ReFLEXions on CrossFit Open WOD 15.1

See what I did there? I think I’m going to make this a regular thing.

The 2015 CrossFit Open is underway, everyone! For those of you who don’t participate in CrossFit, this is probably the start of the most annoying season of all. All of us CrossFit nerds are going to be geeking out on workouts, our favorite athletes, and of course the Regional and Games events. So, without further apologies, here’s a recap of how your favorite average CrossFitter did. (That would be me, you guys.)

15.1 (shorthand for “2015 Open” and “Workout #1”) turned out to be 15.1 + 15.1a (Addendum? Appendix? Add-on? Isn’t it really 15.1a and 15.1b? Whatever.).

15.1 was:
AMRAP9
15 toes-to-bar
10 deadlifts @ 75# (women’s Rx weight)
5 snatches @ 75#

15.1a immediately followed 15.1 and was:
6 minutes to find a 1-rep maximum clean-and-jerk

The clock ran continuously up to 15:00.

After the workout was announced, I felt okay about it. I had already conceded that toes-to-bar (T2B) are not in my wheelhouse in my previous post, and when they showed up in this particular WOD, I knew that I could grind through, and I would just have to see how many I could complete.

I chose to do the WOD on Friday night during my gym’s “Friday Night Lights” block. It’s a block of time where we all come in to tackle the Open WOD in heats, as well as judge and count for each other. It’s a fun time, although it adds a bit of extra pressure since the spectator dynamic comes in; however, for someone who aspires to compete in local recreational competitions, the exposure is necessary.

The hours leading up to Friday Night Lights were fine, but as soon as I got to the gym, I felt butterflies. I had slightly injured my quad during 1RM jerks the previous week, and I hadn’t attempted a heavy jerk or really even an all-out workout since, so that was a nagging thought. There was also the uncertainty of how I would do. Would I fizzle out after one round of T2B? Would my grip be shot to the point where I could only clean a weight 15lbs. under my current best in the C&J? There was only one way to find out.

Now, I wouldn’t say it’s a tradition, but because the Open does incorporate some form of performance, I like to plan my outfits. Sometimes they’re silly, and sometimes they’re just for me to get my mind in the right place. For 15.1, I chose something simple, and went with all black: black top, black headband, blank capris, black socks. Changing into an all-black outfit and harkening back to my dancer days somewhat helped me calm down. One settled into my uniform of choice, I warmed up and watched several heats go, including my boyfriend’s heat. I got set up, ran through a few reps of each element, got my gear ready, and tried to breathe. My counter and judge happened to be my man, so that helped ease my mind, as well.

When it was my turn, I stepped up onto my platform of several 45lb. plates stacked on each other; I can’t reach our pull-up bars without a platform. The clock counted down, and I hopped up and grabbed onto the bars. I took a controlled swing back, and then brought both my feet to the bar. I did it again, and a few seconds later, I had my first set of 5 reps done. I popped off the bar to shake my forearms out, even though I was early into the workout. I know myself, and while I probably could have linked together just a few more reps, I also know that I fatigue very easily in T2B. My grip will go, and I’ll stop being able to link reps together. Then my core will go, and maintaining enough momentum to make contact with the bar becomes difficult. However, I was able to get through three sets of 5 to complete my first 15 T2B, and then it was barbell time.

Deadlifts and snatches were both manageable; it was the T2B that I didn’t look forward to each time, because I knew the quality would deteriorate each round. Sure enough, partway through round two, my rep schemes were changing, and my kipping patterns were changing. Barbell work remained the same throughout. By round three of the T2B, I was hanging on for single reps, but trying to group them in 5s, 3s, and 2s. I made it through and back to the barbell.

And then I started round four. That’s when my core started to give out. I swung, and my toes came up inches short. Several people encouraged me, telling me to get back up and get another rep, but with T2B, if I’m not rested enough, I will continue to miss, and there was no way I was going to have more no-reps than good reps in this round.

Time wound down, and I managed to get 9 reps into the fourth round. I was one rep shy of hitting triple digits, which I had wanted, but I also met my goal of making it through three complete rounds. But the WOD wasn’t over at 9 minutes; I still had to lift a heavy barbell.

Six minutes to build up to a 1RM isn’t a lot of time, and it takes strategy. In a situation with a workout preceding the lift, there’s even more strategy involved. How light should an athlete start? How long should they rest before even attempting a lift? Do you go really light just to put up a number at first, or do you jump right in to a heavy but manageable weight? In hindsight, I probably wasted energy by opening with 105lbs. but I wanted a number. I knew that several months earlier, I had failed multiple attempts on a 125lb. clean after a buy-in that included burpees and max reps of cleans at lighter weights. I didn’t want to open too heavy and fail immediately.

115lbs. went up just fine, so I loaded the bar to 125lbs. This was the moment of truth. Would I fail 125 like I had in the autumn? The answer was, “No.” In fact, a teammate would say that 125 looked incredibly solid. Since 125 went up, it was time to make another decision.

My established 1RM for the clean-and-jerk is 130lbs. I have also, on separate occasions, cleaned 140lbs. and jerked 140lbs. The question was whether I would continue with 10lb. jumps and attempt a 135lb. C&J, which would be a PR, or if I would attempt 130lbs. to match my PR and add 5lbs. to my score. I took a risk and chose 135.

Unfortunately, I didn’t complete the lift at 135lbs. I did clean the weight–power cleaned it, in fact. Once it was in the rack position, though, it felt heavier than ever. I had just done a 135lb. jerk from the blocks the previous week, and I didn’t remember it feeling like that at all. I tried shifting my hand placement, but popping the bar up and bringing it back down seemed to drive me further into the floor. I knew that if I kept standing there with the bar in my hands that it really would never happen, so I dipped, drove, and bailed.

Bummer. That was it. I had several more seconds to try it again, but that time, I couldn’t get myself under the bar in the clean. Time expired. I finished the lift 5lbs. shy of my 1RM, and 10-20lbs. under many of the ladies with whom I try to keep up in my gym.

However, I was thrilled. This time last year, I was struggling to hit 120lbs. in my C&J. A bodyweight C&J was still several months off. And this year, I’m aiming to improve my form and get up above bodyweight. I’ve now cleaned 135lbs. multiple times since August, and I’ve jerked 135 and 140 once each. I can do this; I have it in me. It will come in time.

In the end, I finished 15.1 with 99 reps and 15.1a with 125lbs. Not an earth-shattering score, but one I can feel proud about. In last year’s Open, I struggled to complete 33 T2B in 14.4 (not 14.2 like I mistakenly wrote last time); this year, I completed a total of 54 T2B. 125lbs. is short of my PR, which means I’m capable of lifting heavier than the leaderboard shows. That’s different than 2013, when 95lbs. was a nearly-impossible C&J (although I did it six times that time). While some people’s jumps and gains are bigger, they aren’t really my concern. What I’m interested in is improving myself and doing this to challenge myself to continue to get better and better. The Open gives me that yearly “check-in,” and the chance to recommit to something that truly has been lift-changing, regardless of whatever numbers I post. Let’s see what’s in store for next week.

Yes, the most appropriate thing to do after 15.1 is the jerk your scoreboard.

Yes, the most appropriate thing to do after 15.1 is to jerk your scoreboard.

(But I also do love lifting, and I want to keep doing this because, man, I love lifting.)

(Oh, and for the record, I used today as active recovery and all I did was bench press and strict press. It might be Open season, but it’s also the season to reFLEX. Or something. I’m done now.)

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Why I Do CrossFit

That is such a cop-out title. People love the “Why CrossFit is Dangerous,” “Why CrossFit Isn’t For Me,” “Why CrossFit is the Best Thing You’re Missing,” etc. Even so, I want to consider and share why I continue to participate in this form of fitness and recreation, and why this is the only other athletic thing I’ve stuck with besides cheer and dance–and why it’s the only athletic thing that I feel like I’ve grown in and continue to progress in as I approach my two-year anniversary.

The Workouts
I remember my first workout clearly. I got left behind on the warm-up lap after a very nice girl chatted with me for a bit and then picked up her pace to match the rest of the group. I learned how to clean and jerk from a very hands-on coach. I was the last person done with the lightest weight possible. And I was thrashed for several days following. But I logged on to Facebook and left a very telling status update that night which basically told my circle of friends, “Okay, I finally understand this CrossFit thing.”

After one session, I realized that it was a form of fitness which provided the opportunity for people to push their boundaries, not in terms of physical limits, but in overcoming mental hurdles. Weightlifting, for example, is something I was mildly interested in, but societal norms in rec centers and other gyms is that girls, ladies, and women don’t use the weight room. It was always intimidating, uncomfortable, and a sure-fire way to look like the novice I was. But CrossFit basically says, “To Hell with that.” Women learn the same lifts, the same moves, and the only difference is that sometimes our prescribed weights are lighter. There is nothing that says we can’t aim for the males’ prescribed weights, and depending on the workout and people’s fitness levels, sometimes I lift heavier than the guys. And there is no shame in any of that for anyone.

Essentially, the workouts continue to be challenging as a person progresses. The seemingly endless ability to scale and modify–whether that means “down” or “up”–means that it truly “never gets easier, you just get better.”

The Third Space
Typically, people have their home space and their workspace. In my line of work and in the spirit of balance, we often talk of establishing the “third space,” that place that exists outside of home and work. My third space in recent years always tended to be a coffeeshop or a bar, somewhere where I spent time reading and writing, for the most part. After graduate school, I didn’t need that function as much (for better or for worse), and I floundered a bit in trying to establish a different sort of third space.

What my gym has provided me is a third space for recreation, the ability to shed the weight of the day (ironically, usually by throwing literal weight on me) and a place to rejuvenate. For some folks, that place isn’t and never will be a gym or a fitness center, and that is perfectly fine. Trust me when I say that I’m surprised the gym became my third space. For a long time, I was the girl who made every excuse to avoid going to the gym; I still do that–except I establish good, solid reasons to keep myself out so I can get a rest day in (over-training is bad for you, people!). My third space is a place to reconnect with myself, where for a small amount of time, I can disconnect from technology and the tasks at work and focus on self-improvement. It’s also, luckily, a place where I can interact with other people and feed my social life.

The People
And that brings me to the people of CrossFit. My athletic background was, in my mind, fairly minimal. I spent 12 or so years dancing and 4 years cheering between high school and college. I dabbled in other team sports, but mostly harbored a distaste for the years I attempted soccer, basketball, and softball. I enjoyed being around other people, even though I didn’t have a ton of incredibly close friendships from dance and cheer, which is no one’s fault; to me, it seems like I just didn’t quite fit in the same way most of the other ladies and men did. (On a related note, I fit in quite well with my band people, but that was outside the fitness spectrum by a long-shot, at least in my experience.) However, I still loved the team dynamic, understanding how each individual’s strengths played into a bigger picture while we were each able to hone our skill sets and work on weaknesses.

After college, the opportunity to participate in team-based fitness seemingly disappeared. I think I’ve mentioned numerous times that I tried running, I tried yoga, I tried group fitness classes, but each time, I lost interest and quit going (even after buying memberships for some of these things!). Nothing grabbed my interest enough to make me commit. Looking back on it, part of that reason was there weren’t other people to hold me accountable. Sure, there were regulars in my classes, but the environments weren’t conducive to socializing and getting to know other people.

But then there came CrossFit. Technically, CrossFit classes are group fitness classes; there are scheduled times and a coach, and you’d think it would have been the same situation as with Zumba or spin or cardio kick-boxing. For some reason, though, a team develops and emerges, and in my case, I was able to integrate into a team, which then led to my accountability to others kicking in, which then led to returning over and over to the gym, which then led to a greater want to develop individually and contribute back to the overall skill set my gym showcased.

That sounds fairly convoluted, I think, and there are a lot of psychological and social processes at work there, but what it comes down to is, there are a lot of good people that I met, and that mindset that we are all in this journey together is prevalent in the community. (“Community?” Yeah, there’s definitely a community around this form of fitness.) There are more and more fitness communities springing up, too (based on my social media), and there is a ton of potential in those teams and communities to shift the habits of other adults towards health and fitness.

Oh, and also–they’re fun!

Some of the SEAtown CrossFit crew during float day on the Yakima River near Ellensburg

Some of the SEAtown CrossFit crew during float day on the Yakima River near Ellensburg

In a nutshell–it’s a healthy combination of fitness, self-improvement, relationship-building, and fun. We push and challenge each other to try new things. We teach each other. We laugh. We encourage. A personal fitness journey moves to “we,” and the secret to what I need to be happy and healthy is no longer a secret.

 

The Bull and the Horns

On Saturday, December 7th, 2013, I participated in my second ever CrossFit-inspired competition. No Baby, Leave the Stockings On was an all-women’s event with an Rx’d and Scaled division; the competition was held in Oregon City, OR for our region and was also run on the same day in several other locations throughout the country. One of my HEL teammates alerted several of us to the competition, and I agreed to sign up for the Scaled division. Another teammate joined in, and the three of us started gearing up. I even traveled down to Portland over Thanksgiving break so we could workout together and run through the competition WODs.

When our assigned heats posted, my stomach dropped. Even though I’ve competed in dance and piano and tried out for dance and cheer teams, seeing my name posted like that elicits a strong response. I was doing this for real, and I had no idea what to expect from my competitors. I was also excited, though, to be competing alongside my friends, testing out my progress yet again.

The day of the competition, I was tired and feeling far from ready. Even though we’d already done a “dress rehearsal” the week prior, I had no idea how things would go. Would I drop the bar? Would I miscount? Would I start cramping up in unforeseen ways? Would I be severely out-WOD’d by the other competitors?

I worked through my adrenaline by telling myself I knew the WODs. I knew my goals, and I knew my weaknesses. It was time to buck up and go out and give it my best shot. I warmed up with my most standard routine, starting with a row and some dynamic stretching.

WOD #1 was my most dreaded workout going into the competition. It consisted of only two movements: overhead squats and burpees over the barbell, and it was only 8 minutes long. WOD #2 was a clean/front squat/jerk complex, and WOD #3 was an AMRAP 10, consisting of 40 air squats, 20 kettlebell swings, and 10 deadlifts. But #1 was the one that felt the hardest during the run-throughs, and as such, was the one I was most nervous about.

When the clock counted down and the first WOD began, I focused and reached for the bar. I stabilized it overhead, and worked away for the full 8 minutes. I wouldn’t know until later that I was #11 in my division for WOD #1. I wouldn’t know until much later that I was #66 out of 500 Scaled competitors for that particular WOD.

WODs #2 and #3 went fine for me. I set a new personal record (PR) on my clean and jerk (115lbs.), as well as a new PR for my power clean (120lbs.). There were quite a few people who were putting up heavier weights, though, and WOD #3 burned out my back. I finished a bit more towards the bottom of the top 1/3, but I was happy with my performance.

Overall, I came in 20th out of 69 competitors in the Scaled division for our location. Nationwide, I finished 105th out of the 500. It was reaffirming to see that I held my own, but it was even more so inspiring to see the women who competed in both divisions come out and test their own strengths. I’m also incredibly proud of the work my friends did–and we’ll be competing as a team (with one more Belle we roped in!) in January.

When the fear I face is internal, it makes no sense to turn and run. I’m learning to stand firm and to take control.

And to be honest–I’m having a complete blast doing so.

HEL's Belles

HEL’s Belles

Train for Chaos (and really cool leggings)

Family Knows No Limits

We had a saying when I was in the Western Washington University Filipino-American Student Association: Isang pamilya. Isang dugo.

One family. One blood.

When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines several weeks ago, it wasn’t just an event that showed up in the news headlines in my online feeds. Anytime anything shows up about the Philippines, I know that I, my mom, and many of my friends hope and pray that all our family are okay. And whenever anything heartbreaking happens back in the Philippines, I also know that the Filpino community comes together to help and to support and to show tremendous outpouring of love. That’s who we are.

It seems strange to then suddenly bring up the CrossFit community. It’s a community of voluntary participation; none of us were born into this. But that doesn’t mean people don’t bring their own intersecting identities to the table. And with that comes the intersection of communities.

In times of disaster, there are numerous fundraising and aid efforts, and one event aiming to help the Philippines came to light via one of the coaches (who happens to be Filipino) at my gym. King CrossFit in Renton, WA has a prominent Filipino membership and presence, and Coach Ryan organized a Workout Of the Day (WOD) dedicated to the relief efforts in the Philippines. Members were invited throughout the region to participate in a WOD that symbolized* the typhoon in its repetition scheme and the length of workout. Beyond that, other CrossFit affiliates were invited to hold their own sister events. Gyms throughout the country stepped up. There are even affiliates in other countries who held fundraising WODs.

My teammates and I went down early to Renton on Saturday morning. King was busy, packed with athletes from all over. As I warmed up on the rowing machine, the unmistakable smell of lumpia wafted in with each pull. (Talk about motivation. If I had lumpia waiting for me after every WOD, I’d be in the gym multiple times a day.) We all chipped in donations at the door to participate, and of course, many donated again when the lumpia (and doughnuts and coffee) came out. And of course, we did the WOD. Early morning box jumps aren’t my favorite, but knowing I was supporting one of my communities by way of another one of my communities was much more important.

Luckily for me, my family in the Philippines reported that everyone was safe and accounted for. I know that’s not the case for everyone. On the surface, I’m sure there are some cynics who only see that I got up early on one day and had fun with fellow CrossFitters and ate some lumpia; how is that making a difference in the wake of a disaster? Because it was more than just a regular day at the gym. It was a day with a deeper purpose, with a deeper reflective aspect to it.

Besides, when one gym reports that solely the at-the-door donations came in at $2500–not accounting for sales of shirts or donations for food and coffee–and that dollar amounts from other affiliates haven’t been totaled, you can see that this “crazy fitness community” is much more than one, singular identity. We’re not martyrs, but there are people with hearts of gold. There are people who recognize the power of many in the face of adversity, and they go out and do something to make a positive impact.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is a giant “thank you” to Ryan and King CrossFit. Thank you for organizing and growing an event that means so much to me, to my family, to my friends, to all of us. And to you.

And thank you to everyone who participated, near and far.

Isang pamilya. Isang dugo.

SEAtown CrossFit at the Philippine Relief WOD. Photo borrowed from the STCF Instagram page!

SEAtown CrossFit at the Philippine Relief WOD. Photo borrowed from the STCF Instagram page!

* Other memorial or tribute WODs are constructed in a similar manner. For example, there are variations of the 9/11 WOD. The 9/11 WOD I was a part of this past September concluded with a 2001m run after over thirty minutes of tough physical exertion; the burning in my calves was nothing compared to the sacrifices and the pain and heartbreak that accompanied the attacks. In some ways, these CrossFit WODs are intended to provide an outlet for reflective practice.

A Year Inside the Box

Hey Ardith –

It was great to have you in the Lab!  Come back anytime!

Kevin

One year ago today, I committed to CrossFit. Over the summer, I tried two different boxes, tried two different WODs, got miserably sick for a few weeks, and during my absence, I got an email from one of the coaches.

That particular coach happened to be the head coach of CrossFit HEL in Portland, OR. That little prod was enough for me to give CrossFit another try, and on September 19th, 2012, I went back, stuck it out through The Chief, and just kept showing up after that.

I will not say it was easy to come back. It wasn’t easy those first couple of WODs, taking the warm-up lap and falling severely behind each teammate every time. It wasn’t easy learning new motions, new language, and new philosophies. But what also wasn’t easy was looking in the mirror and seeing just how out-of-shape I had become; I felt more uncomfortable in my own skin than I ever had as an adult, and it was not okay.

I decided that what seemed the most difficult was going to be the most beneficial, and I could not afford to let my second-guessing keep me from making a positive change in my life.

There is a shirt floating around the CrossFit realm that starts:

“THE BOX
Walk in terrified…”

And that’s exactly how I felt walking in last September. And often, I still feel anxious, perhaps a bit intimidated by skills I haven’t mastered (and likely won’t for awhile).

But I’ve been going back to the box with butterflies in my stomach for a year now.

There is something to be said about facing your challenges head-on. And there is something else to be said about having a team that supports you through your weaknesses and accomplishments.

And there is something even greater to be said about the coaches that don’t give up on you.

It had been several years since someone had taken a close look at my deficiencies and followed up with feedback to help me out. Whenever I tackled a new challenge, he was there to say, “Awesome.” When things were overwhelming, he talked me through them. He welcomed me to a team that further provided support and community, and that group of athletes anchored me into a positive, healthy, life-changing routine.*

For me, CrossFit hasn’t been about competition with others or achieving top-tier ability within the CrossFit world. It has been about continually improving myself holistically: physically, mentally, spiritually, and communally.

Physically, I’ve pushed myself, completing workouts that look impossible on the computer screen. Even though I am a notorious “WODSCALA“, I am still doing more than I thought possible for a chronically-injured, uncoordinated ex-dancer/cheerleader.

We talked a lot about mental fortitude at CFHEL. It would be impossible for me to get through even my scaled WODs without the proper mental attitude. Yes, I allow myself to be nervous–but I have allowed myself to be nervous before piano performances, dance recitals, cheer try-outs, and job interviews, and that is all perfectly fine.

What I do not allow myself to do is to be defeated before a workout begins. On particularly challenging days, I will take a few breathes and maybe even say, “See you on the other side,” and then quiet my mind. It is the same technique that I used in dance. When I am in performance mode, I am focused on putting my best self out there. I don’t care that I have a resistance band for ring dips; I don’t care that I’m 30lbs. lighter on the bar for a Hero WOD. Am I on the floor? Am I facing the challenge head-on? If the answer to those questions (and some others) is, “Yes,” I am doing it right.**

In terms of the spirit, I am learning to trust in the idea of being exactly where I need to be at any given time. Those of you who know me know that I believe in something bigger than myself, bigger than this world. I cannot define it, but the Universe and its energy–as much as I complain about it–present opportunities for me to take. I can choose to take them, and in this case, I was given the choice to either continue with my old routine of thinking, “Well, at least I walked 15 minutes today, but why can’t I fit in my pants?” or to take on a challenge.

Because I took on that challenge, I was rewarded with more than a few inches off my waist; I came into a community that has been more important than I could have ever imagined. Teammates at my gym turned into close friends. Close friends at other gyms turned into teammates, as we shared our progress (and our misery) across the state lines. And sure, maybe we all seem a bit cult-like and more than a bit crazy, but we have all found something in common that motivates us and brings us together.

Tonight, on September 19th, 2013, I walked into SEAtown CrossFit because I have said “yes” to the challenge of a new job in a new city, and even though I’m not allowed to run or jump for the next several days (long story), I found some skills on which to work. I attempted my first sets of strict handstand push-ups tonight. I worked on strict pull-ups. And while everyone worked on double-unders, I rowed and busted out several sets of back squats. While being restricted on what I can do wasn’t how I envisioned spending my CrossFit-versary, I am happy that I was able to get back out on the floor, set some new milestones, and meet some new people.***

One year in, and this journey is far from over.

August 2012

August 2012

September 2013

September 2013

Train for Chaos

Train for Chaos

Coach K and Company

Coach K and Company

*which is based on giving the middle finger to routine, in terms of workouts

** “It’s okay, as long as you’re not crying while you’re jerking…”

*** And the best part is, I am now part of multiple teams. CFHEL, you got me to where I am today, and we are on this journey together. Excuse me for being forward, but I love you all.

Benchmarks

On Tuesday night, we ran Elizabeth as the WOD. This is a benchmark workout, a workout that comes up occasionally to help athletes gauge progress. The last time I attempted Elizabeth was on January 18th, and my results were as follows:

For Time:
21-15-9 – Power Cleans and Ring Dips
Power cleans scaled to 55lbs.
Ring dips modified to jumping ring dips
Overall time: 7 minutes, 25 seconds

Tuesday, April 30th’s results were as follows:

For Time:
21-15-9 – Power Cleans and Ring Dips
Power cleans scaled to 70lbs.
Ring dips modified to band-assisted ring dips (blue band, approx. 50lbs. assistance)
Overall time: 7 minutes, 12 seconds

That’s definitely progress. I know the last time I did Elizabeth, I was worried about my form on cleans. I still am, but I know this time around, they did not feel sloppy. I’m working very hard to get my elbows up in that racked position, making sure my feet don’t jump out too wide, and keeping my core engaged throughout the entire lift. Additionally, ring dips are hard, and I “no-rep’d” myself a few times tonight because I couldn’t lock out at the top of the motion. I want that full range of motion. I’m getting there.

We also worked on inversions on the Olympic rings on Tuesday. I have only gone inverted several times on rings, and one of those times resulted in basically dislocation and scarring, so I’m not entirely enthusiastic about inversions. However, I tried it several times, and it just kept getting better each time. That’s also progress.

I also weighed in this week. The home scale showed 119.2lbs. and 24.6% body fat, down from January 18th’s 133.2lbs. and 29.4% body fat. Even the gym scaled is reporting a new body weight: 124.4lbs., down from right about 130lbs. during Basic testing.

What’s that you say? Oh yeah, progress.

Again, I’m not on the way to being a fitness prodigy. I don’t suddenly have an amazing repertoire of gymnastic moves and heavy lifts. I’m not going to suddenly come out in the Top 3 in an upcoming CrossFit competition.

But that’s not why I’m here. Progress in the name of progress and wellness and growth is why I’m here.

And that’s all that matters.

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Oh, and also–it’s fun!

EDIT: B so kindly reminded me that Monday’s WOD included two-minute split drills: front (straddle), side (left and right legs), and partner “pancake” stretches. I haven’t stretched splits like that since college cheer, so it was good to work back into them. My right front split is still much worse than my left, due to old scar tissue, but my straddle and seated straddle (“pancake”) are good.

During the last pancake stretch, as my partner pushed lightly on my bad and my body inched nearer to the ground, I uttered, “Oh no, I really don’t want to put my face on this ground.”

So, naturally, the gym floor is where my face came to rest. Ick.