Living your dreams

I subscribe to a number of different blogs covering a variety of topics, including CrossFit. This morning I opened one of those – The Morning Chalk Up – and read the following quote from motivational speaker, Les Brown:

“Imagine being on your death bed — and standing around your bed — the ghosts of the ideas, the dreams, the abilities, the talents given to you by life. And that you for whatever reason, you never acted on those ideas, you never pursued that dream, you never used those talents, we never saw your leadership, you never used your voice, you never wrote that book.

And there they were standing around your bed looking at you with large angry eyes saying ‘WE CAME TO YOU, and only you could have given us life.’ Now we must die with you forever.

The question is — if you die today what ideas, what dreams, what abilities, what talents, what gifts would die with you?”

This is powerful stuff. At various times of my life I’ve had any number of goals. The quote made me think about those I’ve neglected recently. The goals I’ve put on the back burner because life happens. Because I’ve not prioritized them. Because there aren’t enough hours in the day. You know the ones I’m talking about. The things you always wanted to do. The book you’re going to write. The course you’re going to take. The fitness program you’re going to start. The trip you’re going to book. The skill you’re going to master.

It also made me think about the goals I have achieved. Those I did something about and either reached or, in some cases, surpassed. What was the difference? Why did I manage to make these happen and not the rest? In my case, the difference was mainly in my approach – when I prioritized them, scheduled them, worked on them daily or weekly, that’s when I made real progress towards achieving them. I had a plan and I stuck to it. This year, other than my work-related goals, I’ve set a number of CrossFit-related goals.

Our coach asked us to share them and write them on the whiteboard in January. Mine are below:

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It’s now March – I’ve managed to tick 2 off the list so far. I’ve done 2 strict ring muscle ups and I managed a 6:39 Fran.

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Still a long way to go and some of those goals are rather ambitious. However, I’m working on them during regular classes and when I have time I stay after class for more work. The one that’s received the most attention is the double under goal. I’m going to apply my previous success principles to achieving the other goals. The system works when I work the system. I want to pursue my CrossFit ideas, dreams, abilities, talents or gifts to their full potential – whatever that may be.

What are some of the goals you’ve set for yourself this year (CrossFit or otherwise)? Have you reached any of them already?

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Taking the (p)lunge

Week 2 of the 2017 edition of the CrossFit Open is well underway. Dave Castro announced the workout last night at the Rogue Headquarters. He’s making sure that all the boxes that invested in new 35 and 50 lbs dumbbells are getting maximum use out of them. Like 17.1, this week’s workout included some dumbbell work.

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After watching the live announcement and the live head-to-head of Kari Pearce vs Kristi Eramo followed by Ro vs Boz, my nervous energy shot up 100%. Last year I managed to do my first bar muscle up, so I know I can do them and I wasn’t too worried about those. What worried me was reaching the 3rd round at all. The weighted lunge was with two 50 lbs dumbbells. That was going to be heavy for me. I wasn’t sure I could even get them onto my shoulders, let alone do walking lunges for 50 ft.

I did my run at the 5:30 am class today – it was completely brutal. After Coach Matt counted down and said, “Go” I had a number of failed attempts at raising the dumbbells onto my shoulders. When I did get them there, they weren’t comfortable or stable. I then realized that the clock was ticking and that I was squandering precious reps. I just stepped up to the line and took the (p)lunge. One foot in front of the other. The dumbbells felt ridiculously heavy and completely unsteady. I reached the 25 ft mark and turned around. When I finished the 50 ft I dropped the dumbbells from shoulder height. Coach was not impressed but I didn’t have a choice. I couldn’t hold them anymore. Next came toes-to-bar.

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These were alright. I can string a few reps together and was able to complete the first round of them in two sets of 8. Dumbbell cleans came next – 8 of those. Matt and a number of people online recommended doing 6, taking a short break, then doing two more and heading directly into the lunges. This saves you having to perform a 9th clean if you rest after the required 8. This time around, I got the dumbbells settled on my shoulders a bit quicker and off I went on my second round of lunges. These didn’t feel any better than the first round but I managed to maintain a steady pace. I put the weights down after 25 feet though. Took a short(ish) break and headed back down the track for another 25 ft. At the end, I was able to lower the weights more gently and not drop them like before. The second round of toes-to-bar were not as smooth. I managed a set of 8 but then had to break them up into 1s and 2s for the second half. Successfully completed, I moved onto the cleans and followed the same process as in round 1. I was tiring rapidly now but I was determined to reach the muscle ups – even if I was unable to finish all 16. I finished round 2 at 6:44 with the dumbbells on my shoulders. Next set of lunges…

I was getting used to having this unstable and unsteady weight on my shoulders now but my legs were starting to give in. After the workout, one of the other athletes told me that he was standing behind me on this set and he saw my legs wobbling quite a bit. I had to take a break at the end of 25 ft and then finished the next 25 feet with about 2:30 left on the clock. I hoped this would be enough time to finish at least half of the 16 muscle ups. I stood under the bar just looking at it. Matt told me to just get one and that would start the momentum. I jumped up and did just one. Yay! Only 15 more to go. I was exhausted. Breathing heavily, throat dry, muscles aching. Matt and the other athletes started shouting encouragement and clapping. This made a massive difference. I was buoyed by their cheers and kept pushing. Thanks Daniel, Eric, Shannon, Warren and Matt – you guys are awesome! One rep at a time. At 40 seconds to go, I had 4 reps remaining. 30 seconds – 3 reps. 20 seconds – 2 reps. 10 seconds and I completed the last rep! Man!! I jumped down from the bar as the last five seconds were counted down. Fell to my hands and knees and then rolled over onto my back. I was utterly spent but also ecstatic. My goal had been to reach the muscle ups in round 3 and complete and many of them as I could. To actually finish all 16 in that round felt amazing. 94 reps total.

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17.2 was a doozy. My shoulders are bruised. My hamstrings and glutes are worn out. But my spirits are soaring. This time it’s definitely one and done. I don’t want to repeat that workout anytime soon.

Good luck to everyone else doing their run later this weekend. Let me know what your strategies are and let me know how you fared.

PS. Not the best quality pics, I know. They’re screen grabs from the Livestream video of the workout.