Friday, December 3, 2010

Feeling my age and then some

In just over four weeks, I'll turn 49. But, for some reason, I feel like I'm about 79 right now.

I haven't been sleeping well this week. I've been working hard in the gym, but I feel like it's beating me up rather than making me stronger.

My last two workouts (last night and this morning) didn't go well at all. I expected to struggle in some workouts as I made some changes to my diet. It certainly takes the body a while to adapt to a change in diet. And, I know I'm not in great shape right now. It is amazing to me to watch the fit younger guys and ladies at CrossFit as they hammer through some of the workouts. It's easy to forget that they are half my age.

Last night's workout started with some strength work - front squats and strict presses. I am strong enough to hold my own with some of the youngsters on this part of the workout. Then, came burpee box jumps - doing a fixed number as quickly as possible. Burpees are hard. But then, when you have to jump onto a box as you finish the burpee rather than just doing a half-hearted little jump, it's a whole new game. Different levels of the workout had people doing anywhere from 40 to 100. I was shooting for 60, but by the time I finished 40, I was toast. Some of the younger guys had already done 100 by the time I did 40. And, they'd used a higher box.

This morning, to be honest, I was just glad I made it to the gym. After a tough workout last night, and not sleeping well, I was afraid I wouldn't even get there. Once again, I struggled with the workout. We started with some mobility work and some rope jumping. Then 5x5 weighted pull-ups, but I used a band and "unweighted" instead. Then, in 12 minutes, as many rounds as possible of 10 knee-ups, 10 wall balls (squat and toss a medicine ball against a wall) and 40 jump-rope reps. I felt sick to my stomach through the workout and only managed 4 rounds, which was disappointing.

After the workout today, I talked to the trainer for a while. I told her that I'm finding CrossFit to be very humbling. I know that things will improve and that it's still new to me (fewer than 20 total workouts so far), but I'm not used to being the last guy in the class. I think of things I've accomplished in the past in running shoes that I'm proud of - sub-3 marathon, sub-18 5K, 82 minute half-marathon, a top-100 finish at the Wasatch 100 and a finish at Hardrock. And now, I'm the fat kid who would get picked last for dodgeball, it seems.

So, I'll keep working. Keep focusing on eating well. Stay away from the beer. And, I'll find that 49 really isn't that old. I hope.

There is an article titled "What is Fitness?" that was written by the founder of CrossFit. I've been a decent runner at times in my life. But, at no point have I come close to being fit by CrossFit standards. So, I just have a lot of work to do, I suppose.

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