Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Getting into The Zone

I'm pretty sure I've used that picture at least eleventy million times on this blog now.  What can I say....it seems to fit my entire way of thinking.

When I first started Crossfit, everything about it was waaayyy outside of my comfort zone.  But you know what?  The cool thing about comfort zones is that if you push yourself outside of yours often enough, you find that the scary stuff becomes your NEW comfort zone.  Then you get to push yourself further.  Isn't that awesomesauce?

So, I'm not saying that Crossfit has become "comfortable".  Nope, I'm still gasping for breath and begging for mercy at the end of every WOD, but the idea of Crossfit and the fact that I'm an active person is my new comfortable.

I had a pretty solid grasp of nutrition before I started Crossfit.  I didn't always eat the way I knew I should, but I'd done enough research to know what was up......putting it into consistent practice, though, well that didn't happen until the Spring Challenge last year.  You give me a competition and it seems I can do anything!  I'm competitive like that!  After the challenge was over, I kept an eye on my macro ratios, but I wasn't being nearly as strict.  Eating this way has become my new comfort zone, and my weight loss has pretty much stagnated....since about September.  My BF% is still creeping downward and my inches are slloooowwwllly going in the same direction, but I think it's time I step it up a notch.  I've got the quality of food nailed down.  But it seems the quantity of food I need is changing.  Time to start playing around again....

.....which means I'm considering going back to doing The Zone for the month of Feb.  I've made it clear on more than one occasion that I really don't like "diets" and I don't believe in food rules.  I also know that The Zone is simply not a sustainable way for me to live long term.  I've gone back and forth about how to jump start my weight loss again and I keep coming back to what worked last Spring.  I'm ready to step back out of my comfort zone.

Even though I've been maintaining my loss since September, I've increased my muscle mass and strength quite a bit while seeing NOTHING on the scale.  So.....in my mind, I'm sort of likening it to a 'cutting and bulking' cycle in the body building world.

I've decided that while I don't necessarily enjoy The Zone and I don't believe its sustainable forever, it's a good tool for me to use temporarily to jump start fat loss again.

So, while I don't expect to see many PRs over the next four weeks, I do expect to fit into that pile of jeans I have waiting for me in my closet.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Strong People Are Harder To Kill

That Mark Ripptoe's a smart dude......

This afternoon my son's cub scout den was at a local park working on their athletic badge.  They were running 50 meter dashes, doing sit ups, push ups, etc.....Then we all walked over to the pull up bars.  All three boys hoisted themselves up to the bar and not a one of them could get their chins above it.  I was aching to try.

Let me back up a bit.  I've had a secret little goal in the back of my head ever since I started Crossfit.  I haven't mentioned it to anyone.  I wanted to be 'that mom'.  You know, the one that's fit enough that while the kids are all running around the park and the moms are all eating salad, can get up and just do a random pull up on the play ground equipment.  Yep....I wanna be her.

Ok, back to this afternoon.  I recently got my first pull ups at the gym.  I knew I wasn't warmed up and I knew my hands were so cold they were numb, but I wanted to see how close I could get.  I jumped up on the bar and immediately noticed it was a lot bigger around than the one I'm used to.  I started my kip.  One Kip.  Two Kip.  Three Kip and Puuuu.........UH OH.  Suddenly I was free falling.  My hands were no longer in contact with the bar and them BAM.  I landed on the hard, cold ground.  Tail bone first, followed immediately by the rest of my back and my head.

My son and the leader's son (another Crossfit family) immediately ran to my side and started screaming and asking if I was ok.  They were pulling at my arms; they were trying to pull me to my feet.  I yelled for them to let go and then I quickly took inventory.  I could feel my legs, my back was in one piece, and my head seemed to land on a pillow(?).

Apparently the knot I had my hair tied in took the brunt of my head trauma.  Phew.  I've already had one Traumatic Brain Injury.  I certainly don't need another one!

I got myself upright again and the boys moved on and finished their test.  We all went out for coffee and to discuss a few of their other badges and then my boys and I went to run some errands.  After sitting at the coffee house and then the 20 minute drive to Trader Joe's, I was in tears getting out of my car.  My oldest son became convinced I was dying and that we should go immediately to the ER.  Dr Google confirmed what I already knew ~ a bruised tail bone caused by acute injury.  Yup.

Hauling firewood into the house actually helped loosen me up.  I've taken some ibuprofen and now it's just a wait and see game.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous when I went to pee.  It crossed my mind for a brief second that maybe I decimated one of my kidneys and I'd pee nothing but blood.  Nope.  Phew.  Dodged a bullet there.

The fact is, I made a stupid mistake and I'm paying for it now.....but it occurred to me tonight that if I hadn't spent the last year Crossfitting, today's fall could have gone very differently.  This is not to say it would have killed me, but in that split second that I felt myself free falling, instinctively I activated all of my muscles, and they responded.  They did their job.  The muscles of my back protected my spine.  Later in the evening, when I was hauling firewood and tucking the boys into bed, I was able to bend down using my legs, instead of my back, and move around relatively pain free.

This last year has been about so much more than losing weight and learning how to do pull ups and push ups.  It's taught me how to move my body.  It's taught me how to let my body function as it's supposed to.  It's given me the confidence needed to realize that even though I'm in excruciating pain, I can handle it.  It's also given me the knowledge to know that taking some time to let your body heal can be just as beneficial as pushing yourself through that last, miserable rep.

And with that.....I'm going to bed.  And I may have to miss tomorrow's WOD.