Positive Polly

A few days ago, one of my friends tagged me in a “five days of positivity” challenge. I figure I’ll go ahead and post my daily pluses here (when I remember), seeing that I’ve been inconsistent these past few months with blogging.

Day One

1. I’m excited about the progress I’ve made in CrossFit. Two years ago, I walked into CrossFit HEL and got my butt handed to me. I could barely run around the block, lifting a 22lb. bar was nearly impossible, and all the skills and lingo were foreign to me. This summer, I’ve definitely been able to see results, and I’ve been able to really pinpoint some trouble areas and start to dial in on them. My foot positioning for heavy cleans and snatches is off. My strict press is still lagging. I have a mental block when it comes to dropping under the bar during full snatches and cleans. Handstand push-ups, ring dips, and that initial range in the strict press are holding me back. I will always be short, so wall balls will always be just a titch more difficult for me. Toes to bar and knees to elbows are still a challenge. And linking big sets of multiple pull-ups is a struggle.

And let’s not discuss running.

Even so, I’m not discouraged by these things. These are my goats. These are the holes that need patching.

In the last couple of weeks, I PR’d my 500m row (1 minute, 51.3 seconds), my high-bar back squat (205lbs.), my clean and jerk (130lbs.–body weight!!), and my power clean (135lbs.). Tonight, I did a 3×3 power clean as the skill, and I successfully completed my first set at 115lbs., then a set at 120lbs., and did my last 3 reps at 125lbs. In March 2013, 95lbs. for one rep was a struggle (granted–I ultimately completed six reps in that workout at that weight!). 125lbs. tonight was much less of a task, it felt like–although I am acutely aware of how far out my feet split when catching the bar. Ah–another weakness to overcome.

In other words, things are coming along. Tonight’s workout had deadlifts and pull-ups; I powered through the deadlifts, struggled and stalled on the pull-ups. I know where I need to work so that things are more balanced and well-rounded, and I’m just glad to have that awareness. I’m still working on remembering to check my ego at the door and focus on my strengths and my challenges; I’m competing against myself, and as that one guy says, the bottom line is, I’m better every day.

Oh–and I can do double-unders now. Not huge sets, but well enough that I can get through them in workouts! Thanks, RX Ropes. 🙂

2. I’m grateful for my momma and her love and her silly sense of humor. She posted one of the weirdest and cutest baby photos of me today, which I’m not going to share here, but I loved it. She’s the only mom I’ve got, and I’m pretty glad it’s her.

3. I don’t want to be “that girl” (even though I was a different kind of “that girl” yesterday when I posted a photo of my latte on Instagram), but I have to admit that I’m pretty thrilled that I’m dating the guy I’m dating. It’s only been a couple of months–although he’s now aware of the embarrassingly awkward way I navigated having a crush for several months before that–but he’s just the nicest and most genuine person. He’s respectful and respectable, and those of you that have been readers for awhile know that that’s something important to me.

As I’ve said a lot recently, he’s just really great.

4. I have great co-workers. I’m happy to have met good people, especially the ones that really get (and appreciate) my sense of humor. We do good work, and we try to have fun doing so, all while doing our best to have positive impacts on our students. Heck yes, college student services administration.

5. Maybe this isn’t truly positive, but I’m hopeful that recent dialogue about what’s going on in Ferguson opens people’s eyes. I also hope that the anger that many of us feel becomes the fuel for action and change. I’m not happy when I see character defamation, with random people justifying someone’s killing because of a “thuggish” photo or, from what I can understand, may have been petty theft. I don’t have all the facts, nor do I think the majority of us do.

As a person of color, I experience the world differently than my White peers. Fact. Wait, don’t leave. I’m not demanding an apology or trying to guilt-trip you. And I know that it can be hard to understand how multiple intersecting identities and privileges and positions of power play out on the individual and social levels. But what I wish is for people to all learn how to empathize. Start dialoguing. Start something. (Stop looting, too. No one is into that.)

Ask questions. Why are people protesting? Why does this person feel a particular way about this? How would we all be reacting if it were Ardith Laverne (or you, or your best friend, or the guy across the street) who may have thrown some sass at a cop and gotten shot for it? Why is this a thing?

(And I swear, if you answer that it’s because people of color and particularly the Black community are just angsty or hold grudges, I will find your address and ship a book to you every day for the foreseeable future about history/race relations/identity development/social justice/systems of power and privilege and inequality/etc. until you get so overwhelmed by all the knowledge and/or the fact that you’ve run out of places to put/throw out these books that you just retreat into the nearest Chick-Fil-A and cry into a bucket of cola and chicken sandwiches and bigotry.)

But what I’m saying is–here’s an opportunity to think. To empathize. To practice understanding that each person is a human being, not some object or just a number in some particular group or anything other than a human.

And beyond Ferguson, don’t you think it would be awesome if all people everywhere could finally understand that, and quit killing others/raping people/torturing prisoners/waging war/slandering each other behind the keyboard/etc.? All people. Everywhere. Yeah, wouldn’t that be something? (Yet, how easy is that concept: just quit being a jerk to other people for any and all reasons.)

That wasn’t really a positive thing, no, because I don’t have faith that we will do that. We will cling to our beliefs and our opinions and shut out or shut down those that dare challenge them, and we will maybe do that by attacking others’ personalities and intelligence and then completely miss out on the chance to dialogue and make change.

But, what I do know is that some people out there will fight against that jaded outlook I have. And they are the hope I believe in. And that right there is positive, even in the face of injustices around the world.

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