Away We Go


It’s one week into 2014. I am mentally cuing myself to keep challenging myself, to keep on experimenting. So far, in the CrossFit world, I’ve made my $#!& list of weaknesses to tackle, and wow, there is a long ahead of me. Add overhead squat, snatch, and clean & jerk technique to the list, and we are set (for now).

My biggest priorities are pull-ups, strict press, wall balls, and double-unders. These are all foundational skills that elude me. And I hate them because it reminds me that I’m making up for over two decades of babying myself physically along with battling my perceived neurological and spatial problems. I can’t wrap my head around double-unders yet. I am trying, albeit not enough days of the week. I attempted some tonight, and I got a few in between single skips, but not enough to feel accomplished.

That said, I noticed my form in the jump is better during my double-unders. I don’t have to tuck jump in the single-double combos. And a year ago, I didn’t have a double-under at all. This is a skill that I would love to murder in the face (figuratively), but it will take dedication.

I’m also trying to dial my diet in a bit more. I got kind of fluffy again over the holidays, and I’m ready to make myself look like I actually do, in fact, get humbled four to five times a week by the CrossFit monster. It’s very hard to say no to treats while working, but I’m getting better. And my at-home meals are wholesome and tasty, and hopefully they will become more creative. I found Karam’s Garlic Sauce to be incredibly helpful–and it’s paleo-friendly (although I am some kind of off-brand shade of paleo, if we are to be honest here).

A fire has been lit under my rear end. I am legitimately engrossed in this sport, although I am not on track to ever be fierce competition. My competition has always been with myself, though, and I’m showing old Ardith that she is capable of so much more than she thought.

Even when I’m frustrated with lack of progress in some skills, there are many places I’ve made gains. This year, I’ve already set new milestones. I back squatted 160lbs. in a 3×5 set; 160lbs. was my one-rep max in June 2013. Tonight, I closed out a 5×2 deadlift session at 205lbs; that is 5lbs. more than my old 1RM, and I lifted it twice with a decent amount of ease. My toes-to-bar are getting slightly higher, and they were much more consistent than in the past. And I have my frog stands, in the world of weird skills we don’t use that frequently.

Obviously, this sport or activity or whatever has become a huge part of my life. This is part of the evolution of strength. I didn’t get here because I’m a natural athlete; I got here because strength also stems from what Coach K calls mental fortitude. I can be defeatist and tell myself I’ll never get better when I hit a road block. Or, I can attack my weaknesses head on, train to not give up, and drive myself to push it every day–even if my “heavy” doesn’t attract the oohs and aahs of the whole community.

I’m competing with me, and all I want to do is win. The better Ardith is pulling further ahead each day.

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