Grab your drink of choice, folks. This one’s a rambler.
I’d like to preface this by saying: I don’t have anything against therapy. I think it’s a perfectly acceptable thing to participate in, and I encourage it for anyone.
Since I started running post-college, it’s been a great stress-reliever. But as I said in my last post, my running has been a bit lackluster lately. Mostly since I started Crossfit, to be honest. After all, Crossfit is so fun, and it’s been cold outside. Ick. I’m not necessarily a fair-weather runner, but my neighborhood’s idea of shoveling sidewalks leaves a lot to be desired, and I don’t love the dreadmill.
The past couple of weeks have been a little crazy. Between work, home life, a mid-term, my AIGA obligations, this blog (which got none of the love), working out, and sleeping, I felt a bit like a chicken running around with my head cut off. Not great when you consider my promise to myself for 2014:
It wasn’t until Saturday when I realized something that hadn’t occurred to me before.
Crossfit isn’t (always) has therapeutic as a run is for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Crossfit. It’s a challenging sport that makes me push myself, and my limits, and I love that. But when everything else outside of Crossfit is kind of crazy, and then I have a rough Crossfit week, it leaves me feeling a bit defeated, and adds to my stress level instead of alleviating it. Not a great thing.
Let me give you some context: Thursday, we had a WOD that alternated box jumps and hang cleans. I have been seriously struggling with my hang clean form lately. I think a lot of it has to do with going up in weight – my bad form has started to show more. Anyway, finishing that WOD just left me frustrated. I worked on concentrating on form, as I knew I should, but it left little time to get reps in, and the 7 minutes was over much too quickly. I felt the box feeling frustrated, and to be honest, grumpy.
I was planning on taking on 14.2 Saturday morning as part of the Crossfit Open (even though I didn’t officially sign up). The workout consisted of chest to bar (which is a pull-up, but even farther – you’re hitting your chest to the bar) and overhead squats at 65#s.
I can’t do chest to bar without bands yet, and my overhead squat isn’t quite that heavy, but I had been planning to go regardless, and see what I could accomplish. After all, I really do believe what Jennifer said in her post about the open. It’s about improving yourself, whatever that looks like.
Friday night, I was up super late due to plans with friends, and finishing up some things before we had guests for the weekend. I was still feeling some “hangover stress” from everything that had happened in the week, and work up Saturday morning exhausted. So, I did the thing you’re not supposed to do … and I “cherry-picked” not to head to my box and complete the WOD.
Was it unfortunate that that was (likely) my only opportunity to try 14.2? Yes. But I knew I hadn’t set myself up well to perform, and especially not to PR. Mentally, I just couldn’t handle going in and feeling stressed about my performance. Instead, I headed to the gym to jump on a treadmill.
I pushed through five miles before I had to be home to greet my family. But you know what? I felt SO much better after I finished that run. I was prepared to take on the weekend. Even better, I was finally prepared to relax.
I think it’s a case of the “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”. I didn’t know that running helped me mentally that much, but turns out, it was doing more than I thought. Soon enough, I’ll be back to having weeks where I’m killing all my WODs. That’s the nature of the programming. But I just need to remember that I have to make time to fit in my “therapy” consistently again – my weekly runs.
Do you find one form of exercise your “therapy” over another?