Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Great Stress Reliever- CrossFit!

Over the years many aspiring homeschool moms have asked, "How do you do it?  You're with  your kids all the time?"  Yes, the truth is I am with my kids most of the waking hours of the day.  Fortunately, I'm crazy about them and we have a lot of fun together.  More importantly, I discovered early on in our homeschool endeavor I need to have a regular stress reliever.  One regular stress reliever is routine exercise. 

For years I've been a runner/jogger.  I don't think my running speed qualifies me as a "runner", but like the energizer bunny, or perhaps the tortoise, I'm slow and steady.  Physical therapists tell me my body is not designed to have great running ability, but I love the freedom I feel and the sense of accomplishment it gives.  One year after our oldest was born, I completed a marathon (26.2 miles).  I trained with Team in Training for six months.  Most of my runs were pushing a jogger hoping my baby would be entertained by the motion and scenery.  After the six months of training, I completed the marathon in Alaska.  It was a dream come true!  At the end of the 26.2 miles the muscles that hurt the worst were in my face from smiling so hard. 

I've continued to run over the years since the marathon, but this past year I decided to mix up my workouts.  I've tried adding biking and strength training over the years, but needed something that was more consistent, organized and challenging.  A couple friends joined CrossFit gyms and the strenuous exercise intrigued me.  Additionally, any given CrossFit workout is between ten minutes and about forty minutes which fit in my limited time schedule.

I admit I was a bit intimidated by CrossFit.  Many people who frequent our gym are elite athletes.  They are police officers, fire fighters, and former military personnel.  They are stronger than I ever dreamed.  At one CrossFit gathering Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, asked me if I had a question for him.  The previous questions that night were from some of the elite athletes I mentioned.  They were questions about training, the future of Crossfit, etc.  When he put me on the spot, my response was, "What does CrossFit look like for the average mom?"  Truth is,  I'm not the 20-something training for the next CrossFit game.  I'm just the average mom, looking for a great workout, wanting to be healthy and active.  He then praised the moms who frequent the gym and reassured me there is a place for moms in CrossFit.

I've been at a local CrossFit gym since August of 2010.  I love setting goals and trying to achieve them.  Many weeks and months go by without any apparent improvement, but this week was different!

This week I was able to do a couple CrossFit exercises that up until now were impossible.  One exercise is called Toes to Bar.  If you can't do Toes to Bar, you try for Knees to Elbows.  I've been on a variation of Knees to Elbows for months.  Here's a video of my friend doing toes to bar, knees to elbows, and pull-ups on a blue band.

This week surprisingly, I did the Toes to Bar.  One of our trainers suggested I look up or back to get my body momentum going in that upward direction.  The tip paid off.  I was able to swing my toes up to the bar!  Granted, I did not move as fluidly as the gal in this video, and I grunted quite a bit more, but I was able to do it.  It felt GREAT!

Two more firsts happened for me this week too.  One was doing pull-ups with the blue band.  Up until now I was on the green band.  This week I was able to do 42 pull-ups with the blue band.  Here I am on the blue band.  Maybe one day it'll be no band!

Lastly, the next big accomplishment I had was doing the tire flip.  I'm told it was about 250 pounds.  In order to flip it over you have to get a bit under it and then flip it over.  It felt good!

Some days, I just work out because I know it clears my head.  This week I really felt like it did more than just clear my head.  It gave me confidence and a renewed sense of accomplishment.  I felt healthier, stronger and happier.  Doing these little things makes me strive to do more.  Life is Good!

1 comment:

MaryAnn said...

I loved this :D