The 2016 Crossfit Open is well under way. When I declined to compete during 2015’s Open competition, I fully believed that this would be my year. A lot can happen in a year.
Over this past year, I watched someone that I loved deeply, slowly wither and die. Death and dying can be a nasty ugly bitch. I have been consumed with grief, guilt, and PTSD, and it has been paralyzing.
In the last months leading to my Grandmother’s passing, her care required 24/7 monitoring. I could not leave the house unless I hired someone to stay and care for her. I tried to keep the ladies fitness group going, but I could not find reliable help, and I had to put the group on hiatus.
In anticipation of the awesome workout room in the new house we are building, I have been slowly amassing gym equipment. This allowed me to keep some semblance of fitness during a tough time, and my drive and motivation were still quite strong until just 5 months ago when my Grandmother left this world.
Her leaving was not peaceful. It was not calm. Her last months were filled with anxiety, confusion, and dementia induced difficulties. It wasn’t any easier watching the distant family members show up and grope and grab and lay claim to my precious Grandmother’s belongings.
To say that this event caused dramatic changes in my life would be an understatement. In one day, I not only lost my beloved Grandmother, but my job and what had been my home for the past five years.
The emotional abyss has been consuming. I have been fighting to rise above it all , but just one month ago, I lost my dog. Again, pile on the grief. If I was Rich Froning, I would no doubt be able to utilize this pain and sadness to become even more badass; however, I am a mere mortal, and a middle aged one at that. I have lost fitness. I have lost my motivation. I have become soft.
Sign ups for the 2016 Open came and went. As I could barely muster the motivation to tackle the 2 hour round trip drive to the box for a mere WOD (workout of the day), I chose once again, to wait.
Time takes time and I don’t think that there is one correct formula for when a person will emerge from the shroud of grief. Truthfully, I am not there yet; however, I am seeing glimmers of light through the fog that dominates my days.
Which brings me back to Crossfit, back to my beloved box, and “Fat Jackie”. It is not unusual for me to attempt the WOD’s at home. The 2 hours of driving really sucks. On Thursday, my box put up a 15 minute AMRAP of Jackie. I have been wallowing in self loathing and finally, this was a little nugget to pluck me from the jaws of despair.
I grabbed my barbell… hung the pullup bar in the doorjamb, and got down the rowing machine. In for a penny…. in for a pound. A year ago, I had worked diligently and could go unbroken for the fifty ass breaking thrusters that comprise the middle element of the sweet little triplet also known as Jackie. On Thursday, I had to put the barbell down after a mere ten repetitions. Ugggggh. So, I broke it up… but I did the work, and something subtle happened. I felt better. It is no surprise that I felt better physically, but I also felt better mentally.
I watched the announcement of 16.2 (the second workout of the crossfit open) and made the decision to drive to the box the next day.
Toes to Bar, Double Unders, and Squat Cleans. I can do TTB and DU…. but I cannot yet link them efficiently. I really needed a good workout more than I needed a good score, so I decided to do the scaled version. One wonderful thing about being my age, is that Crossfit HQ gives us a little break in the Open Workouts. Age 55-59, the scaled version called for sit-ups and single unders as well as lighter weights for the cleans.
Imagine my surprise when I made it to the final round. 105 Pound Squat Cleans…. A year ago, I could have easily finished the 7 reps for a score of 430. But, out of shape, weak, and huffing and puffing for all I was worth, I tried and failed 4 times before I finally hit one good rep for a score of 424.
I’m not where I want to be right now, but I think I am back on the right path.