Today I had a great workout at my box, #978 Cross Fit. (I still can’t get used to saying that.) The last part of the workout was a 1600 meter run (1 mile for you non-metric, non-CF folks). I saw the Workout of the Day (WOD) last night and for a few seconds seriously thought about not going this morning. The thought of running a mile at the end really screwed with my head. I don’t know why I let that happen. I used to be a runner. Did my fair share of 5K’s and even did a 1/2 marathon on my 50th birthday. I enjoyed running. So why is running such a labor to my brain now? Because in my head I am not a runner anymore and running is hard. Running is hard for runners, never-mind non runners. I once heard someone say that the best part of running is finishing. I need to remember that you need to start in order to finish.
Its getting easier. I think that’s why I decided to go this morning. I am not getting faster but I am getting stronger. I am getting stronger physically and mentally. I can see my physically strength increase each time I put more weight on the bar when I exercise. Mental toughness is not as easy to see. I had my first glimpse of getting mentally tougher during the swim portion of my recent sprint triathlon. I have always been a competitive person. I was so bad that my husband and daughter stopped playing miniature golf with me because I took the fun out of it. Over the years, I have been blessed to start taking that competitiveness inward and just compete with myself. Its hard to look at yourself and realize you are not where you once were but I am not where I am going to either. That is the thought that kept me swimming in the tri.
Half-way through the swim I wanted to quit. I thought, “What the hell? This is ridiculous! I don’t belong out here and I had no business doing this”. Then a lifeguard said, “just swim to me. Swim to my board.” And I did. And then I swam to the next board and went past the next board. And then I rested. And then swam to the next board. And then my feet touched the bottom and I walked out. Along the way I could see I was the only one in the water. That wasn’t what made me want to quit. I really doubted I could do it. And then I heard encouragement and it reminded me why I was out there. I was out there for me; not for anyone else. I knew I had taken a loooong time to finish but I finished. Coming out of the water I dug deep and reminded myself that my best effort was yet to come. I think this picture of me coming out of the water says it all.
I dusted off the sand, slapped on my helmet and shoes and continued. And that is what I did today. I finished the first part of the workout, put on my sneakers and said to myself, “go.” It was supposed to me a “Max Effort” which means make it through mile at a pace that would allow me to keep jogging and not have to walk.
I always come out of the gate too fast and I did again today. I did much better but at about 400 meters, I needed to walk. Urgh!!! I was sooo bummed. And then I realized that was longest this summer I had gone without walking. So I walked and started on my way again. And like most workouts, I saw my WOD mates pass me coming and going and I just kept going. Coming in last was never something I thought I could accept. And then I came in last today. Just like the day before and the day before. And I am OK with it.
Coming in last is OK because last is somewhere. It is last in a line of inspiring people who put themselves out there each day to better themselves and live healthy. It is behind people who turn around and cheer you on to your finish. And it is waaaay out in front of a long line of people who don’t try and don’t finish. Someday I won’t finish last…maybe. But I will always finish. And that toughness is better than any weight I can lift on a bar.
I didn’t feel that way when I was training for my 1/2