice CrossFitter, and the learning curve has been very steep (and it’s not been helped by my crabbiness over the last couple of weeks).
I’ve been lucky to have access to excellent coaches, a box close to my house, and a spouse who’s 100% supportive of me getting in shape. I’ve seen crazypants progress over the last several months; however, I’m starting to feel like now that I have an idea of what to do, I need to narrow down what I want. “Get better at CrossFit” and “get fitter” are excellent goals in the short term, but they’re not going to carry me through several months of leave and international moves. Instead, I think I need to set some new specific short and long-term goals.
Some of you may remember a post from several months ago, where I spoke about my steadfast refusal to make any resolutions for fitness. Establishing the habit was more important to me than anything else. In doing that, I’ve discovered that some things are more important to me than others. I love running. I love lifting. I hate burpees (doesn’t everyone?). I really don’t care about getting good at CrossFit for CrossFit’s sake. And there are a few things that I really really really want to do.
If you’re hollering out encouragement to EVERY runner who passes you during the workout, that’s awesome. If you’re only hollering encouragement to the fat chick who’s struggling, well, fuck you, buddy.
Here’s the thing that I think a lot of people forget about fat people in the gym, ANY GYM, not just Crossfit:
Fat is not and should not be a moral judgement (so don’t fucking lie to me and tell me I’m not fat).
Fat does not equal a lack of confidence about my non-fitness achievements. Seriously. I am fucking awesome, and I don’t ever forget it. Neither should you.
Listen, I totally get that I’m the slowest person in the entire membership. And no matter how many new members arrive, I’m still the slowest. But it does means when I’m running slowly, it’s because I’m slow, not because I’m not giving max effort on a workout. If I take a short break between burpees, it’s because I’m likely not going to be able to get back up after the next one if I don’t. Certainly, I am not scaling box jumps and pushups because I want to.
I occasionally feel like I have to prove that I’m working hard. And I do eventually prove it. To everyone. Because I am working my ass off.
I raced my first 5k over the weekend. Camille, my awesome amazing and to be much thanked running buddy, and I have been training both separately and apart. She, to get back to running after a few kids, and me, to get to a point where I wouldn’t embarrass myself by collapsing on the course after the first mile. We both succeeded, and I made it through the entire 5k while pushing a toddler (UP GODDAMNED HILLS) in a stroller.
The Rockin’ Stroller 5k was designed with families in mind. Everyone in the race was pushing a stroller (although some kids were ornery enough to want to walk or run the entire race THOSE FOOLS). My toddler, no fool is she, sat in comfort as I pushed here 5k up and down Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria.
I had to slow to a walk a few times, but I’m pretty pleased with having made it to the finish line without puking, collapsing, or dying. Four months ago, I couldn’t even run 200m without stopping to walk, so 5k with a few short breaks sounds reasonable to me.
Note: I only selected one shot of my hilariously bouncing breats here, but in the series Bertrand took, you can see them bouncing from side to side as you flip through the slideshow. Which I will not show on this blog. Because, while it IS hilarious, I do still like to pretend that I have some dignity left.
My running buddy and I, that is, my adult running buddy and I, hit the second spot on our DC running bucket list last weekend. I’ve walked around the tidal basin, but not in years, and I’ve certainly never run around it.
My toddler running buddy came too.
We had a good run. Camille was kind enough to let me stick to my C25K running plan (yeah, I’m a few weeks behind), and the weather was absolutely amazing. Warm enough that we didn’t need extra layers, but cool enough that we weren’t dying from the humidity like last week. Again, what a difference decent shoes and running clothes make. And a couple of months of exercise.
Today, I had a lot of fun at CrossFit. Which is actually unusual. I enjoy CrossFit, in the same way that I enjoyed being pregnant. Being pregnant was pretty much the stupidest worstest thing I ever did to my body. But the end result was totally worth it. Usually, CrossFit is pretty miserable, but when I’m done, not only do I feel like a million bucks, I can say, “Well damn. I just dead lifted half my body weight.” (Note: half of my body weight is a LOT OF WEIGHT.)
Today, I was appalled to find myself kind of … having fun. I’m starting to get good enough at things that I can focus on details. I can hold the bar and move some weight, so now I can focus on why I’m getting stuck in the hole (hint: I’m lazy and let my core relax). I know how to do most of the warm-up movements, so I can focus on actually warming up, rather than desperately trying to figure out how to move. And now I know enough to know how to ask for help, which the coaches have been great about providing.
Also, I love squat days. So there’s that too.
As my four month CrossFit mark approaches (four months is important b/c it’s my CFSA contract renewal date), I’m sitting back and taking stock at what a difference regular exercise has made in my life.
I am less crazypants (Bertrand may disagree).
I am less stressed (hahahaha, language test in two weeks WHO AM I KIDDING I AM STRESSED TO THE MAX).
I am more likely to chase Jasmine around outside, instead of dreading taking her to the playground (OK, just kidding, I still hate playgrounds because OMG WHERE DID ALL OF THESE CHILDREN COME FROM).
I do not huff and puff when I have to run across a wide intersection because the traffic light is changing (although I am still likely to lollygag because I’m an asshole like that).
I can carry a hell of a lot more groceries in one load.
I’ve got another conversational topic to chat with strangers about (and this socially awkward diplomat needs all of the conversational help she can get). Basically, anyone who reads this blog knows I CrossFit, and anyone who’s into exercise has an opinion on CrossFit, so bring on the haterade, because at least it’s something to talk about when we run out of things to say about the weather.
Basically, CrossFit and running are awesome, and I should have started a long time ago. So it goes.
I got up early this morning and went for run with a fellow FS runner (she actually IS a runner, as opposed to my shuffling and whuffling) around Teddy Roosevelt Island this morning. I repeated last week’s mistake and dragged my toddler along, which was fun, but detrimental to our plan to get a good training run in before our 5k in two weeks. So it goes.
My running buddy was much more patient with my toddler than I was.
The esplanade where the memorial sits was great for stretching and letting Jasmine run around like a maniac (and letting me show off my box jump skillz by jumping up onto one of those benches).
As our time in DC starts to wind down, I’m realizing how many memorials and parks and museums and events I want to see before we depart. I keep remind myself that if I stay in the Foreign Service, we’ll roll through DC every couple of years for training anyway, but I can’t help but feel that this visit is beginning to slip through my fingers.
I got up yesterday morning thinking I’d catch the metro to go for a run* downtown with Jasmine, only to discover that it doesn’t open until 7. WUT. Washington DC, it’s like I don’t even know you anymore. Yesterday, I had a blast running with Jasmine. I expected her to fall back asleep in the stroller, but yesterday, she got really into the workout! She insisted on getting out and running and walking with me (such that she could), and then at the end, stretched with me too. SO MUCH FUN.
It’s true. My favorite running buddy is a two-year-old.
Today, Jasmine didn’t want to get up. The noise we made discussing the relative merits of sleeping vs. going out woke Grace up. Since Grace didn’t seem inclined to go back to sleep right away, I went ahead and brought her with me. Just kidding. She was out like a light the second we got outside.
I run outside on the weekends with Jasmine (and now Grace) to get used to running with a loaded down stroller. Turns out, I love running outside, and running outside is way easier for me than running on the treadmill (MapMyRun says I run slower). This is a good thing. At this point, it’s better for me if I train hard on the treadmill, where it’s easy to pace myself, and then relax on my longer outdoor runs, I think.
This morning, I was surprised at how much I was looking forward to the run, and then how damn happy I was while I was running. I can’t believe it’s taken me my entire adult life to figure out how much I need this. Certainly, it’s cheaper than therapy. Watching the sunrise over the Washington Monument was beautiful, and something I could get used to doing on a regular basis.
The best part is that when I got back this morning with Grace, Jasmine bounded out of bed and asked me if it was time to go run! She was bitterly disappointed that I’d already gone, since she hadn’t wanted to get out of bed. She made me promise to take her next weekend, no matter what, even if she didn’t want to wake up (that’s a pretty advanced sense of time and self-awareness, for a two-year-old).
And that, of course, is why I do this. The personal benefits are great. But encouraging activity and a love of the outdoors in my kids? Worth it at any price.
* And by “run,” I mean, continuing c25k and doing a kind of walk/ jog/ shuffle/ lean on the stroller because I am going to die.
Yeah! 5k! Holy shit, it’s less than a month away and I AM SO NOT READY.
I’ve been complaining for months now (seriously, since before we left Freetown) that the tires in the Bob are flat. The damn thing still pushes pretty easily, but not so easily that I want to run with it. Sure, I could take care of it myself, but it’s far easier to bitch about a problem for months until my husband gets so tired of the complaining that he takes care of it himself.
My husband took the tires apart on Tuesday night, only to discover that one of the tubes is completely destroyed. I mean completely. As in, the tube has actually been shredded into multiple pieces and was just sitting there in the tire.
Anyway, we’ve ordered new tubes and a repair kit and some spares, but that’s why I’m still not training outside with the stroller.