I’m taking a short break posting about my vegan recipe extravaganzas to share that…
I am officially a fitter. Again.
Waaaay back when, after I had my daughter eight years ago, I came to the realization that I was weak. Extremely weak. I could not do a push up to save my life. Heck, I couldn’t really carry my daughter up and down the stairs without feeling like I’d keel over in a pile of atrophied muscles.
So I decided to get strong. Like, really strong.
My husband and I watched a CrossFit documentary about one of the first Games, and after seeing those men and women doing Fran and running up a ridiculously steep hill, I said to myself, “Yup. I’m going to try that.”
So I did.
I went down to the garage, took out the one 12kg kettlebell we owned and attempted to do a modified Fran (KB thruster and jumping pull-ups).
Five minutes later, I pretty much stopped because I thought I was going to die. No joke. I thought my legs were going to disconnect from my hip sockets and I. Was. Going. To. Die.
But, I also secretly kind of liked it.
I liked that I was being challenged. Long distance running and yoga were activities I felt comfortable doing, so I could go for a five mile jaunt or get into full camel without much thought, without much concerted effort.
Fran? Lifting weights? Met cons? Well, that was a different story.
Eventually I ended up going to a local CrossFit box and enjoyed the workouts and group environment, yet I soon realized that I was ill prepared for all of the weightlifting movements and had no real strength base to speak of. So I abandoned the burpees, the box jumps, and the WODs, and focused on weightlifting and powerlifting.
And that was what I did since then. Meet after meet. Platform after platform. Save for when I was pregnant and took a good hiatus from snatching, I was known as “the little Japanese girl that lifts weights”. But running? What was that? Wall balls? Huh? Don’t even get me started on double-udders…
And then, oddly, in the last few months, something clicked. Something changed when I went to Salt Lake City to compete at this past year’s Master’s Nationals for weightlifting. I saw all of the extremely strong and powerful women around me, throwing around my PR weights during their warm-ups, overhead squatting a barbell I couldn’t even heft above my head, and I felt intimidated. Inadequate. And I didn’t like that feeling.
I am such a competitive individual, I knew that seeing these awesome athletes performing at such a high level would eventually lead me to also want to lift those same weights. Being competitive in and of itself not a bad thing, but in my situation, I KNEW being that driven was dangerous. I am a person who needs balance, who needs to not get stuck in doing the same movement, the same sport, the same thing over and over. The ritualistic and repetitive nature of disordered eating almost took my life, and it has taken me years and years to understand how my brain operates and what I need to do to protect myself from falling into a rigid and unhealthy lifestyle.
So as much as I love weightlfting, I also needed a break. I needed to take a step back and ask myself what was REALLY important in my life. So for a good month, I didn’t lift a barbell. In fact, I didn’t even have a desire to touch a 15kg piece of metal. And oddly enough, I didn’t really miss it.
Rather than spending time on the platform, I went to the farmer’s markets with my kids and then made homemade dinners with them using the fresh produce we just bought.
Rather than spending time mobilizing and stretching, I relaxed with my husband on the sofa and watched a barrage of funny movies while eating popcorn and ice cream.
Rather than spending time focusing on how much technique work I needed to do for my snatch, I laid on my bed, read books, and basically just relaxed.
And it was during that time, that I realized I WANTED to be active and fit ,but I also WANTED to be able to spend time with the people I love. I WANTED to be more well rounded, to be able to do bodyweight movements as well as barbell complexes, to be able to run two miles or swim 800m if needed but also deadlift and squat with load. I WANTED to be the most well rounded, complete and balanced version of myself possible.
Hence, my return to CrossFit.
Starting back in the sport after taking a seven year hiatus is tough. I’m not going to lie. I suck at a lot of things (double-unders, I’ll get you one day!!!). But, I’m also a lot better at some movements I could never do before (praise God that I now know how to power clean and snatch).
My health and wellness journey is not linear by any means. God is really stretching me to broaden my horizons, to take the scary step into the unknown, be more balanced in my family, work, and training life, and to put my priorities first. I see how He used my past experiences to mold me and teach me lessons along the way. With this new venture into CrossFit, I’m excited to see what it is He wants to instill in me.
Do you participate in weightlifting or CrossFit? Why did you choose to take part in that particular sport? Comment and share! I’d love to hear from you.