Since many of you completed a retest of baseline yesterday, I thought it was a good time to revisit mine and discuss the lessons I've learned over the years. Prior to my first CrossFit workout experience in May 2009, I had grown up competing in gymnastics, dabbled in diving (until I hit my face on a diving board which resulted in the permanent removal of said board from the community pool...oops), played some soccer and was on the varsity tennis team in high school. I also did my fair share of aerobics in college along with lots of distance running (including 8 marathons....what was I thinking??) after my children were born. Needles to say, I thought I was pretty darn "fit" and was not prepared for the pain I experienced upon trying to walk down the stairs a day after my first WOD.
What I immediately loved about CrossFit was the constant variation in workouts. I was never bored, was constantly learning new movements and skills, and most importantly, was having fun! The community supported me, cheered me on when I succeeded and provided words of encouragement when I felt I had failed. I was challenging myself each and every time I walked into the gym and was proud of accomplishing things I never thought I was capable of doing. The first few years I was setting PR's (personal records) every time I picked up a barbell or raced the clock. I changed my diet, stopped eating pasta and other processed carbs, gained muscle and felt better than ever and, in my mid 30's, was in the best shape of my life. Then, something happened....
My day job took a toll on me, there were stresses in my personal life, I was having trouble sleeping and my workouts started to suffer. I hit a plateau in the gym, and then started to go backwards. I was beyond frustrated. What was once my "third place" was now an added stressor and I was comparing previous PR's to my current performance in the gym and judging myself negatively because I couldn't compete with the "old" me.
This cycle has happened a few times over the past 8+ years and I am learning to appreciate the journey. Life changes, responsibilities change, people change. I now realize that it's silly to compare myself to the "old" me and I need to focus on the best I can do today. If you are new to CrossFit, you will most likely not experience this for years, but if you've been around for a while, you have probably already walked in my shoes.
My original baseline took me 5:45 with band assisted pull-ups. My personal best is 4:18rx. Today was 4:55rx and I've had many times in between. For a moment I was disappointed that my time was almost 40 seconds slower than my PR, but then I remembered that I can now do pull-ups without a band, my rowing technique is better and I can do so many more things than that first day in the gym. Keep things in perspective, work on being the healthiest YOU today, appreciate all of your accomplishments (big or small), be thankful your body can do what it does and take time to enjoy the ride:)