What do I want for my heath and fitness goals? Well, first of all, I want to have all my toes when I die. In order to do that, I need to keep my diet under control, especially my carb intake. Even if my next A1C is normal, I’ve been warned that my body is not able to process as many carbs as I would love to consume, so I’m stuck with a choice between full blown diabetes and unlimited chocolate.

I’ve been doing CrossFit for over six years now. I really thought I would be better at this by now. I’m not. Actually, I’m much better than when I started, I’m just not as better as I want to be. I would like to be Kylie or Liz or Wendy but I’m old enough to be their mother and so that is probably not ever going to happen. I guess I should pick something else. But what? I have no idea what is a reasonable fitness goal for me.

My stated goals for the year are to get rid of the stutter jump in my double unders and to get the courage to kick up to the wall. For the first, I have to practice and so that’s entirely up to me. For the second, I can hold my weight upside down at least for a short time. Kicking up to the wall is terrifying for me and I can’t even tell you why. But I’m brave enough. I think.

My unstated goal, or not written on the goal board, is to get to 50% of the double unders the aforementioned whiz kids accumulate. If I can get to half the number as that written on the board, I will be happy with myself. It will always take me forever, especially since I have to have that extra single under in there between each double under. If I can get rid of that, I should be able to get a few more in a row before my heart rate is too high.

But … all those Olympic lifts are dreams. There is always more weight regardless of what I do and there is always way more weight on all the other bars in the gym. And yet … there was a time when I could only dream of what I can do today. I could go back and look to see when the first time I got 35# overhead was, but I’m not that curious. I know it took me a long time to get there. I also don’t really know how long it took me to break parallel on my squat, but it was quite a bit of time.

Today’s WOD was a repeat of 15.5 or 27-21-15-9 of calorie row and thrusters. My Open weight for thrusters is 35# so that is what I did. I hate thrusters. My heart rate spikes and I have to rest. Even with that light weight. I actually had a time for 15.5 from 2015. It was 24.23. Today, I wanted to cut the reps. I actually wanted to cut the class. I really hate thrusters. But there I was and I knew I could do this piece of crap because I’d done it before. So I did 72 calorie row and 72 thrusters. I finished in 22.42.

So, after four years, I cut about 90 seconds off my time. That’s rather pitiful. While trying to make myself feel a bit better about it, I remembered that we had kilo bars or I was doing 33# before instead of the 35# today and so I actually put an extra 144# over my head. That didn’t really help me. I used to think I would just improve and work hard and improve some more. But I just work hard and don’t die which is really helpful. But it’s not an improvement.

So what should I expect? I’m now 66 instead of 62. Lots of people my age are already dead, which as I’ve pointed out, I’m not. So I should be grateful if not amazed that I’m still moving at all. And I know that as we age, we get slower and weaker but I’m not sure when this descent into feebleness actually starts and if I’m just going to fizzle out at some point. I don’t know if I should hope to maintain my lift weights or hope that they decrease by just small margins.

I have no idea what I’m doing. This isn’t new. I can learn the vocabulary. I can learn the movement. What I can’t learn is what is the correct thing for me to actually aspire to. This is true in and out of the gym.

I’ve been steadily losing weight since October. I can’t keep this up. I have gone back to counting everything not for the carbs, but for the calories. I’m not eating enough even though I’m never hungry. I’m not roller coastering my blood sugar and starving as a result. So I don’t eat enough and this affecting my gym performance.

I really don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing. And I really don’t know how to find out exactly what that should be. I’m this old and still just winging it. I really thought that eventually, I would know something. Not yet.

171202-z-ju667-0474

Advertisements

I expect to get things right. I was reading before I got to school so life in the classroom was always a bit of a cakewalk for me. I was ahead of the game most of the time. I’m a practiced and skilled reader and can learn many things from the pages of a book or the scrolling through a screen. Lucky me.

But some things can’t be learned from a book. You cannot learn the proper way to … well, there are many things here – drive a car, fly a plane, crochet or knit, clean and jerk a barbell … the list is long. These things must be learned experientially. Well, I’m assuming that is true for flying because I don’t actually know how to do that. I just threw it in for effect. We all want our pilots to really know how to fly the planes we are in, not just have read about it.

Intellectually, I know these things but I’m disappointed quite often because I don’t meet my own expectations. I can drive. But unlike most of the people out there on the roads, I don’t think I’m a very good driver. I’m nervous when driving, especially when I have no idea where I’m going. Even with my onboard computer/navigation system helping me, I’m nervous about the whole thing.

I crochet much better than I knit. Neither is done perfectly and I often am less than thrilled when something I’ve worked on for so long didn’t turn out the way I was hoping. Dashed expectations. Other people might think it looks fine, but it isn’t what I hoped for and so I’m disappointed.

Clean and jerks are not that hard to do. I have the form down fairly well, but as in all physical endeavors, there is always room for improvement. But I use a hook grip, I have my butt down and my chest up, I slowly pull and then explosively draw the bar up while I float under the bar, catching it in a five point rack with my elbows up and my knees not falling in. Then I stand, give a small dip, and drive the bar overhead while standing tall and elbows locked out. At least I can do all that with a light bar. I’m not quite as good as the bar gets heavier. My five point rack disappears. My elbows aren’t as high because my rack isn’t set correctly. My knees waver on the rise. The whole thing isn’t nearly as nice.

And I’m disappointed. Every time. Really, how many old farts can do even a crappy clean and jerk? Truthfully, how many young people know how to do a clean and jerk? Why can’t I be happy with the fact that I do this amazing stuff?

Because my expectations were always way off. They still are. I amazed at people who show up and work out and are happy with the results regardless of what “score” or “grade” or “time” or “reps” or measurement we are supposed to use to somehow make the white board happy. I’m pretty sure the white board has no feelings whatsoever and is never happy. Or sad.

The white board has been my nemesis since I began CrossFit. I loathe the white board. There is no compassion in the white board. It is a data point and doesn’t take into consideration anything other than a number. But I had such high hopes for better numbers. And to this day, I walk in with some number etched into my brain about how I should be able to manage this day’s WOD. It never works out the way I imagine. I always get a great workout and I manage so many things I never thought I would. And yet.

I expected more. I don’t even know why I expected more. I still expect more which is even dumber. But I go each day and am disappointed in myself. I really should stop that. I wish I knew how.

18920650_787740734736626_6055898093795085774_n

I am so conflicted. There is an opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and it is making me so uncomfortable I can hardly stand it. Tempting me. Scaring me. I could embarrass myself. I could strut my stuff, so to speak. I could publicly fail. I could triumph. I am, as I said, so conflicted.

I have been doing CrossFit for almost two years. Well. One year and ten months – ish. I can still do nothing as written. Everything has to be scaled for me because I still suck at this even after all this time. I’m a special case. I need things catered to me. I can’t do what the athletes do. Everything has to be pared down so the old fart can manage somehow to get through it.

CrossFit is scalable. It is built so that everyone can manage the workouts. That’s the idea behind it. Fail your way to success. Get incrementally better until you are the best you can be and it is awesome.

While I can’t do anything as written, I can do everything in some fashion or another and I keep going back to try again. Over and over and I can see vast improvements between two years ago and today. I have weights on my weights for most of the lifting stuff. I do much better on all the body weight moves.

I have muscles and have met my goals from joining. I’ve lost the fifteen pounds and totally reshaped myself into a not-old-lady body. I can open my own jars.

There is a chance to go to a public place and workout in a public venue and show people that CrossFit is for everybody and fun and we can all do this.

I’m sorta the poster child for this.

Except I can’t really do it.

But that’s the point. I can’t. But I do.

I’m unsure if I’m a selling point or a detriment. I don’t know if I want to be the worst at this in a public place. I don’t want to embarrass either myself or my friends. I don’t know if it is a good thing that I fail so miserably or not. It is so scary.

I can’t decide whether or not I should go or if I should stick to my normal plan, workout early in the morning and probably by myself. Safe. Unencumbered by expectations. Knowing it is scaled but it is the best I can do. Knowing it is much more than I could do when I started.

But maybe I should dare.

Expect more of myself. Let others see that this is possible even for the crappy people who can’t do shit and just show up and keep trying. That each baby step is closer to some goal, some future that isn’t full of asking someone else to open your jars. That it is full of small accomplishments and minor victories.

It is simply frightening. I don’t know how brave I can be.

095a135dcb882ad07d9c1470faa9d525

I’m supposed to have goals and expectations for the Whole Life Challenge. I should write them down and see what happens. I’m also supposed to take before and after pictures. I will share my goals and expectations, but those pictures – probably never.

I don’t think they realize that old coots don’t do anything quickly and I can’t see much hope of a lot changing in just eight weeks. I’ve been at CrossFit for just over a year now and see some changes, but those aren’t huge, fantastic changes. Having said that, I will try to keep my goals and expectations in line with my age and experience.

Goals:

  1. I will survive this challenge and maintain a high performance level throughout the entire eight weeks. My goal here is to not quit in a pique of disgust.
  2. I will be able to run 400 meters without running out of heart rate, legs, or breath – all of which fail me now and again.
  3. I will top my original score and break the 200 mark for my workout score. That is so minimal it is laughable, but I’m not sure what else to say. I would like to break 225, but I’m not sure if that is a reasonable goal. I will be shooting for this number.

While typing these out, I weenied and had things like “hope to” or “want to” in there but those aren’t goals, those are dreams. I need something more forceful. And so I changed the words to “will” and perhaps with this written commitment, I will be better at achieving my goals.

Expectations:

  1. More gray hair. I’m nothing if not a person who goes for the humor in life. This is hard. It is harder than I had thought it would be, but it is not so hard that it is impossible to do. I am stressing far more than I need to, but I voluntarily chose this path with the knowledge that it would be difficult. I am outside my comfort zone – by a mile or 1,600 meters if you prefer. (I like gray hair, so it’s okay.)
  2. Lose those last 5-7 pounds. I’m not certain what my low weight goal actually is. I promised myself I would never weight over 130 pounds. I do. I would like to be 125, which is a seven pound loss. But I would be thrilled to actually just be at 129.8. I think I need more wiggle room than that, however, and so I’m shooting for a bit lower.
  3. Learn to make healthier food choices and even more importantly – like them. I have been telling myself for at least a year now that I don’t eat that much starch. HA! In the last two days I have been strolling through the kitchen looking for something to eat that I could like but wasn’t on my no-no lists. I don’t need to be gluten free, but I probably should be much more mindful of my glycemic index and the foods that would make that climb.

Now that I’ve written these down, they will haunt me and make me work more diligently towards achieving these ends. I’m a fairly literal person and saying out loud what my dreams contain will give me a better chance of catching them.

dream-catcher-vector-555501