I’ve ignored this blog for a while not because I’m not writing, but because I really couldn’t figure out what I wanted to say here. I have this space and I can use it for whatever I want. I can talk about my obsession with CrossFit and my desperation to not “fail” at the Open. I am not sure how one would actually go about failing the Open, but I was fairly certain I would be that person.

I did not fail, but I think I got a D- or maybe … I did fail. I was in the bottom third of any category I could sort by – worldwide, region, state, my own box. But that speaks to something else. Something I have tried to tell myself over and over about the Masters Garage Games. While I came in last in the world for that, I did get off my fat ass and participate, which is more than most women my age managed. Still, I was last. In the world. That sucked and I desperately didn’t want to do that again.

I didn’t come in last in any listing – worldwide, region, state, or my own box. Part of the reason for that is simply I didn’t quit. I did all five WODs and no matter how scared I was or how much it sucked, I gave it my best shot. Whether or not I thought it was equitable or even fair, I was stuck with it and I complained my way through it.

And I suppose there is some saving grace in that. I did not give up. I wanted to. I was so frightened by the entire prospect of failure, it would have been so much easier to not even have tried. But instead, I did try and I made it through to the other side.

But that part is over and done and there isn’t really anything else to do with the entire mess. I learned some things and I remembered some more things I had learned before. And I struggled and overcame. And now I have to find something else.

I would like to write about uplifting ideas. I have tried several times to write something like that and I almost had to get the insulin out and inject myself. I’m not really a sweet person and when I try, it sounds so damn sugary and sickenly sweet that I just can’t stand it. I get about half a page written and then erase the whole thing.

It’s not that I don’t think we all need to be better people. I do. I don’t care how good you are right this second, we are all pretty much just a bag of disgusting animalistic needs with a thin coating of civilization. It’s that thin coating that makes our lives possible, but it’s all the other stuff that makes it hard. And I don’t really know how to write about that.

There are seven deadly sins and I practice all of them to some degree way too often. My favorite is sloth. I love that sin. I can sit and do nothing worthwhile for damn ever. Love that shit. But, I’m supposed to make my life matter and you can’t do that while playing solitaire or even while scrolling on Facebook. So I have to eschew my love affair with sloth and get something done.

But I’m retired and there isn’t much I have to do. I have given myself the task of writing a daily essay about history and there are days when I find this burdensome to contemplate but fun to actually do. It’s that problem with sloth. I love sloth.

I have been crocheting, but no more scarves. At least not right now. And of course, I color. I love to color while listening to a podcast or glancing up every once in a while as the TV plays in front of me. I’ve been reading some and doing a few crossword puzzles and trying to make healthy meals and running the household crap which must be done. But really, it’s all sloth stuff.

How can I write an inspiring post when all I want to do is settle into my slothful ways and enjoy the ennui of nothingness? It is a conundrum. That’s why I haven’t been posting.

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I have complained bitterly about the restrictions. I have whined copiously about the amount of water. I have obsessed daily about the food. I climbed out of bed one night at 11.30 to do my mobilization crap because I forgot it and I didn’t want to lose the points.

I have watched each and every point, shepherding them into neat piles. I have nine bonus points left over which means I was harder on myself than I needed to be, but I did the beginner level which means I already had lots of wiggle room.

There were 771 people who ended the game with 605 points – or all of them. I was one of those people. Some of them did harder levels and some used no bonus points and some did both. I am in awe of these people. But quite frankly, I’m amazed at myself. Give me points and make it a game and I will be damned if I lose even if it ends up making me healthier, fitter, leaner, and meaner.

My goals were to lose 5-7 pounds and finally not weight more than I said was my top limit. I was never going to weigh more than 130 and for the last several years, I have. I don’t anymore. While this is nice and it is measureable, it is totally unimportant. It is nice to not feel like I let myself down in my old age, but I was a very nice person even when I weighed more than my young self nine months pregnant. I was just fluffier.

Another goal was to be able to run 400 meters. That is a quarter mile. It is nothing compared to the people who run marathons or even super-marathons (something like 50 miles or more). But for me, it was a milestone. It was a measureable marker of something I simply couldn’t do before and I wanted to be able to do. I’ve done it. More than once.

My last goal was to improve my fitness score.

Today’s WOD as written:
As many 25-yard shuttles as possible in 2 minutes
Rest 1 minute
2 minute AMRAP
5 pushups
10 squats
Rest 1 minute
2 minute AMRAP
Sit-ups
Rest 1 minute
As many 25-yard shuttles as possible in 2 minutes

I managed 12 shuttle runs, 3+2 on the pushups and squats, 45 sit-ups, and 9 runs on the pretest. My score was 198. I wanted to break 200 which was going to be easy, I mean two points – anyone could, right? But my dream was to break 225 because that was a cool marker and also because it was the next lowest score on the board. It’s all baby steps.

Today, I got 13 shuttle runs, 4 on the pushups and squats, 52 on the sit-ups, and 11 on the runs. Each shuttle run was worth five points, the rounds of pushups and squats were 15 points each. That gave me a score of 232. I got my points and improved on each section.

I managed to achieve every one of my goals. Pretest was measuring waist and hips and then do that again at the end. I lost 5.5 inches. I have no idea how or why when I didn’t lose that many pounds. I didn’t suck my stomach in to be as skinny as possible either time. My body composition improved by 8%. My fitness improved by 17%. These are remarkable numbers for eight weeks.

I don’t usually diet, hence the years of being over my top weight ever. But I thought I was eating okay, right up until I tried this stunt. It has been incredibly difficult to stay away from the ubiquitous junk, chemical shitstorms, and all around crap food that Americans consider a normal diet and all of that is true even though I almost never hit a fast food joint or go for takeout. I don’t ever eat anything marked “diet” because that always means “chemical shitstorm” and I trust Mother Nature far more than Big Business Chemists.

Cooking healthy meals was difficult and some days downright discouraging. However, it got easier as time went on. It is not the way I normally cook and I wouldn’t want to keep this up indefinitely. However, I fully intend to watch how things go after this is over and if I see my weight, measurements, fitness level, stamina, or drive faltering, I know what to do.

I’ve never thought of wheat or dairy as evil and yet, I’ve not been this robust in decades – since I stopped playing racquetball. I have eaten an inordinate amount of food in the last eight weeks and still lost weight and inches while increasing stamina and fitness. I think I’ve gone through at least 8 pounds of pistachios, 3-4 pounds of almonds, 1.5 pounds of pumpkin seeds (and that is a lot of pumpkin seeds) and God alone knows how much plain yogurt, sticks of butter, virgin olive oil, and other non-diet foods.

I have not had a host of chemicals disguised as food. I haven’t had high fructose corn syrup. I haven’t had box-o-“food”stuff.

Last night for dinner, we ate clean even though there were no points involved. I had my final WOD today and after all this work I didn’t want to blow it. Fish without tartar sauce (I had cocktail sauce I made myself), sautéed mushrooms with asparagus (mushroom enhanced olive oil), and acorn squash (but I used a point and added some brown sugar to it and it was much better – and I kept the cinnamon and so it was delicious).

Tonight it is all over. Everything is done and the final measurements are in and I’m throwing caution to the wind and going Modern instead of Paleo. I’m looking forward to shrimp fettuccini Alfredo. I am making Velvet Fudge Sauce this afternoon for dessert tonight. I might have a bowl of potato chips. I’m celebrating with the junk food I’ve been missing.

Tomorrow, I intend to pull back and do a small recovery day workout, do my mobilization, take my supplement, and mostly eat clean-ish. I’m making Honey Mustard Dressing for my salads for the next few weeks, but I will still have my salads and some fruit for my lunch. I have English muffins in the house to go with my post-WOD eggs and if I see that isn’t working, I will have to devise something else.

I love the strength and power I’ve found hidden under the garbage food and sitting around old self which has had the opportunity to shine through and show me what an old fart is supposed to be like. Someday, I want a picture of me lifting some heavy weight with all the gray hair and wrinkles in evidence and some not-as-old-fart looking at it and thinking, “I could do that” and getting up and moving. I would love to be able to be an inspiration for someone who was me a year ago.

All this is possible only because my son said, “Mom, there is a CrossFit in Summerville. You should check it out.” I did. It has made all the difference.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a son who is as wonderful as mine, who is into health and fitness like mine is, and who would care enough to look stuff up like that.

There may not be a CrossFit near you, but there is something. If you want to be a sassy, fit, lean and mean old fart – go there. And eat clean because it absolutely fucking helps. Who knew?

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