The State of My Arms…

When I first started CrossFit, I would get bicep tendonitis.

I’d back off, and it would go away.

The last six months I’ve had perpetual uncomfortableness in my arms, meaning one or the other feels off (usually my right arm).

In the last 6 months, all of my PR’s have increased.  Dramatically.  I’m lifting heavier and heavier weights.  Doing more pull-ups and bar muscle ups.  Overall, training and lifting at a more competitive level.

I’m wondering if my arm pain is just normal for this stage in my weight lifting career. Like growing pains with kids.  My muscles are growing and adapting and healing in a perpetual cycle.  With the normal muscle soreness and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Or is it something more?

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It’s so hard to tell with soft tissue.

All I know is it’s something I’m aware of.  I manage it.  I back off when I need to.  Take a week off when I need to.  Scale when needed.

I’m seeing a massage therapist.  And a muscle activation specialist.

There’s only so much one can do.

And I feel like I’m doing everything humanly possible while still maintaining my training regimen.  Other thoughts?

The Perpetual, Horrendous Condition of CrossFit Hands…

I ripped again on Saturday.

I did GI Jane (100 burpee pull-ups) and was wearing brand-new grips.  Not a good idea.

I was showing my sister-in-law my hands later that day, and for the first time in a long time I really looked at my hands.

I have callouses under every finger.  I have callouses on my fingers.shutterstock_10911802

Where I’ve ripped previously on my palms the skin is a different shade of pink.

My thumbs are discolored I presume from the constant turning over of the bar due to Olympic lifts.

I have an interesting curve mark in-between my thumb and first finger on my palm that I presume is from the bar as well.

My hands definitely wouldn’t win any beauty contests.

She thought they were gross.

To me, it’s something I don’t even think about.  It’s a part of CrossFit I’ve accepted like bruises and soreness.

Later, I wondered if this is one of the reasons there are more men than women who do CrossFit.

I know of one woman who quit doing CrossFit because she doesn’t like the look of her body (all muscular).

Women care more about these things.

Men like soft hands I think.  And with CrossFit they are far from soft.  The exact opposite.

What are your thoughts?  Ladies?  Do you like the look of your body from CrossFit? What about your hands?  Is that a concern?

This Thing Called ‘Push’

In the depths

Of the dark

When all sleep

I make my mark.early_morning_motivational_sticker-r28fa9eb8c2aa44a9998a8363238f0684_v9i40_8byvr_324

Silence clings

Like a diamond ring

Sparkle and shine

All within.

Determination…

Just you and the bar

Concentration…

“Wow, I’ve come far.”

Rack and crash

Sweat rolls…

Each rep moves you

Closer to your goals.

“You working out?”

Puzzled, I reply, “What’s that?”

“I train,” I say.

A simple fact.

Dedication and persistence

Soreness, tape, and aches

Characteristics and symptoms

Attached to your wake.

The Sun rises

Shimmers crease the sky

You’re still going strong

And beating the guys.

The question is:

Who wants it more?

Believe in yourself

There’s power in the roar!

WOD is done

“God, am I blessed?”

Tomorrow comes

Another test.

For what it’s worth

My sincere advice:

Single-mindedness

That’s the price.

 

When you Take Training Seriously, Amazing Things Happen

Yesterday, we did Grace, which is a girl workout in CrossFit of 30 clean and jerks.

I’m just coming off of a forced rest due to injury so I didn’t want to push my arm/shoulder too much.  So I decide to just do 105 lbs on the bar when the RX (or prescribed weight) is 135 lbs.

I do this in 6 min and 10 seconds.

Not bad, I think.  Could have been faster.  Could have gone heavier too.

I go to log my time and notice the last time I did Grace was May 22nd and I only did it at 88 lbs.  That triggers the memory of doing it and I remember I thought that was heavy and my shoulders were trashed all weekend from doing it.

So, in less than 3 months, I upped my weight by 17 lbs.  And I still had some in the tank!

“I’ve come a long way,” I tell my coach at the end.

“You sure have!” he agrees.

All because I started training.

Other notables:

I’ve beaten the boys several times–the number of times has increased dramatically in the last two weeks.

I usually beat all the girls in my box.  Not always.  Depends on the workout.

All my lifts have reached PR’s.

I can do 50 unbroken double unders almost every time I grab a rope.

I have a bar muscle up.

My hspu’s are consistent.

My form on butterfly pull-ups has improved, and I can now string multiples together regularly.  Same with toes-to-bar.

These are just some of the things that pop to mind.

Don’t get me wrong:  I still have work to do.

Bar muscle up work.  I want to have better form and string multiples together.

Chest to bar pull-ups.  All I can do is strict.  Kipping these are challenging and I really want to be able to butterfly them.

Toes to bar needs more work for stamina.

Always working double unders and hspu’s.5d0210cd1439540456042513589d7ee0-reaching-goals-quotes-church-quotes

These areas are my goals for the next few months or so.

I’m reading self-help books about how to reach your financial goals and the principles in there apply to strength training.  Stick to it.  Small steps.  Believe in yourself.  And you will reach your dreams.

 

 

Just Me and the Box…

happiness-facebook-cover-4Recently, I got asked to coach a few Saturday classes at my box.  Well, with that position, I got a key.

I used that key for the first time today.

The drive from my house is 3 minutes.  In those 3 minutes, my time was magical.  The darkness clung to me like a diamond ring.  It was so amazing.

I arrived at 4:40 am before my 5:30 am class.

It was so quiet.  So serene.  So real.

It was just me and the box and the barbell.

And it was magic.

I deadlifted.  I listened to my music.  I did my own thing.  With no one around to watch. To judge.  To witness.

It was me against myself.

Perfect.

I stretched.  I tested out my bicep/shoulder, which has been injured all week.  I soaked in the solace.  The elation.  Of being back into it after a forced break of 6 days.

Happiness defined.

Nothing in Life Worth Doing is Easy

Last night, I had a Bar Muscle Up call (the course I’m taking through Ben Dziwulski at http://www.wodprep.com) and this saying came to mind.

Everything in CrossFit (and Olympic lifting for that matter) is practice.  EVERYTHING.

It took me a year and a half to finally have confidence in my double unders ie. not messing them up all the time.  I practiced for 6 months every day in the beginning.

Bar muscle ups.  I finally got them.  They are ugly and sloppy.  But now every time I jump up I get one.  I’ve practiced this on and off for 9 months.  Now, I’m focusing on perfecting my form through this class.

Snatches.  I used to get so frustrated cause I could never break past 85 lbs.  But I never gave up.  Never.  I’m up to 105 and 95 is now fairly easy for me.  Practice.

Running.  For some reason, most CrossFitters dread this move.  Not me.  It’s one of my favorites.  But I’ve had to train it.  Hard.Climber standing on a mountain summit

Rowing.  It’s one of my least favorite moves, but I’m improved.  Cause I keep at it.

Same with rope climbs, pull ups, toes to bar, chest to bar, cleans, deadlifts, squats, push ups, etc.  It’s all practice and time and training.

Which is what I’ve learned this year through my strength book.

Quick tip:  QUIT WORKING OUT.

If you’re mindlessly showing up to your box and doing whatever they tell you, you need to stop.  Unless that’s all you want–a workout.

You’ll improve.  To a point.  But if you want to excel, you have to train.

That means finding a strength program with specific goals in mind.  Training all the moves.  Doing it every week.  Along with the programming.  I work out at home before I go the box.  I work out when I don’t go to the box.  I follow my program.  Period.

Sure, life happens (like my arm).  But you keep moving.  Keep training.  Keep progressing towards your goals.

Cause guess what?  The Games are over.  Now it’s serious training time for the Open.

And I don’t know about you, but I want to kill it this year.  I did good last year.  But I want to kill it.  I’ll be twice as strong.  Twice as fast.  Twice as prepared.  I’m getting older.  I want to hit CrossFit hard while I still can.

Nothing in life worth doing is easy.  And CrossFit ranks right up there.  I can’t tell you the number of people who come and go out of my box.  It’s definitely someone special who never gives up.  Who comes despite the soreness and the tiredness and when they are burnt out.

And the rewards?  Incalculable.

Itching to Get Back to the Box…

I got cleared yesterday by my muscle activation specialist to go back to lifting.

But I’m gonna wait a few more days.

Cause if it’s one thing I’ve learned it’s if you push an injury too soon you end up paying the price with a much longer recovery period.

So…

The key is distraction.

I’m heading to the pool this morning (so I don’t think about the box) and then tomorrow is a squatting day and I’ve come up with my own WOD, which is full of benchmarks, to do from home.

Another key is staying active.

Don’t sit around, pining for what you can’t do.  Do something!  Anything!  My lower body is fine.  I’m using it while my upper body takes a break.  Running a lot.  Practicing double unders a lot.

Keep your mind busy and time will pass.  Listen to your body.  Let it do its thing. Appreciate the down time. And when you come back, be smart about it.  Avoid movements that might exacerbate your injury.  For me, that’s gonna be kipping, butterflies, and muscle ups for now.  Until I feel I’m ready…

Still…

Nothing about an injury is easy.

Work arounds flat out suck.

Staying away sucks (I have to stay away or I’ll be tempted to do something I shouldn’t!)

I miss my friends.  I miss the competition.  I miss it all.

Blah!