People who know me know 2 things, that I like to do things way outside my comfort zone and I like to make plans (usually about doing things outside my comfort zone). I learned a long time ago that I need to make SMART goals and part of that is giving myself time to plan, think, overthink and train for whatever my goal is.
On February 22nd, I did something totally out of character, I registered for the CrossFit Open. I had not planned on doing it, this was a spur of the moment decision, heck, I don't even do CrossFit, but something that day whispered to me to give it a go and...I did.
One of the things I struggle with is Perfectionism, if I have the perfect training plan and hit 100% of my workout and do everything perfectly my race will be perfect and I will achieve my goal. Well, this has never happened, juggling 2 businesses, family and friends and other activities means I rarely hit 100% of the workouts on my training plan and then I feel like a failure. Perfectionism demands 100%, anything else is failure, there is no middle ground. Perfectionism companion is Shame and it’s voice lives in my head when I am not perfect.
For the last few years, my business has demanded a lot more attention and rightly so, I have given it priority. As a result, my training has been inconsistent and my race results less than stellar. It was really starting to mess with my head and then Shame would chirp in, see you are not good enough, who do you think you are fooling and the zinger...you are fat and not athletic and you are making a fool of yourself.
So why would I set myself up to fail and open myself up to this mental shaming?
I started doing strength training to help my athletics when I turned 50 and for the last year I have been doing CrossFit style workouts (WODs) as a way of keeping my training from becoming boring. I cannot do many of the moves and I am limited to the equipment we (my trainer and I) have but we make it work. I discovered CrossFit in 2017 when NetFlix recommended “Fittest on Earth” and I could not believe that people did this as a sport. These athletes are superhuman! If you have not watched them ( there are 2 or 3 on Netflix) check them out.
The CrossFit Open is a 5 week event that is open to everyone around the world. The workouts get posted Thursday night and you have until Monday to post your best score for that workout. The workouts have scaled versions for us mere mortals and differences for each age group as well. I knew going in that I had never done many of the skills required and that I would be struggling every week but I knew I wanted to do it.
Two weeks in and as expected, I am doing some of the skills for the first time, like wall ball throws which I caught with my face the first time, and it is really hard to finish even the basic workout. I am also having a blast! Each week I am so happy that I managed to do even a fraction of the workout and accomplished something I had never done before. Yes, for a nanosecond I might think, well that sucked but then I remember that this is all new to me and I did it.
In my journey of learning that I am perfectly imperfect, this was an important stepping stone and I am once again glad I had the courage to listen to the tiny whisper that said...just try.