Another blog I read was discussing setting new Crossfit goals and it got me thinking about my goals. A few months ago, our coaches had us think of 1 week, 1 month, 6 month, and 1 year goals. I don’t remember what my 1 week goal was, but my 1 month goal was a handstand. Around this time I was on my second or third cycle of 5/3/1 and had seen some modest gains in my upper body strength. One day before the WOD I decided to mess around and see if I could do a wall handstand. I wasn’t really sure it was possible, being a bottom heavy kind of gal, but I kicked up and nailed it on my first try. It was a really powerful moment for me, because it was something I wasn’t sure I could ever do.
I know that thought is ridiculous, but I’ve always been an “I can’t” kind of person. I have to actively suppress the voice that says I can’t run, I can’t lift something, I can’t do my job, etc. I think that’s the biggest benefit of setting goals and working toward them – you’re pushing yourself to accomplish something and you will, hopefully, be surprised at your results.
I’ve been going to a Crossfit gym for a little over a year, and in that time I’ve gained considerable strength and endurance, I’ve dropped 2 dress sizes, and gained 5 pounds. I’ve also “cured” or put into remission whatever inflammatory issues I had going on. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2009, with elevated white blood cells, Rheumatoid Factor and c-reactive protein. As of this summer, I have no detectable inflammation in my labs, I’m not in any pain, and I’m not tired all the time. Whole foods and exercise, who knew?
The whole not losing scale weight thing bothers me in a weird, unproductive kind of way. You see stories all over the internet of people who said “I cut soda and started walking and lost 50lbs!” Well shucks, I eat whole foods and work my ass off and I’m still overweight. But it’s stupid to admire and be jealous of on other people’s accomplishments and not recognize my own. I have made them. So what if I’ve still got a little junk in the trunk? Besides, focusing on fitness is 100% more fun and productive than focusing on the scale. If I train hard, and eat well, my body will do what it needs to do to help me achieve my fitness goals. All of the improvements in my health and wellness over the last year mean that my body is ready and able to be challenged. So let’s do it!
First Goal: Strict Pull Up
Deadline: October 20th (my 28th birthday)
My 6 month goals was a legit, strict pull up. I’m about halfway there: meaning, I can get about half way up to the bar from a dead hang. I can kip to get my chin over the bar once, which is good, but doesn’t count (and is probably putting considerable stress on my shoulders).
My plan: 3 sets of 5 negatives every day, unassisted. Overhead press and bench press 1x a week following the 5/3/1 protocol (or substitute upper body strength during WOD if applicable)
I have one of those door frame pull up bars in my basement. I can crank out a few sets before I hop in the shower or when I’m waiting for the iron to heat up. Scott switched to Starting Strength from 5/3/1 but I can do these unassisted. If there’s a WOD at the gym that includes some upper body strength work then I just won’t lift that week.
Second Goal: 10 Minute Mile
Deadline: July 1, 2013
I have tried to run for years, but have never consistently kept up with it. But lately, *something* has clicked or changed or whatever, and I’m able to run faster, farther, and longer than I used to. Right now I can run/walk a mile in about 13 minutes. My breathing and rhythm have improved, and I think the barefoot-style shoes I wear really make a difference (Merrell Trails). Plus, finally getting into physical therapy for my back and hip issues have made a big difference in my form.
Anyway, this is a long term goal. I want to get better at running, and the only way to do that is with time and consistency.
My Plan: I’m going to keep up with C25K at least two times a week. I might even re-up my Planet Fitness membership so I can rent a treadmill for $10/month.
That’s it for my concrete goals. Everything else I want is to do what I can already do but stronger, faster, and harder. I want to deadlift 300# and squat 200# and press 100#, beat my Grace time and break 200 in Fight Gone Bad. All these require consistency, training, good diet, and getting my ass to the gym. All I need to do is let go of the “i can’t” and remember that “I am.”