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Embrace the Struggle...

I had such an amazing workout last night! Was it amazing because I felt amazing and everything felt awesome? Ummm no… It was amazing because I learned so much about myself! I try to always go into workouts that look really tough with an attitude of learning something about myself. No matter how the workout ends up going I always learn something incredibly valuable. Last night was like that. So, let me first preface this by telling you that I took on the Sealfit Challenge of 24 hours of ruck in the month of March. Not at a time, but accumulated. I started that challenge the night before last with 1 hour (6 miles) of running with my 25# weight vest… Plus some other stuff… but I am just saying that I knew I might feel a little fatigued from that. I got to Crossfit early last night so that I could get in 15-20 more minutes of ruck before class started – and I did that. This is where the journey began…. My legs were a little bit tired from the night before but not like I thought they would be which was a wonderful observation in and of itself. There is something so powerful about running with the weight vest. The strength I feel in my legs and my hips is so different than just running without it. I affirmed over and over to myself that my legs and hips are getting stronger and stronger with each step. Then after about a mile I began to feel some strain in my mid-back. “Perfect!” I thought! That is exactly the area I need to strengthen to make my front squats better! Awesome! The rest of the run was “easy” focusing on keeping my back upright and keeping my breathing steady (which is something I am always working on…). So then, the workout at Crossfit was JUST the kind I need to work on the most. Heavier weights with some cardio mixed in there for a time between 6 and 18 minutes. This one was a 12 minute AMRAP of 50 Double Unders 20 Heavy KB swings and 7 Heavy Split Jerks I wanted to go heavy because that is my weakness and so with the help of my coach Brandon (I LOVE your programming by the way Brandon!) I chose to do the 55# KB and just do 15 and then I personally chose to do 115# split jerks. I wasn’t sure how those were going go but I knew I wanted to go heavier than I ever had in a WOD so I went for it. It was the absolute perfect challenge for me! Not just physically, but mentally too – which I LOVE! [You see, one of the things that I love about my crossfit journey is figuring out how to approach certain workouts and then afterwards deciding where I could have pushed it more, or less, or if I approached it just right. ] In this particular workout I took a little more time to rest before the KB swings and the jerks because they WERE heavier than I was used to and I want to make sure I am not too fatigued to use good form. The KB’s went pretty well even though a few of them threw me around a little bit! (That IS nearly half my body weight after all! Lol!!) And the split jerks! Sooo funny to me how in almost all workouts my 3rd round is always my best! I struggled quite a bit in the first round with them, not just because it was a bit heavy but because I was figuring out how much power I could get out of myself while breathing harder. Every rep was a focused effort, mentally telling myself to put all I had into it and then physically allowing myself to feel fatigued AND push out as much effort as I could muster. At the same time, I was VERY aware that proper technique would make it easier even if it was heavy, so I focused on that too. I was SO proud of myself for all of that! It just makes me smile SO big watching myself on this journey to becoming my strongest self, body, mind and spirit... So – it isn’t over yet.. loll! Then we did the strength portion of the workout which was another perfect type workout for me to work on. EMOM for 8 sets (4 sets each) Even minutes: 7 Toe to Bar – 7 105# power cleans Odd minutes: 7 Toe to Bar – 7 105# front squats SO, yes, I am already pretty fatigued (and feeling hungry at this point… :P) so I knew the power cleans at that weight might be tough but I could do them. The front squats on the other hand (which I am still making friends with mind you… ) well, I knew I could DO 7, but wasn’t sure I could do 7 Toe to Bar AND 7 front squats at that weight in a minute! Lol! Brandon and I discussed doing 5, but doing 7 if I could make it. (I ended up only doing 5) This workout was CRAZY awesome in the learning department! I really really loved it…. It was TOUGH! :D I know I probably sound crazy (which is a comment I get ALL the time! Haha!) but there was something so brilliant about working my way through that. It is hard to describe what my body was feeling, although I suspect if you do crossfit you already know what I am talking about. I was tired, breathing hard and my muscles felt fatigued…. But at the same time… I actually felt strong! Lol! I had to stop and catch my breath quite a bit, I didn’t go unbroken on my cleans and my front squats were slow with a HUGE amount of effort to keep my elbows up and back upright but you know what? I freaking did it! And mentally – just to keep telling myself to keep going, to stay focused on one rep at a time and put all my energy into the muscles that needed it… such an incredible form of meditation in my eyes! (Praying to the front squat God’s helped too I think.. :D) I don’t often think too much about my time in my Crossfit workouts. I always try to do my best as fast as I can but, honestly, the journey of each workout is always my greatest interest. I always have mini-goals inside of my workouts that mean more to me than what my final time will be. In that first workout – I may have been thrown around a little on the KB swings but I didn’t drop that sucker! Lol! And I didn’t accidentally throw it across the room either! My heavy split jerks weren’t unbroken or fast but my shoulder didn’t hurt which means I was using good technique like I have been practicing in my weightlifting class for weeks. My front squats were slow and I didn’t do 7 but I kept my back up better than I have before which means my extra back work is paying off. And my cleans weren’t unbroken but I was feeling myself use my power better….. Victories everywhere!!! :D Yayy! And then another victory… I went and finished off the rest of the 40 minutes I needed to complete my hour of ruck after that. Yep, I was fatigued but I made a commitment and fatigued does not equal incapable. I love this quote by Joel Runyon… "I don’t want to ever not do something because I’m scared. " Does your workout scare you? Make you nervous? Don’t want to do it? Then that is definitely the one you want to do!! #strongereveryday

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