Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Half full or half empty

Last week, I went to CrossFit Monday through Thursday.  It was the first time I'd done CrossFit on 4 consecutive days since mid-June.  In June, I was fighting anemia, and the comments in my training log indicate it was very difficult for me to get through those days.  Just a week later, I basically gave up on training as the anemia continued to get worse.

But, last week I did those 4 days with no problems.  I was sore, but I had the energy to get through them.  I took a rest day on Friday (long day in the car for a college trip with my daughter).  Saturday and Sunday, I worked at Sugarbush, but I never actually put on my ski boots.  But, I was on my feet for seven straight hours both days, helping out with very young ski students, and my FitBit says I walked a lot of steps.

Last night at CrossFit, I felt strong.  I don't mean weightlifting-strong.  I'm still far from lifting weights anywhere near my PRs.  But, I did 5x10 back squats before the metabolic conditioning.  In the latter part of the workout, I found myself keying off a friend - racing him through the workout.  In the end, I beat him by a single jump rope rep.  It was six minutes of pain and it felt good.

Today, I went to CF at lunch.  We did 7x10 rack pulls and I used a pretty decent amount of weight for the 70 reps.  Then, the metabolic conditioning was pretty simple - just two basic movements.  But, again, I felt really strong and pushed through with no rest at all.  It was easily my best workout since March or April.

And yet, it's kind of bittersweet.  It took forever, it seems, to figure out that I had anemia this year.  Then, it took a long time to figure out why I had anemia.  Then, major surgery with a long recovery.  Just as I started to feel better from the surgery, I found out the first surgery hadn't eradicated the weird, rare cancer that I have.

Three weeks ago, I started chemo.  It knocked me for a loop, but I was walking for exercise 2 days after the chemo ended, skiing 6 days after, and doing CrossFit 8 days after.  Today, I felt like I was clearly in better shape than I was just 3 weeks ago.

Tomorrow, the chemo starts again.  I'm not looking forward to that at all.  But, I also recognize that it's a choice I made and I'm sticking with that choice.  I went with the higher risk, higher reward treatment option.  Chemo is part of that.

Part of me thinks that maybe 3 weeks from today, I'll be writing that I'm even stronger than I was 3 weeks earlier.  And, part of me worries that each successive round of chemo will take more out of me than the previous round.  At the end of the fourth round of chemo, I'll be having surgery.  I want to be as strong and fit as I can be going into that surgery.

So, today's workout was awesome.  I may be able to sneak in a 5:45 CrossFit class tomorrow, but I'm betting that it's just too early for my wife, who has a very long day tomorrow.  So, my next CF class will probably be 12/28.

I just wonder which way things will go.  Will each round get worse, or will I be able to eke out a net improvement in my fitness each time through?  Only time will tell.

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