I'm writing this from the Gerald R. Ford* Airport in Grant Rapids, Michigan. I just got into Michigan and I won't be back until Tuesday. I also just had family visiting in Oregon, which was awesome. This also means I haven't been to Crossfit very much lately. And I've been eating all cruddy. I'm doing the things I need to be doing, but this is one of those times when I really wish there was an extra hour or two in the day. I like routine. I need routine. This is why Crossfit works for me.

I have worked out. Last Friday we went to Crater Lake and hiked down to the lake. It's only a mile, but it's a hell of a mile. When it was time to walk up, my sister knew my nephews would go slow. I said I needed to go fast. I finished about 10 minutes before they did (but who's keeping track?) Here's my view on the very first leg:

My nephew was very impressed with my speed going up the hill.

I miss Crossfit when I'm not there. I went on  Tuesday because it sounded like fun. We did a bunch of tests. I imagine we might do these again at some point. I had two big achievements. First, I did 4 dead hang pull-ups with the tan (or purple) band. This is the band you use when you almost don't need a band anymore. I almost did a real one after, but I didn't have it in me. I also ran a mile in 8:36. I'm pretty sure this is my best mile time. It felt good. I mean, it was hot as hell outside, but I managed. I need to get used to that kind of pace.

I'm planning on running a little the next few days, and running a lot in August. Right now, in order to really improve my physical strength and well-being, I need a serious nap.

*If Gerald Ford was from my city, I really wouldn't brag about it.


Music to Crossfit To

If you walk into a Crossfit box or watch any Crossfit video, you're bound to hear some terrible music. I'm not sure if it's supposed to make us work harder or make us angry or what, but I'm over it. I do like Tool, who often come up in the mix. I can stand Rage Against the Machine if I'm doing pull-ups. But I'm really getting tired of all this new hard rock daddy-doesn't-love-me crap we have to listen to during the WODs. I guess the real motivation would be to finish the WOD faster so I can go outside and not listen to it anymore. Lately, it seems like our box is moving more towards the Beastie Boys and away from whoever's playing the Warped Tour this year, which is a move in the right direction.

My preferences for workout music differ from what's typically played in the box.  Once in a while I'll speak up and advocate for Guns 'n Roses or Jane's Addiction, but it never lasts long. I used to take this Body Combat class at a globo gym and we would punch and kick to Christina Aguilera and Pink. Good stuff.

Maybe that's why I "like" running so much. I can listen to whatever I want. I set my playlists for the approximate time I want to finish that distance, so my 5K lists run from 27-30 minutes. This is the one I've listened to the most:

In a Big Country - Big Country
Love is a Battlefield - Pat Benetar
Filthy Gorgeous - Scissor Sisters
Supersonic - Oasis
Rebel Yell - Billy Idol
Live Your Life - TI
Palace of the Brine - Pixies

It's a little random but it works for me. I usually feel like singing out loud when Filthy/Gorgeous comes on, and I know that I should be near Target when the Pixies start. 

I made a mistake when I put together my latest one and made it a little too long, so when I was running a 5K in May, I thought I was getting a PR, then realized I was about 30 seconds too slow.

What You Waiting For? - Gwen Stefani
Take On Me - A-ha
Barracuda - Heart
God is a DJ - Faithless
Hella Good - No Doubt
When Love Takes Over - David Guetta
Closer - Ne-yo

So I just took Hella Good out, since I already have Gwen Stefani on there. I like having a longer dance song in the middle because I know I'll be about a mile further by the end of it. God is a DJ is perfect because it's 8 minutes long and it varies enough withing the song to keep it interesting. I also like hearing, "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts" while I'm running. It makes sense to me.

So I'm not even sure what I'm doing tonight. I might be running or I might be doing Fight Gone Bad. If it's the latter, I'm sure we'll be listening to some terrible music while wall balls hit me in the face. If it's the former, it's up to me to decide how to get through it.


Oprah Knows Best

I just watched a very special Oprah. She had the author of a book I haven't read, "Women Food and God." 

Yeah, I'll probably order it or put my name on the waiting list at the library or something. I was thinking about my eating habits this weekend. I think I eat like a dog. No, not Beneful. A dog's instinct is to eat what's in front of them because in the wild, they might not know when they'll eat again. I know in my head that I don't have to eat everything in the house. But sometimes I do. And I know I'm sabotaging everything I work for. But I still do it. I'm the same way with money too, but that's for a different blog, a different time.

So Oprah and her writer buddy talked about this book and the audience had read the book and they had their sob stories and their questions. It comes back to mindfulness and recognizing what hunger feels like and capturing that moment when you want something and recognizing that moment and seeing the spirituality in it. Or something like that. But Oprah did say something that applies to what we do in Crossfit:

"The guidelines mean nothing unless you're willing to do the work."

For me it's stress and boredom. And it's about wanting to feel a different feeling. I don't want to be bored. I'll have some chocolate. Stress sucks and I can't get out of it, so I might as well eat something and give myself something else to do. This isn't how I want to be. And it could be a fear of failure and a whole lot of other things. There's a lot in my head that I'm not putting down here, but trust me. I can do better, but it will take a lot of relearning. 

I put the work into Crossfit. I go like 5 times a week, even when I don't feel like it. Maybe I need some friends or something. But if I can put the same work into Crossfit as I put into eating, a year from now I'll be the person I know I can be.

Oh Oprah, you're so wise.


Lessons Learned

Lately I've been thinking about how to apply the mental toughness we learn in Crossfit to everyday life. Our coach has even been posting about it on our website (even though I've been thinking about it before he brought it up). 

Many times in Crossfit, I want to stop. Even right when we start the WOD, I want to stop. But I keep going. I always keep going. I know I can make it to a point where I'll be proud of myself and happy with my outcome. It's not easy. My body hurts. I almost started crying during a workout last week that involved doing rounds of 10 deadlifts because I thought the weight I was using was too heavy - but I finished. I'll feel like I'm slower than everyone else. I'll feel like I just can't do what I'm supposed to do. There are many situations in my life when I feel the same way.

The difference is that in Crossfit, the pain only lasts so long. Maybe you'll need a longer than usual recovery time - a few days at the most (or a week if you do Angie). You'll get through that mental block, finish the WOD, and move on with your life. In life, when you move through the discomfort of work or relationships or family or anything and you make a big decision, you take a risk, that decision can have lifelong implications. 

One of these lessons that we learn in Crossfit is that if you work really hard, you will see results. I know this. It takes discipline. It's not easy. I changed my eating habits last year. I became addicted to showing up to this place and working out with these people. I know that if I want real change in my life, I need to commit. I need discipline. I need to write every day and I need to take risks. It's a lot to take on, but I might be ready now. If I could apply the same discipline to my writing as I apply to Crossfit, ...that thought is beyond my imagination right now. I just need to make it happen.