evolve: verb // to develop gradually from a simple to a more complex form.
I just submitted my score for 16.1.
I got 225 reps which is good enough for 143rd place in Southern California.
7 months after having surgery for a complete ACL tear and a meniscus tear I managed to do 160 overhead walking lunge steps in a workout.
Those closest to me have been nothing but proud and supportive….everyone else? Maybe not as much.
The common question that is asked ALL OPEN LONG is “how’d you do?”. Random strangers, people you barely know want to know what you got. When you are known for being an athlete in this sport that makes it to Regionals and has competed in the Games they expect you to say some amazing number every week. So, how long do I have to keep that up for?
Almost every person who has asked me what I got has responded with “REALLY?! Why?! What happened?!” when I tell them my score. It’s then followed up with, “Are you going to redo it?!” or “Don’t worry, you’ll crush the other workouts I bet.”. All of this without me saying whether I was upset about my score or not…
For the past few days I have felt like I need to apologize or explain myself and my score to EVERYONE. I scramble to remind them that I got hurt, to tell them how difficult the lunges are for me, to explain that I had moved, and gone through this or that life situation. WHY AM I EXPLAINING MYSELF?
I also love the “You’ll be back next year” or “You’re going to come back stronger than ever.”. Again, well meaning, and really sweet that people believe in me and love watching me compete. But I ask again – how long do I have to keep this up?
I am an athlete.
I am super competitive and I LOVE training.
I love CrossFit.
But guess what?
I am human. I get busy. I have life challenges. I get injured. I have a job and other responsibilities. And, newsflash – athletes get burnt out too.
I have noticed that often, in CrossFit and other sports, athletes kind of “disappear” when they retire from competing. It can be very emotionally and psychologically difficult to continue to allow your fitness to be public when it’s not at the level that it once was. This is why every year we have well known athletes that just don’t sign up for the Open. Trust me, these people still work out – but they don’t want to deal with what it will feel like or how others will respond if they are no longer performing at the highest level.
For me, this year, I KIND OF have an excuse that I could use with my knee. Now, it’s a legitimate excuse in a lot of regards, but that’s not the whole picture. I have made other things in my life more of a priority and I have made a commitment to get out and start having more fun with my training again.
I train once a day, most days, for about 1.5-2 hours is all. I have been salsa dancing, doing yoga, hitting some bodybuilding stuff because (spoiler alert) that shit is FUN!! And, I don’t feel any pressure to impress everyone when I do that stuff. I am just working out!
This past year has given me such a new perspective and such an amazing opportunity. I can choose to continue the path I have followed for 9 years. I could really focus and get back in the gym for hours every day. I could quit my new amazing position with Progenex so I have more time to train. I could tell my significant other that I can’t spend as much time with him. I could drop the dancing and the yoga and the other activities to get myself back to where I was. I am sure if I did that that I could do better on the first workout of next year’s Open.
I could choose to recognize the amazing place that I am in in my life. I could choose to appreciate the success that I have had over the past 9 years competing in CrossFit and be SATISFIED. I could instead, seize all of these opportunities and create some new and exciting goals. I could learn to LOVE working out again, with no pressure on the outcome. I could inspire people by being a real person and doing my best with my busy schedule and the 33 year old, post broken neck and torn ACL body.
At some point we need to allow ourselves and others to EVOLVE.
My goal for the rest of the Open is to treat this as a psychological and emotional challenge more than a physical one. I strongly considered not posting my score this week. But, I forced myself to – because I need to learn to find the joy again and to not worry what others might say or think. I don’t want to run from that, but allow it to make me stronger.
I am not necessarily retiring or anything like that, but I am no longer a full time athlete – that is for sure.