Tuesday, March 29, 2011


So I've noticed an interesting phenomenon lately.

That is, I've noticed it lately, and realised that it's been in effect for quite a while now.

Here's the deal:

I go to Crossfit.  I get suited up in my toe shoes and my gi pants.  I sip some water and fill up my bottle for easy access during the workout.  Maybe I eat an egg. Stretch.  Squat.  Sprint.  Push ups, downward dog, Sampson stretch, and so on and so forth.

Time for heavy lifting.  Awesome!  Usually I feel like a total beast at this point.  Grr, arg, hooah, etc etc.

Time for the WOD.  (Workout Of (the) Day, for the non-insane people).  Get out the boxes and rowers if the CrossFit gods are pleased with me; get out the jump ropes and wall balls if they are wrathful.  Must remember to get a fatter calf next time.

Start the WOD.

Breathe.  Pace.  Don't smash yourself in the mouth with the barbell like you did yesterday.  Avoid the nose as well.  Keep shoulders firmly in joints.  Breathe.  Don't double over.  Ignore the cramps.  Don't you dare double over.  It's just 15 minutes/4 rounds/whatever it is today, significantly shorter than forever.  You can do that much without dying.  Or puking.  Or crying.  Keep going.  Breathe. 

"You can do it, Nelly!"

Wait.  That wasn't my mind.

I'm just last again.  Everyone else has already finished and is sitting and resting and cheering me on.

Here's where I get torn.  On the one hand, I'm absolutely thrilled to be counted among a group of people who care enough to cheer and yell and keep me going until I finish, even though they have no particular personal interest in my times and PRs.  On the other hand...I'm last.  Again.  Even though I pace myself.  Even if I scale the movements down.  Even back in my bootcamper days.  Even when I rejoin the bootcamp now, for old times' sake.  Literally, almost every single time.

Merh.  Arglebargle.  Fuck.

I can lift heavy (210 lb deadlift, at last count).  I can jump high (30 inch vertical).  I can run fast (in brief spurts).  But throw anything resembling an endurance-style, just-keep-going workout at me and I turn into Jabba the Goddamn Hutt.  Never mind the fact that I've been doing this for over two years, not once missing a bootcamp session or more than a week of regular WODs. 

It irks me.

That's all.

< /wordvomit >



  1. I'm in the same tent. Every time I WOD, I have one of the slowest times of the day. The second to last WOD I attempted, I got a DNF on. Whatever though, my snatch is solid.

    Just keep it in perspective. Everyone's on their own personal journey to be better than who they were last week/month/year. That means something different to everyone. To compare your times to others (unless you're an Olympian or Mats) is usually a recipe for frustration.

  2. Thanks for posting this today. I've been struggling for a week now with a case of rankitis (paying to much attention to the white board). This post reminded me of a commitment I made to myself when I started crossfit.

    I decided in the beginning that the people I liked the most, the people I looked forward to seeing were not always the people who posted the best numbers. They were the people who seemed to be having the most fun. The people who greeted me and the people who seemed get the most joy out of each WOD. Especially by those who seemed driven by love of exercise and not ego. They're the ones I decided to emulate (BTW, Nelly, you are one of those people).

    If my rank determines my happiness then I'm usually gonna leave jealous of someone else. But if I focus on what I can give to the gym (by greeting the newcomer, putting away someones bar, improving nascent friendships, etc) well then I can usually leave having accomplished my goals.

  3. We've all been there Nelly. As a recovering fat kid it literally makes me sick with anxiety when I start a WOD I know will have me coming in last (aka RUNNING). I let the time stamp determine whether or not I'm the stronger, slimmer woman today or the same kid that hid inside all summer for fear of breathing hard and sunburn.

    What Jonathan writes is so true. It is about the experience, the quality of work that you put in to what you do. And not being the box "superstar" builds character in addition to sexy muscles. I admire your commitment to it all!

  4. Dude, as a *current* fat kid, I'm telling you, you can always WOD next to me. I will beat you to last place any day of the week. I look up to you, Nelly. You are an athlete, and one that I very much admire.

  5. So....someone is lying here because we can't all be in last place. I once had a ridiculous day when the wod took me so long that everyone else had to leave and there were tears etc. Ashley told me to only do things that made me happy for a week or so after. So do what makes you happy...if that means skipping the wod or just doing half or if we need to do a wod where the slowest time wins heck yes.

  6. For some reason in all this time, I thought WOD stood for workout of death. I guess it works for that too.

    Girl you are AWESOME. Whether you finish first, last, in the middle. Whatever! And if I were there doing the workout along with you...you can bet I'd finish about thirty minutes later than everyone. So just think, there's always someone out there who is not as strong as you are!