Why in the name of all that is holy can I not appreciate who and what I am?

I’m old and retired and I do appreciate the latter. It is so freeing to not schedule my real life around the hours when I earn enough money to pay for my real life. We have lived frugally enough, saved enough, delayed gratification enough to be able to afford this luxury. We were also fortunate enough to have jobs that paid enough and had great benefits along with pensions that make this all possible. The sacrifice of then makes it possible to have now.

My pictures are pretty (most of the time). I’ve experimented and stepped out of my comfort zone even with coloring. I’ve tried some different techniques and managed to create things that amuse me as well as enjoy the process.

But if someone dares to call me an artist, I get antsy. I point out stridently that I cannot draw a recognizable stick figure. I am a colorist. And not even a very good one because in The Underground there are real artists who post their pictures which are stunning. They are actually drawing real pictures, often faces. They are perfectly shaded. They are lifelike. Hell, I can’t even manage to get my own makeup on like that.

And there it is again. The constant belittling of myself by myself. No one has ever come to me and said anything negative about my appearance. I used to even turn heads. But … I can’t seem to accept any accolades without deprecating.

I have been imploding around my CrossFit stuff. I have been doing this for more than three years and in all that time, I have changed myself from a frail Little Old Lady to a freaking awesome beast. I have muscles, real honest to goodness muscles. I have stability and better endurance even. I can accomplish so much more than the old woman who walked in the first time.

And yet, for the last couple weeks, all that is running through my head is that I’m a failure at the whole thing and haven’t done anything in the last three years. I can tell this to myself even while gaining a new PR. This is beyond stupid.

What I can’t do (and I would like to be able to do) is RX every damn workout. Hell, even the 25 year olds can’t RX every damn workout.

When I read the WOD, all I see is what I can’t do. I don’t see any of the tremendous gains I’ve made over time with constant attendance and working my ass off. Instead, I see what is still impossible for me to do. I wonder if the WODs were written in scaled versions if I would still lament my inability to do the RX version and whine about how I’m still the lowest level there is.

Brittany and I did the same scaled version of the WOD today. She did 100% while I did only 50%. Her outlook was that she did all of what she planned to do. My outlook was that I only did half of what the “real” athletes were doing. No one has ever said to me, “You did great for your age.” People often tell me I’ve done great and in my head I and I alone add “for your age” and feel defeated by my place in the world.

I have no idea how to stop this nonsense. I was whining to myself the other day because after all this time, I only have two lifts over 100 pounds. It took me six weeks to be able to deadlift 42# and I’m whining about the limited number of 100+ pound lifts I have. I don’t know how to make this type of thinking go away. I do many amazing things – period. I do even more amazing things for a woman. I do even more amazing things for an old woman. That’s not even giving me any credit for this whole exceptionally high heart rate thing. I go to the box three times a week and give it all I’ve got. I usually give more than I’ve got and just plod through at the end. I work hard.

Intellectually I know this. I work just as hard as anyone else there. I just don’t accomplish as much with my hard work. And that makes me sad and mad and crankypants. I do know that no one else there is exactly like me and that comparison is the thief of joy. I know that I work just as hard and do totally asinine things just like CrossFitters everywhere.

I can’t deadlift 1.5 times my body weight. I can’t shade perfect faces. Hell, the list of things I can’t do would be too long to read. Even so, I’m pretty awesome, for an old broad.