Fitness

Diary of a Fat CrossFitter – Four months in, it could be worse

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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.

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Post-run selfie. Because if it’s not on Facebook, it didn’t happen.

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.

Dairy of a Fat CrossFitter – Still Running

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Pre-cool-down selfie with Grace. She slept the whole time!

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.

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Sweet sweet Grace. Easier to run with than Jasmine, but not as much fun to stretch with afterwards.

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.

5k training

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.

That, and I’m a lazy-ass.

Diary of a Fat CrossFitter – Progress is Progress

worlds okayest runner

Our skill work last night was hand-stand push-ups (HSPU), which are exactly as awful as they sound. Do a hand-stand. Then lower your head to the ground. Then push back up. The good news is, there are lots of scaling options for HSPUs. The bad news is that I had to scale all the way back to holding a pike position (like a pushup, but with your bottom in the air and you looking at your feet) for 20 seconds. No pike pushups, even.
But that’s better than I could have done three months ago, when I started.

Sometimes I look at the progress I’m making and ask myself why I didn’t start this earlier. Last night’s warm-up was a 400m run, not only did I run the whole way, I could have run for longer. I remember when I couldn’t even run 100m (seriously … I had to walk at the halfway point of a 200m warm-up run). I’m still slow as molasses, and still the slowest in my class by, oh say, a third, but I can run further and longer than I’ve ever been able to as an adults. And that’s some awesome sauce, right there.

Next up, mobility. Turns out that I have some awesome mobility in some spots, and terrible mobility in other spots (mobility is code for flexibility). I’m thinking about attending my gym box’s twice-weekly yoga class. Or following a class online.

Any yogis out there want to weigh in on a great series of yoga DVDs or YouTube videos?

PS edited this post because WHOA formatting. Sorry about that, y’all.

Diary of a Fat Crossfitter – Time cap? What time cap?

Post-Helen Theresa
Post-Helen Theresa

The best way to get one-on-one time with the coaches at my gym box is to finish last. I like to think it’s because the coaches are admiring my determination and fortitude, but I’m pretty sure it’s only because they’re worried Imma hurt myself.

My box appears to have some rhyme and reason to its programming, and part of that is testing. How much can you lift? How fast can you get through this benchmark metcon workout? How far do you have to scale the workouts to complete them under the time cap? How much have you improved since the last time you tested?  I’m happy to be done with benchmark week. I could do the last two workouts in the progression this weekend, but I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend snuggled up with my family and my Arabic flashcards.

This week I’ve discovered that I can deadlift a decent amount for a novice. I still can’t do a single goddamned pushup. And I infinitely prefer ring rows to rope raises.

Also, I have completed zero benchmark workouts under the time cap. Bless the coaches’ hearts, they let me finish anyway.

Diary of a Fat CrossFitter – Things I’ve Been Reading

It’s “benchmark week” at my box gym, whatever that means. I think it means a lot of pain, but I could be wrong. No, wait, I’m probably right. Expect it to be described in excruciating and profane detail at the end of the week. Until then, here are a few articles that have crossed my radar in the last couple of days.

I offended Melissa McCarthy so you don’t have to

That’s not to say that we should ignore a woman’s size altogether, because as writer Lisa C. Knisely reminds us “the fucking worst thing you can tell a fat girl is that she isn’t fat,” but pointing it out in a cutesy, wink-wink,oh-we-get-it way might serve to make people feel infantilized or emphasize being treated differently. We need to celebrate people’s bodies for the right reasons.

I’m still a fat fucking CrossFitter, don’t you guys worry.

My ‘Naked’ Truth

Naked, I stood at the closet doors with the lights on and made myself ready. I took a deep breath and positioned the mirrors so I could see all of me. I consciously worked to remove my self-believed inner image. I opened my eyes and looked very carefully at my body. And my heart lurched at the truth: I am not a young woman anymore. I am a woman well-lived. My body tells of all the years she has carried my spirit through life.

Perhaps most appalling is her date’s blindness to how hurtful he was.

There are Two Kinds of Fat People

If people have studies that say that everyone going paleo and doing crossfit will save on healthcare costs and be better for the “good of society” do we all have to eat a steak while we flip tires in a garage with no air conditioning? The only good answer to this is that each of us gets to choose how highly we prioritize our health and what path we choose to get there. Public health should be about making information and options available to the public, not making individual bodies the public’s business. If people want to flip tires in an air conditioned gym while eating Kraft singles and wearing a plarn backpack that’s totally their deal, I say rock on.

BONUS NON BODY ACCEPTANCE LINK: I’m loving Cup of Jo’s Motherhood Around the World series. Raising Jasmine, then later Grace, in Freetown was an adventure, but so wonderful. In a world where every day there’s a new story on CNN about something awful happening to a toddler, I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had while raising my own wonderful daughters.

P.S. Deadlift PR last night.  It was awesome.