A in real life friend who also reads this blog *Waves* asked if I shouldn’t just post the upbeat crossfit stuff.
I totally understand where she’s coming from. We like to read stories where someone makes a commitment or sets a goal and gradually gets closer and closer till they nail it.
Which sometimes happens, but not always. More often then not I would guess it’s not that simple. The trip from where we are to where we want to be isn’t always linear. There are bumps in the road, detours even dead ends. The key to success isn’t a smooth road it’s being able to find a new route when needed.
So I’m recording this experience as honestly as I can. During this year there will be struggles but I will do my best to surmount them.
Forgive the down posts, they aren’t the story just bumps in the road.
I am in so much pain right now it’s just ridiculous. Every single joint is on fire, I don’t mean uncomfortable I mean I could weep pain. I know it will pass and in that way I’m lucky, some people are in chronic pain all the time. But when I’m in pain, exhausted and every little thing is struggle. Everything I would normally enjoy becomes a hellish task to simply endure until I can once again lie down. It becomes hard to not be despondent. This could last another week, two weeks, the longest a flare latest was 4 months. During that time I had no choice but to continue teaching, looking after the kids etc with every responsibility punctuated by bed rest. I plastered make up to disguise the look of exhaustion on and grinned broadly and didn’t mention being ill or in pain to anyone outside the house. The reality is people don’t actually want to know, they especially don’t want to know a yoga teacher can have a chronic illness. Even if that illness has no doubt made them a better teacher. I can’t imagine how immobile I would be with this going on if I didn’t practice yoga. Yes I practice when ill but gently, when well I amp it up. Either way it benefits me.
I’m definitely a little depressed, it’s not a huge suprise after this past year. Seeing my daughter go through cancer and the necessary treatment was heartbreaking. I’ve been successfully keeping it at bay with crossfit and staying busy generally. This is not the first time I’ve been depressed and I discovered years ago that for me the key was to stay busy and carry on as normal, even if it was just going through the motions. Eventually life began to feel normal again. It’s also the distraction being busy provides. I’m best when not thinking deeply. Of course this cold has meant I’m not busy other than things I have to do. I’m not well enough to workout so no endorphins. I’m not distracted and I am thinking. About everything, from the risks posed to my boys if my daughters cancer was genetic. If she has any risk of further cancers. Life just hurts right now and at times I feel very alone.
I’ve practiced yoga for around 20 years. At one point Ashtanga yoga, till I tore the ligaments in my right wrist (not during yoga) and without jump backs Ashtanga wasn’t as fun. I practiced power yoga and yin after that. Then early this year when I discovered my daughter had cancer I fell out with yoga all together. I fell out with everything I enjoyed actually. It was as if finding pleasure in anything when she was facing what she was seemed vacuous, selfish and inane. Essentially I fell into a depression. She is safe now and life is returning to normal I am returning to normal I need to rebuild a practice.
I have been holding yoga asana in a sort of yin practice in the evening but with the TV on, Family around etc. Not yoga really, more stretching if we are going to be honest.
Anyway something interesting has happened since starting crossfit though, my unhealable wrist has started to heal. After nearly 8 years.
As a result tomorrow I plan on starting Ashtanga again, just some standing positions focusing on breath and dristi then slowly adding back in one by one. I don’t want to add to any fatigue. Of course I will still need static stretches after crossfit.
There is definitely something weirdly empowering about using weights. Particulary I find moves like the bench press. Maybe it’s all the years of watching films where guys bench press huge weights in gyms before beating up the bad guy (I pretty much only watch action, horror or world cinema).
As you may have guessed today was a bench press day, bench press and row. It was a PT session so it was all weights and no manic WOD (yey, yes I know the WODs are good for me). I began the bench press with just the 15kg bar 3 sets of 10 then weight was gradually added continuing at sets of 10. The highest I managed was 30kg (I think, it may have been 27). My heaviest upright row was 30.
What I find interesting is the different effects different workouts have on me while I’m dealing with low energy and quite probably a mild depression. The really cardio heavy ones leave me quite drained for the rest of the day. The weight based ones seem to give me energy for the rest of the day. No actual idea why nor any theory (which for me is unusual).
It’s interesting how we can change quickly. Although I know I have a lot to do to regain my health after a major immune dysfunction in 2015 that left be bedridden for 6 months then my daughter becoming seriously ill with cancer. So I’m a bit broken physically, fairly knackered, a fixer upper even.
But in other ways I’m fucking steel. I was rejected by a friend today, quite an obvious brush off. My instant thought was “seriously dude, after the year I’ve had do you think that’s going to get me” and it didn’t. I went home and laughed about it. When we’ve been to dark places trivia becomes just that, a whole load of pointless shite.
Today’s class was finding out what our 1 rep max on a deadlift is. So after warm ups and Kettlebell swings it was bar and weights. My 1 rep max is a paltry 45 kg. I’m not sure if I’m just weak or if it’s partly exhaustion from the trauma of the past year. I do feel tired at a bone deep level. To be honest I’m close to becoming depressed. I can feel it lurking on the edges all the time. You would think that now I know my daughters scans are clear of cancer at least at the moment I would feel great. It’s not that simple though it seems, I’m still struggling with the fact my 11 year old had cancer in the first place. I feel like my world is utterly unstable. It’s like standing on the edge of an abyss, teetering, not knowing if I’m going to fall.
Anyway back to the class, after the 1 rep max the WOD was :-
400 m row
90 air squats
70 deadlifts – just the bar
50 Kettlebell swings – 10 kg
200 m row
I couldn’t complete the deadlifts I just didn’t have it in me. I’m having 2 days away from the box this weekend. Hopefully I will go back next week at least a little stronger.