Friday, February 20, 2009

The Crying WOD.

Last night I went out to dinner with an old friend and as CrossFit geeks do we talked about our workouts our goals and our weaknesses.

Somehow we got onto the topic of being totally crushed by a workout. Crushed in a way that's beyond physical it hits more on an emotional side but has little to do with anything that's going on in your life..... its just a place in our minds.

Steve explained his experience by saying he was a blubbering puddle of tears and snot at the end. He pulled his shirt or towel over his head and just cried like a school girl. My questions were along the lines of well what as going on in your life? Were there any emotional connections to your outburst? Steve said, none, none at all. It was just some sort of chemical break down in his body and mind that shattered him.

This just happened to me the other day, which is what brought this up. I've never felt like crying during a WOD. I've felt like stopping for different reasons. Bad days, to sore or just not "feeling" it.

Two days ago I did "Elizabeth" 21-15-9/ 95# cleans and Ring dips. I've been pushing it for the last two weeks. My whole body is sore, especially my legs. Sure I have a lot going on in my life, who doesn't? I can honestly say at that place in time nothing was on my mind other then, how the fuck am I going to lift that barbell again?

Curtis had walked away and was busy with something, I looked at the barbell and tears flooded my eyes. All I could think about was laying down and balling. Curtis, yelled from someplace in the gym "pick up the bar Jen!" Ok, Ok...I cleaned it, yelled coming out of the squat then dropped the MF'er on the ground. One more rep down! At that point I felt like giving up and noticed at the same time that I had 100# on the bar and not 95#. This is a big difference if your having a bad WOD day! I pulled the plates off, as Curtis laughed at me. Round two was almost done, round three on the way. Tears again, shakes again. No don't stop Conlin don't stop this is yours.

DONE! My arms are spent, my legs feel like toast. It felt so good to be on the floor, it was like laying on the beach in the sand with a mojito in my hand. Then I cried just a little, and felt close to a place in my head that's totally raw and not very often visited.
I don't mind the trip I took to this location in my mind and body, it's good to know it's there. To be aware of it and not scared of it. To be honest thought I don't need to go back this week or next. I'm stronger for the visit and the memory will last for a while. I've CrossFitted to places within myself which I never knew I had. It's shown me I'm a force to be reckoned with. I'm stronger in mind and body and emotion then your average Jane. This goes for all CrossFitters, we are a tough, emotional bunch. We laugh hard, play hard and can take a beat down.

Thanks for a nice dinner Steve, you're a sweetheart!

1 comment:

Rich Vos said...

Love your comments on reaching that emotional state. I think that is what CrossFit really is and I don't think people really realize it until they've been to that spot of emotional and physical breakdown.

Something was said on CF Radio a week or so ago that really hit home. It was that athletes get nervous that last 10 seconds before "3...2...1...GO" is called, and experienced crossfitters are more nervous than newbies. Those who have been doing the WODs at appropriate intensity know the feeling of wanting to quit during every thruster of "Fran", of every stride of "Helen". It's a very dark place to which we travel, putting one more rep overhead and deadlifting an inappropriate amount of weight 9 more times. Everything inside your head tells you to quit; "It's just one workout. I can make this up later." "If I slow down on the ring dips, I'll have more energy on the cleans." Their are more excuses and rationalization than actual repetitions of the WOD. But we keep moving...somehow. That is what I think CrossFit is.

I'd love to explain this type of suffering and Type A nonsense to new athletes but I think it's best they experience it on their own. (Not to mention it would probably chase off a few possible members if you told them they need do go faster and harder until they reach this point of masochism.) Once they hit that spot, they'll know, and have a greater appreciation for the work done and their true effort.

I've been doing the CrossFit WODs for nearly a year now, but have only been experiencing CrossFit for about 6 months. There's a big difference. Since I've stepped up the intensity while keeping the Games Qualifier in mind, I've traveled to that dark place nearly every WOD. It sucks, and we all love it.

Congrats on making it through, especially on one of those check-the-box kind of days!