Sunday, October 26, 2014

Evolution of a Weight Lifter, 'Grace' for Time, and Inspiration

It's been a bit of a long week for lifting. In fact, as of today, I've been at it seven days solid -

In A Row.

And yet, I'm still feeling pretty good. Only one or two workouts were a real 'push through' type of workout. No matter how I come in feeling, once I'm in it, I'm usually in a good space. 

Two days ago, I was invited to do 'Grace'. It's a Crossfit work out done by boxes (aka 'gyms') all over the map of affiliates. And I've been chomping at the bit to do it for months.

I hadn't gone for it before because it requires doing Clean and Jerks for 'time' and I have mixed feelings about that. Since becoming more focused on my Olympic Lifting forms, My WOD expectations have changed along with the overall goals of my Oly lifts. Not to put too fine a point on it, the 'for time' means less and the 'finish the lift and get it right' means more. I hadn't attempted it yet in a minor attempt to mitigate the line between 'training hard' and 'over training'. It's a very delicate wire I'm walking. Luckily for me, I'm pretty good at tight ropes. 

This one was hard to pass up.  Good friends. Worthy Cause (though I wish other forms of cancer got at least 1/10th of the marketing/fund raising that Breast Cancer does). Who could ask for anything more?
Credit: Crossfit SevenCities

Me in the front.
While challenging, this was no Murph. I wasn't worried about completing this workout within the time allowed (10 minutes). The weight for women is 95 pounds, and that's only about 10 lbs more than I warm up with currently. 

That said, events like these are amazing reality checks.

It felt awesome to tap into my coaching side for a few minutes to help them figure out warm ups, gear necessities, and (the sweetest part) to cheer them on.

With Trainer Guy, Coach C, a few of my Strongman Sisters and other familiar faces participating - well nothing quite beats lifting with friends. The friendly rivalry keeps a decent bit of spark to that flame, and this box has some ladies with inspirational strength.

Recent events have given me more than enough fuel for the fire. My personal goal was to get through Grace in 6 minutes or less.

But before I get ahead of myself, I have to admit, I was deeply inspired. In the moment below, One of the coaches was struggling to get through her heavy Grace (lifting more weight than the 95lbs recommended for women). She went for 105 and was struggling to finish. The guy opposite her? He'd finished probably a full minute or two before her. They opted to do the last lifts together as one. Make sure you watch with the sound turned up to truly embrace how deafeningly amazing this moment was.
Another truly inspirational moment was when Sunshine, rotator cuff sling and all, decided that she needed to be part of this event - and rocked out 1 armed kettle bell clean and push presses in place of a bar bell.  I also got to see a lifter who has lifted what my goal is next year (Nationals Qualifying numbers). She was fantastic to watch and talking with Coach C afterwards was encouraging. She started where I'm at now, and was able to get there. It makes my goal of hitting Nationals numbers in 2015-2016 all the more attainable (and exciting).

There were no 'losers' today.  Everyday I'm reminded of a time when the bar felt heavy.  Now? It's practically an extension of my arm. I remember when I never would have considered myself part of this crowd of amazingly fit, heavy lifting, high spirited men and women. Now? I'm a full fledged member.

Yes, I met my goal with Grace and it's been a BIG week for me outside of this event as well. I finished Grace in under 6 minutes. Well under. 5min 1 sec. And I left excited for my next meeting with this famous 'girl' of Crossfit.

I also set 3 new Personal Records this week in my own training. I'm now the proud owner of a 190lb front squat (footage below) and I have 3 new 3-Rep Maxs set in Jerks from the rack (125lbs) and Overhead squats (120 lbs). While I'm a little sad that reshuffling my schedule means that my smartest bet is to miss out on Olympic Weight Lifting Class tomorrow, I'm getting excited about the competition coming up - a week from today.  No matter the outcome, I realized how much I love what events and competitions do for me. They give me a clearer focus. They make me better.

While Murph left me wondering why anyone would willingly inflict such an ordeal on themselves, Grace I look forward to meeting next year.

Special thanks to Crossfit Seven Cities. Always great lifting with you guys!

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