October 2014


No personal fun stories today. I’m just going to start out with a whine. If this was my first day at CrossFit, it would also be my last. I hated today. It was outright boring. I could have gone to any gym in the world and done this crap. I choose to do CrossFit so I don’t have to do this crap.

I woke up and looked at the WOD. I interpreted it different than it was written on the board when I got there which was a pain in the ass but not insurmountable.

Coach Jason was stuck with whiny me. It is such a task. I was the only person there who remembered it was Halloween. I wore my pumpkin shirt for the occasion. There had only been two at the 5 AM class and one of them was Ryan. We had more at our class.

We began with a run and Charlie was just parking as we left the building. He joined in. Jackson was back today. Todd was there without Cindy. One of the other nurses was there but I will be damned if I can come up with her name right now. I was there, too, at least in body if not in spirit.

We did other stuff to warm up and since it was Halloween, we did Frankenstein walk instead of soldier walk and we did Spiderman crawls except those make me sick so I just did push-ups. I was able to do the Supermans. Go me.

We were declared warm enough after dislocates and passthroughs and went on to this most lovely WOD.

Today’s WOD as written:
20 minutes
rope climb practice
then
Row/Deadlift Ladder
(20 min limit)
250m row
1 deadlift (225/155)
500m row
2 deadlifts (225/155)
750m row
4 deadlifts (225/155)
1000m row
8 deadlifts (225/155)
On the board it was written as a 20 min AMRAP and continued on.

I brought knee socks and put them on for the rope climb thing. I do not have the moves down for the wrapping the rope and standing on it thing. This is nothing I have any desire to do. If I ever fall in a well, they will have to drop those fire escape rollup ladders down to me to climb out because I will not be able to climb a rope to get out.

This did not stop me from attempting the move and not being able to do it. It is just a statement of fact. I would like to be able to double unders, even though I have no idea how that is a functional movement for anything. I have no desire to do a rope climb.

Then it was on to the most boring WOD ever. If this had been a 20 min cap, as I had read it to be, I would have dropped my rows to 200, 400, 600, and 800 meters so I would have had the same time frame as everyone else. But since I had to just row for freaking ever, I did that part as written. I was supposed to go 50-60% of my one rep max on the deadlift and so used 83# for that.

In twenty minutes my mind wandered as Jason looked for some Halloween music that wasn’t sleep inducing. I would just close my eyes and keep rowing and row and row and row and row and row and row and row and row and row and it was so damn boring all I could think of was the hell of being on a treadmill and how I hate machines and this was awful and whoops, time to do a deadlift or two or four or eight.

It was 17 something when I finished my 8 deadlifts and then it was back to the rower and row and row and row and row and row some more. The only exciting part of the whole thing was the last minute. Both Todd and Jackson had completed the 1250 meter row and were working on their 16 deadlifts. Todd was behind me and I couldn’t see what he was doing. Jackson was right in front of me but with his back to the clock. I was cheering him on and counting seconds as I continued to row. At least that part was fun.

I was supposed to put 414 meters of 1250 on the board as my score. This didn’t seem worth scoring to me. I rowed for 20 minutes when I wasn’t getting on or off the rower and doing 15 deadlifts total. Kim mentioned how quiet it had been. That’s because it was the most boring workout ever conceived.

I’m going to guess no one could tell, so I will say it clearly. I hated this day not because it was too hard or too challenging, but because it was tedious and unchallenging. I did not ever stop moving for twenty minutes, but I could have done that the day I walked in the door. Any dipshit can pull on a rower. There was no challenge and no skill and although there is a proper technique, it can be done without the technique. There is a proper technique to running, but we can all run even without proper technique. Endurance might be a great thing, but enduring this day did nothing to make me feel empowered or stronger or better. I just felt bored and like I had gotten up for no good reason at all.

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I thoroughly enjoyed beginning my weekend after work yesterday. I would like to take a moment to point out that database management is tedious and inglorious. Unfortunately, it is also necessary. On a brighter note, my database information is now managed.

We have a big client event each year that is lots of work both in the planning and the follow up. We were selecting a date for this event which has been traditionally held in February. I stayed quiet as they were selecting possible dates. It looks like the event will be held on February 28. I retire on February 25. I stayed quiet while they discussed options and when they picked the date, I gave out a little “Yippee” type yell. It was then that Mandi realized why I had stayed quiet.

I successfully didn’t look at the WOD last night and did successfully look this morning and then looked up the last time I did this nonsense. If we routinely scaled at the box instead of each coach scaling stuff for me as we go along, I would have a better way to compare what are supposed to be benchmark WODs. But we don’t.

Cory coached the 5 AM class and had a warm-up that was written out on a white board and so Ryan took a picture of it and used it for us. Two rounds of 15 of each move (except the runs): jumping jacks, squats, high knees run the mat, butt kick run the mat back, mountain climbers, push-ups, ring rows, supermans, sit-ups, and dancing crabs. I had my shirt off before we finished the warm-up. It was 66⁰ out there, but that was a bit much.

Then, since we were too tired, we just skipped the whole rest of the day. Wait, that’s what I wanted to do, instead …

Today’s WOD as written:
Strict Press

5 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 1 – 1
then
“Helen”
3 rounds for time:
400m run
21 kettlebell swing (53/35)
12 pull ups

The twin high school swimmers were there doing a fundamentals class and they each had one 22# bar which meant there weren’t any left for me. They were doing some stretches, so I warmed up with the smaller bar and then used a 33# bar for my strict press.

I used the bare bar for both sets of five. Ryan told me what I was doing wrong, but I needed to know exactly what to do instead. I was arching my back instead of pushing with a hollow core. When I concentrated on tightening everything up, the weight went up easier. As Ryan watched from behind, he mentioned how curved my spine was. Like I didn’t know I was turning into even more of a pretzel. This is why I have different shoes or a plate under my foot. I’m curling up into one of those pill bugs.

Then I went to 38 and did the sets of three. I was at 43 for the one rep and Ryan said if I did it too easily, I would have to add 5 more pounds. I said I would get the one pound weights and get to 45. I did the 43 pretty easy. So I went to 48 and got that overhead. Just for shits and giggles, I tried 53# and lo and behold, with shaking arms and barely making it, it went overhead. Who knew?

Then it was time for Helen. It was just me and Todd today. He hurt his shoulder doing KB swings and so this didn’t look good. I was doing Russian swings and he thought he could manage that, too. But when he tried a couple as a warm-up, they were already hurting his shoulder. Sometimes I forget to let the coaches coach and I turn back into a nurse, so I butted in, but my idea was sound. He went with using the kettlebell for sumo high pulls. That didn’t hurt his shoulder at all.

I asked Ryan how far I should walk. I was hoping for 200 meters for a couple reasons, one is simply it’s shorter, but the other is that it kept me out of the road in the dark. Ryan said that would work. But he thought I should scale the number of reps, as well, in order to see if I could keep moving. So I did 14 25# Russian kettlebell swings and then 8 band assisted pull-ups with a 2” band.

It is so tempting to try running on the first round. But that just screws me over for the whole WOD. During the warm-up I gotten too warm and took my shirt off. So I would be walking on the sidewalk next to a fairly busy street in my shorts and sports bra and my lovely gloves because pull-ups hurt my hands without gloves. I mentioned that it was good we were coming up to Halloween since this looked like a scary outfit.

Time started and off we went. Somebody honked at me! I can only assume they liked my scary costume. I got back and could immediately do the KB swings and did them all together. But I had to rest before starting the pull-ups and I didn’t wait long enough. I did them 5-3 and that was stupid. So for the next two rounds, I played smarter.

The temperature will be dropping all day and I was so grateful for the breeze that was bringing in cooler temps. On the walk out, it felt really good to cool down and by the turn around I was no longer dripping. On the walk back in, it was deliciously cool without being cold. Lovely. Simply lovely. Then I would do the 14 swings unbroken, sit on the box I use to get up to the band and box breathe until my heart rate was down to 154, and then do all the pull-ups. I ended with a heart rate of 171 each time, but I was either going for a walk or done so what the hell. I finished in 12.12.

The top was down on the go-kart on my drive to the box, but it was cloudy and I was afraid of my little car getting a wet interior, so I put the top up in the parking lot. I just left it up and came home, delighted to have another WOD done.

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Yesterday at work was a lot of work. We have two huge filing cabinets. We are going paperless and everything in the cabinets will have to be scanned and then destroyed. This must be completed by July 2018. One Boss wanted one of the cabinets for home use and so we have been emptying it. Not scanning and destroyed stuff yet, but putting the files in some sort of reasonable pattern where we could access them if needed, but boxed up and ready for the next step.

We began this last week and did about half of the work. Yesterday we finished with the boxing up part and then putting the remaining unboxed files into the remaining cabinet. It took a couple more hours of this nonsense, but we have one empty filing cabinet.

Dick and Barb may have sold Ruth’s condo and we can be finished with that nonsense, too. He also got the man cave covered in base coat. I found someone to take all the books I want to get rid of and my car is now filled with books. All in all, we were a couple of busy old farts yesterday.

I successfully didn’t look at the WOD last night, but did look at the weather. It was predicted that it would be foggy and in the high 50s. I set out clothes and slept soundly. I woke and looked up the WOD. Then I had to look up the last time I did a bear complex. Then I began to strategize for today’s WOD. Next up was not putting the lid/bottom on the bullet correctly and some of my protein stuff leaking into the base. So far, the day wasn’t going well. I left the house and it wasn’t just foggy, it was pure pea soup. I couldn’t see more than a couple car lengths ahead. It was nerve wracking just getting there.

We warmed up in various ways and then began today’s work.

Today’s WOD as written:
Back Squats

5 – 5 – 3 – 3 – 1 – 1
then
“Death by Bear”
EMOM perform +1 round of the bear complex
(not a complete 7 trip complex)
(95/65) (65/45)

Since today’s stuff was mostly lifts, I got into my odd shoe to balance myself out more. I began the back squat series with 63 pounds and thought I would add ten per round, but that got me too high at the end. Kim said to go for the same weight again on the higher reps so I finished out with 63-73-83-88-93.

We watched the 5 AM class finishing the Death by Bear nonsense and Gabe had chosen the RX weight. He always does. He managed to actually finish round 7 or doing one full bear, but that was as far as he could make it. Ryan had chosen just 65 pounds and got through round 7 and got 7 more for round eight before time was up.

They decided the weights were too high and rewrote the weights for later classes. I wasn’t doing that anyway. Ryan talked to me before he left and mentioned that I should use just a PVC pipe. I looked offended. He said it was really hard and I should not go over a 22# alone. I said that a PVC pipe wouldn’t be working hard enough and I would go for the weight.

We did a practice run through of the moves with just an empty bar. Kim was going to have us do some more and I explained that I was warm and aware of the moves and I didn’t want to waste all my heart rate on getting warmed up when I was already over heated. A bear complex is a clean, front squat, push press to back, back squat, push press to front.

I got done with round 5 and then had to sit it out. Todd stopped at the same time. Cindy got through round 6+6 and Mel made it round 7+6.

The fog had not abated and getting home was just as tricky as getting there, but with added traffic to contend with. Some asshats were still biking their kids to school – in the pitch black fog with the adults insisting on riding against traffic and in the road. I don’t know why they don’t ride behind their kids on the sidewalk. The one woman who rides in the street could kill herself, but the dad who carts a smaller child in one of the things behind the bike irritates my soul no end. He can kill himself with being stupid, but the little kid has no say at all.

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We had a lovely weekend. We have decided to paint a couple rooms downstairs, the man cave and Dick’s bathroom. We picked out some paint samples and made a selection, got tiny bits of paint and tested them on the walls, and then made our selection. The man cave is going lighter and needs to have a base coat before the paint is applied. That’s a pain in the ass, but it needed to be done. And the blind in there is falling apart and needed replacing. So it will be all spruced up.

I successfully avoided looking at the WOD last night. I slept peacefully all night long. When the alarm went off this morning, I peeked at the WOD. I’m very glad I did not look at it last night because it irritated me. They all do. I want to be younger or at least have a heart that keeps up with my arms, shoulders, legs, and head. I have neither. Every time I look at a WOD, I cringe and the first thought is “how will I scale this?”

There was no skill today. Reading without glasses on, I missed the part about how many rounds and was left wondering what the day was going to bring, even having the WOD in front of me. So all I could do was haul my fat ass to the box and see what the specifications were.

Our warm-up was based on the WOD. We began with a row and worked through the moves with some added push-ups and front squats in there. We then did five minutes of shoulder mobility work. It was just me and Jackson. Kim was there with two young girls for a fundamentals class or something. We stayed out of each other’s way.

Today’s WOD as written:
“Monday Gone Bad”

Three rounds of:
Wall balls (20/14)
Kettlebell swings (53/35)
Box jumps (24/20)
Push press (75/55)
Row (Calories)

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute. The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round after which a two-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of “rotate”, the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.

I wasn’t sure what to do with this. I cannot work for 5 minutes without resting. I will either pass out or die. I wasn’t sure if I should set a number of reps and work to that or work for 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off. Coach Jason suggested I work to failure and then rest until the next minute started. I tried that on the first round and didn’t feel like I was working enough. The calorie row was for the full minute because I had the two minutes of rest afterwards.

Since I didn’t like the way the first round went, I figured I would try for 10 reps of everything. But I did 12 wall balls on the first round and kept that number. I couldn’t get my rower to turn on before the minute started and so I really only had 52 seconds of rowing time for that round. Although it was cool this morning, 58⁰ out there, there were no fans on and I was over-heating. I ripped my shirt off half way through the second round. That felt a bit better.

I really wanted to get 150 total points. I needed to make up for the poor decisions I had made in the first round and squeak out one more rep on the moves. My heart rate was high after ten, but the box breathing was bringing it back down. I was starting the push press with a heart rate of 159, but I was almost done.

I had been using a 10# wall ball to an 8’ mark, a 25# KB and doing Russian swings, step-ups to a 20” box, a bare 33# bar, and the rower set at 7. I pushed through and figured I could get to 150 if my math was correct. On the final row, I just closed my eyes and pulled the rower as much as possible and ended up with an extra point in there. And I squealed with delight. I reached my goal. With an extra point to spare.

A B C
wall ball 12 12 12
KB swing 10 10 10
box jump 8 10 11
push press 6 10 11
calorie row 9 9 11
45 51 55 151

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I was so tired yesterday for no good reason that I barely made it through dinner. I forced myself to stay awake until about 8.30 and then I just had to cave in and go to sleep. I was awake again at 1 AM and stayed awake until around 3 AM. I knew that falling asleep too soon was going to mess up my night’s sleep, but I was too tired to keep my eyes open. Then the alarm went off at 5.15 and I had to get up for the day.

In the middle of the night, I took an Aleve to stop my jaw from aching. I must have been clenching my teeth again although I have no idea what is stressing me out now. After the Aleve kicked in, I could fall back to sleep and my jaw feels okay this morning and by this time, the pill should have worn off.

I got to the box and Jason had coached the 5 AM class but wasn’t coaching our class. Cindy was supposed to be there so he could tape her foot. He used some tape on his foot and claimed it fixed his plantar fasciitis. She has been dealing with that for so long and forgot to show up this morning to get it fixed. Kim was supposed to be coaching our class, but she wasn’t there. So Jason had us all warm up together and began working on the day’s menu of events. Kim got there eventually but had reported her coffee maker wasn’t working so she had to stop and get some coffee. She showed up with a cup with three shots of espresso in it.

Today’s WOD as written:
Pendlay Rows / Floor Press 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 5
Quickly alternate movements and use the same weight for each movement.
Adjust weights between sets with a goal of finding a maximum 5 rep weight you can handle for both movements.
then
For time:
30 shoulder to overhead (135/95)
30 front squats (115/75)
30 power cleans (95/65)

I always have to be reminded of what Pendlay rows are because I want them to be that thing we did with rowing a barbell on the ground and they never are. I began with just a 22# bar for this and did the first round before adding 10# for the next. That was easy as well. I got to the 42# and knew the last time I did that floor press thing with the weight, I had issues. I had someone spot me so I wouldn’t hurt myself.

Both Kim and Jason assured me that if I dropped the bar, it wouldn’t crush me but instead the plates left room enough for me on the floor. I tested that and it worked. I felt a little better. I did another round of 42# and then I started feeling a little frisky. I added weight to 47# and the Pendlay rows were still easy. Then, I tried the floor press. I got one and on the second one I dropped the weight. It did not hit me as the room between the floor and bar left enough room for me. But I had to have help to get out from under the bar since instead of moving it down to drop it, I let it fall between my chest and my head. But I didn’t get hurt, which is always my goal. I took off the extra five pounds and did my last set with 42#. On the plus side, I worked to failure. On the minus side, I failed.

Then on to the WOD. I asked what my time frame was supposed to be. The people at the 5 AM class were around 8 minutes. I figured with the 90 moves, I would be resting for about 8 minutes. Jason told me that everyone had to rest. If the young people had to rest, I would be resting much more. He said my weights were lower. That’s true; they are the highest weights I can move so I’m  working as hard as I can. I’m not just old part of the time, I’m old all the time. It sucks, but it is a constant.

So, I dropped the weights to 42, 32, and 22 pounds for the three different moves and dropped the reps to 20 of each. The limiting factor was the shoulder to overhead which pretty much held me at 42 pounds. I can do each of the other two moves at higher weights than the shoulder to overhead and I assume others can as well. The idea that the moves came later and after some fatigue was the operating part. I fatigue faster than the youngsters. I told Kim I could do all 30 of each move, but I would be there a long time. Did she want me to work for the same time or do the reps. She said to do 20 of each move.

For the shoulder to overhead I did 10-5-5 and by that time my heart rate was so high I had to work within that limit. So for the front squats I did 7-7-6 and the same rep scheme for the cleans, having to do hang cleans since I had an empty bar. After each group, I sat and panted and did some box breathing. My heart rate peaked at 162 and came down much faster since I didn’t over extend. I finished in 7.58 which was right in line with the others.

Kim has since posted to Facebook that she has completed the punishment for being late. If we are late to class, we are fined one burpee for each minute late and she was 15 minutes late and did her burpees. This is why I am always on time; burpees suck.

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I’ve been so busy being social I forgot my media part. We had out of town guests staying with us which isn’t nearly as fun as saying we had friends from home bringing part of that idea to us and celebrating lifelong friendships. That was so much more important than social or media that I forgot about writing. My commitment to fitness was unabated and I did get to the gym, but I tried to make it as unobtrusive as possible.

On Monday, I snuck out of the house and made it to the box for this:
Jerk 3 – 3 – 2 – 2 – 1
Use the racks (and the jerk table when the weights get heavy) to practice the movement and try to set a 1RM.
Post the weight for all five working sets.
(in between sets)
GHD 4 x 15 seconds
No more than 15 seconds at a time, try to get a ME on the GHD.
Must touch the foot pad before time expires for the rep to count.
Post your reps for each set.
then
AMRAP in 12 minutes
5 slam balls
5 slam ball thrusters
3 power cleans (95/65)
3 shoulder to overhead (95/65)
1 squat clean (95/65)
1 front squat (95/65)

I have no recollection of what the jerk weights were, but I’m guessing fairly light. I know that I couldn’t even get setup on the GHD contraption and opted out of that. There were rings set low – about 3 inches off the ground. I put my feet in the rings, held a plank, and did 15 seconds of a horizontal knees to elbows move. I got nine or ten each round.

When it came time for the WOD, I didn’t have much wiggle room since we only have two sizes of slam balls. I had a choice of 25 pounds or possibly I could have grabbed one of the men’s sized 40 pounds. Since there was no weenie weight for this, I lowered the reps to 3 and 3. I used a 42# bar for the other moves. I got five rounds plus 6 and did a lot of resting and panting and sitting around trying to get my heart rate down.

I had to work on Monday which was disappointing but necessary and I got all the stuff done that needed to be done. Then we got to play again with our friends. We had a fire in the fire pit and I actually put brandy in my hot chocolate which may not have been the best of choices but it tasted good.

Tuesday was back at the box because I go to the gym on Tuesdays. When I saw what was written, I was pretty sure it was a bad choice, but I go to the box on Tuesdays.

So this is what I had to do:
3 x ME bodyweight back squats
Rest thoroughly between sets.
Post reps for each set.
then
NOT for time:
Turkish Get Ups 3 – 3 – 3 – 3
For time or AMRAP:
SealFit Man Maker Ladder (10/5)

I cannot do a body weight back squat – yet. I was told to work with about half my weight. I had a 63# bar and figured that was about as close I was going to get without switching the bars and I was too lazy for that. I managed 10-10-11 for the reps with that.

This SEAL man maker nonsense is done with dumbbells and they were laddered in 10 pound increments for the men and 5 pounds for the women. My weights would have been 5-10-15-20-25 but it was a given that was going to be too much. So we staggered me and I was 3-5-8-10-15 (if I could manage it). A man maker is standing with the dumbbells then dropping to the ground, doing a push-up on the weights, lifting up one to chest level, doing a push-ups and lifting the other weight to chest level, jumping back up and doing a thruster with the weights. Three reps at each weight.

I spent a considerable amount of time panting on the ground but I managed all five weights and finished in 8.26 (I think). I should have taken a picture of the board today so I would remember what I did all week. This is why I write it down each day because I have the memory span of a gnat. I tried a Turkish getup with just a 3 pound weight and it hurt my shoulder. I spent the rest of the day working with a lacrosse ball.

I took Tuesday off work and we went for a two mile walk along a path, toured the Scarecrows in the Park, went out to lunch but the teahouse was closed and we had to go to a second choice. Then we came home for a bit and then went downtown to Charleston and walked around the historic district, went out to dinner, and then had a wonderful ghost walk. Mike Brown was an excellent story teller and several times my hair stood up on end as I was delightfully scared by his tales.

Wednesday is my day off, thank goodness. I don’t think I could have gotten up early yesterday. AND it was a hero WOD, which are usually way beyond me. Our friends left to go back home and I was back at work. Then it was another day back at the box today.

Today’s WOD as written:
3 x ME 50% bodyweight strict to push press
Rest thoroughly between sets.
Post reps for each set.
then
4 rounds for time (performed every 5 minutes):
30 second handstand hold
500m row
4 deadlifts (225/155)

I have not ever strict pressed half my body weight. I’m a weenie at this and I know it. I tried 32# and managed that okay so I upped it to 37# and worked that. I did 3/7 for the first round meaning 3 strict presses and then seven more push presses for a total of ten. Then I managed 4/7 and finished my last round at 4/8 and I think my arms fell off in there somewhere.

I knew when I looked at this that I needed to do something a bit different for the conditioning portion. I am unable to do a handstand so there was going to have to be some form of sub for that. I cannot row at the same speed at the youngsters and Coach Kim said we were to figure about half working and half resting times for each round. I cut back my rows to 400 meters. The deadlifts were done at 83#.

Only Hannah could do an actual handstand (Cindy wasn’t there today and Charlie and Todd were in the same boat as me) so the rest of us had to do plank holds. I wasn’t sure I could even manage that, but lo and behold, I actually held a plank for 30 seconds four times.

Then row was next and I just tried not to think about it. I would get up from that and go do my four deadlifts without stopping because then I could sit on the rower, drink some water, do some box breathing, get my heart rate back down, and rest. Lovely, lovely rest. That was my favorite part.

My four times were 3.01, 3.03, 3.08, and then we were supposed to see if we could beat our time on the last round and by God, I did as I finished the last round in 3.00 even.

So now, I’m back to my normally scheduled life. And I’m caught up here. As much as I could remember.

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Body image – even the phrase is frightening. I’ve been watching two men who are close to my age talking about “people watching” which is what they call looking at young women. Their observations are quite detailed and one supposes also accurate. Two of my blogging friends have mentioned their body image vis-à-vis eating disorders with one forgetting to eat because of stress and one worried about stress eating undoing all the hard work she has accomplished in the last few months.

A long time ago – a very long time ago – I was younger and played between eight and ten hours of racquetball a week. I had an active job and two kids running around. I was fit and muscular. I weighed between 120 and 125 and vowed I would never weigh over 130.

I got older. My kids grew up and I stopped playing racquetball. I got a different, sedentary job. I weighed 145. But I still had red hair courtesy of Clairol. In a country where the average size is a bit bigger than that and goes much higher, I was still not considered “fat”. I would walk down the street, men would apprise the look from the back, sneak a look at the front and see “old” and that’s when I finally did something. I stopped coloring my hair. I was tired of seeing disgust and shock. Yeah, nice ass even in larger pants and without squats, but wrinkles. Disgusting.

The gray hair stopped that nonsense. Now I was completely invisible. Gray hair on men is distinguished and means the old goats might have had time to get some money and/or power. Gray hair on women just means old, but at least I warned them from the back and they knew they didn’t even have to glance backwards and see wrinkles and be disgusted.

But I didn’t like what was happening to me. In my head I’m still 35 which is quite difficult because I have a son older than that. And I felt fat to me. I weighed more than I had when I was nine months pregnant. I had to do something. Perhaps it was mid-life crisis. Perhaps it was boredom. Perhaps it was rampant stupidity. I don’t know what happened, but I joined CrossFit.

I was there for over a year before I signed up to do the Whole Life Challenge and I was forced to look at my entire lifestyle and make some changes – at least for the time of the Challenge. I had to eat cleaner although it wasn’t true Paleo. I was permitted to cheat a bit on my easy level. I did what was required and by the end of the challenge, for the first time in a couple decades, I was under my “top limit” of 130 pounds. I was down to 125 – my old fighting weight.

Frankly, it was too hard to keep – sorry Nicole. It wasn’t worth it. I love chocolate and potato chips. Denying myself these simple pleasures forevermore wasn’t worth it. I have chocolate every single day, but I savor it, cherish it, make it last. A serving sized bit of luscious, delicious, creamy milk chocolate can last me for nearly a week. Potato chips are doled out in small serving bowls. I have the occasional ice cream and sometimes even with Velvet Fudge Sauce. I eat potatoes and pasta.

A year later and I still use almond milk in my coffee. I am aware of portion control. I know that my treats are treats and must be savored or they aren’t worth the time, effort, or calories. I know that everything I worked for was worth it, but not to extremes. I weighed 130.6 today. I have consistently held this weight all year. I’m not losing control, but measuring out the treats and still maintaining my weight.

After thousands of squats, those jeans (if I could find some that actually fit) would look even better from the back. I’m powerful and strong – not for a girl, but for an old fart. My numbers are crap when measured against the younger gym rats, but are amazing when measured against the normal old person. Before the year ends, I will be old enough to collect Social Security. I’m retiring at the beginning of next year. I’m not getting any younger.

And now, instead of just being free of all outside assessment, I’m invisible. I’m an old woman in a society that reveres youth and power and I have neither. I’m not sure what the question is so I don’t have any answers. I think all this thinking about body image has led me to a conclusion. My body is and always has been a way for my brain to get information. It is a handy carrying case for my intellect. I don’t need the approval of anyone else and never have. I have been given a chance to learn and understand.

What I know for sure is that the small bits of chocolate are worth the extra weight that only I am aware of. I know that people who love me do so not because of the shape of my ass but because of the light of my personality. I know that the person who needs to learn to love me the most – is me. Even as an old fart, I’m okay.

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