My Fitness Journey – Figuring it Out

I love you more than CrossFit.  Well, not really...I love you more than burpees.So I have been documenting my Fitness Journey here on my blog. To get everyone up to speed, you can go back to the beginning and start reading from there to get a better understanding of what is going on, but basically, I was a skinny kid that turned into a fat adult, started doing Boot Camps with gorgeous, amazing and talented wife, kept going when all my life I had quit much sooner, and finally tried out Crossfit at the Machine Shop. Then I started going to Crossfit regularly.

So what is the next step? I basically kept doing Crossfit. I made a bunch of mistakes, like trying to go heavy too fast, or listening to the interwebz as it pertained to movements instead of my awesome coaches, but overall I started to see improvements.

That being said, I wasn’t very good at it.

Frankly, I’m still not.

I was scaling everything and still finishing in the bottom third of men in each class. Also, Crossfit women are effing beast-mode, mmmkay? Crossfit will humble you. Don’t believe me? Come in and get your ass handed to you in a WOD by a woman who seconds before the buzzer goes says something like “I wish I had found this in my fifties.”

So, I cheated for a few months. In Crossfit I have seen it called being a “clock whore.” Your ego gets in the way and you start to take shortcuts. There are a lot of reps that get counted that were not quite there yet, and you might even skip a bunch of reps and move onto the next thing giving the impression that you are going a lot faster than you really are.

Then I decided that no matter what I was going to make sure I did all of the reps and tried to get the movements as close to grade as I could from then on, but I kept my weights really light so that I could still make decent times. So I might have had a decent “Nancy” but I did it at 65-75 lbs instead of the prescribed 95 lbs, or my “Fran” was done with a band, that sort of thing.

But my progress seriously stalled. So I had a long conversation with some of my coaches about what my deficits were, and in the end, most of them could be solved, but it would require a more solid foundation of strength in order to build on them. So, as the months progressed, I decided to let the time clock be damned and start going heavier and heavier during the WODs. Strength started to come, but very slowly. At first I was pretty happy with this as I hadn’t made any kind of performance gains in a while but it was going pretty slowly.

In the end, I started listening to the Barbell Shrugged podcast and they discussed nutrition and performance, a lot. And so, I started reading a lot about it. To be fair, I am still a major novice as it pertains to nutrition but I have learned a lot.

Cigar and ScotchAnd then there were the cigars. Deep, lustrous, beautiful, flavourful, cigars.

I knew they were holding me back, but I didn’t want to quit. I still love them.

But at the beginning of this winter I started the process of quitting cigars and in few weeks started to feel better during and after WODs. And in the New Year, I started to change my nutrition. I made some Paleo-esque changes, with a major focus on upping my fat and protein intake for performance, recovery, and to build strength. It is a work in progress, but if this last testing phase is any indication, it is starting to work. I am hitting PRs in all my lifts, but quite a lot. Even in goats of mine like benchpress.

Further, my body is changing. I had slimmed down and had a little muscle definition earlier in my Crossfit journey, but now I was starting to gain weight. I think I will never have a six pack, but I am starting, little by little, to build muscle, which is cool.

And the best part? I really don’t give a shite about what I look like in the mirror, I am doing all of this so I can perform better. All my goals are oriented to that end.

So, I am creeping up on the strength benchmarks that I set for myself more than a year ago, and am starting to do more and more WODs as prescribed, which for a mid-thirties newbie with some health conditions like me is pretty cool, if I do say so.

And now, I have another motivation for my diet, lifestyle changes, and training.

I have signed up for the Open.


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