Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Attitude and Perspective

Every WOD is a new opportunity to do well. To change attitude. Sometimes it is important to slow down and take a breath.

I am in a position now of not being able to workout at the same level I have been accustomed to over the past few years. I had been what would be considered a hard-core crossfitter for the past 3+ years. I have lifted tons of heavy weight, had some very good times in named workouts, even better than those half my age, and had aspirations to compete.

But life happens. And sometimes the road we want to travel is not the road that has been planned for us. I am now on the road that has been planned for me, and it is very different from what I had imagined. I am blessed to have the opportunity to workout again. And with each workout, I have the opportunity to do well, to change my attitude.

I am unable to work at the intensity and level that I previously did. But I am able to work. Every weight feels heavier than it previously did. Every rep feels harder. Every minute feels longer. Every WOD feels slower. And they all are. But it is alright. It is what it is. And ultimately, it is a new opportunity to do well.

I use to warm up my dead lifts at 135#. I now warm up at 95#. But I can dead lift. I use to squat in the 200s. Now I am barely squatting 143#. But I am squatting. It took me over 20 seconds to run 100Ms. But I ran. And I am so blessed to be able to do all of this.

As I heal, as I recover, I find it more and more important to listen to those around me, my coaches. They know what I am capable of, and they know what I can bring to the table at each workout. Some days they may say to try something, other days, they may say to call it a day. Some days they may say to push harder, other days they may say to just go through the paces.

The other day we did Fran as a workout. 21-15-9 of thrusters and pull ups. My previous Fran time was 4:09. It was memorialized in video. I could watch it over and over. It was also the WOD that was done for my benefit at the Lift it and Love it benefit. It is a WOD that is over before you know it, and you feel like you were hit by a truck when you have finished. When Fran shows up on the board, everyone sighs.

4:09… That was then. Now things are very different. I was told to use the empty bar – 33#. I was also told to take it easy. That is was not a typical “Fran” for me. I was afraid. I didn’t know if I could do it. When all is said and done, it is 45 thrusters and 45 pull ups. The clock started, and so did I. It felt good, natural.

The movements were natural. But my body was not quite ready for the cardio component. Sometime during the workout, my coach said, “Lauriel, I want you to rest before you start your pull ups. Catch some air.” This happened a few times. I was also told that it was not going to be like my previous Fran.

I was fine with it all. I needed the rest. I needed the perspective. My body and mind had been trained otherwise, but I needed to listen to my coach. And I listened. I rested.

I caught some air. And I eventually finished. It took me 8:28 to finish, but I finished.

I was so happy to have finished for a couple of reasons. First, it was the WOD that many others did for my benefit on 8/13/11 at CrossFit480. They did it for me, and this day I did it for them. Second, it is such a difficult WOD, even scaled. It taxes the mind and the body.

Every day is a new opportunity, and attitude and perspective is everything. It took me 8:28 to finish Fran. I dumped a back squat at 143#. But I finished Fran, and I did get 2 reps at 143#. Next time I may do better. Or maybe I won’t. It really doesn’t matter, in the grand scheme of things.

What really matters is the perspective. I am traveling a difficult road. The fact that I can even do any of what I am doing makes me so blessed. I am so grateful and overwhelmed.

So when workouts get the best of you, push through and keep perspective. When weights feel heavy, do your best, and keep perspective. Some days will be PR days, and others won’t. Some days you will feel like you can’t do anything wrong, and other days you will feel like you can’t do anything right.

I saw this picture at a doctor’s office during a recent visit. The quote says, “Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens: not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst… A spark that creates extraordinary results.”

It is the same during WODs. Each WOD or rep may not be a PR. But how you look at it may create extraordinary results. Maybe it gives you the strength do PR the next time. Or maybe it allows you to finish in time to push another person, so that they are able to PR. Or maybe it just gives you perspective so that you realize how blessed you truly are, as you are able to do something that many are unable to do.

Life is the same way. Every day is not going to be a PR. But, as the quote says, “Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens: not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life…” Life is precious.


Keith said...

Very inspiring Laurie. Can't wait to see you!

Jamie Wagener said...

Lauriel, you are an incredible woman. This was a great post - your thoughts and words are inspiring and a wonderful reminder of what's truly important in life. Sending strength, love and health your way. Jamie :)

Katherine Henry said...

Very inspiring... something I needed to see and hear today. Thank you. Keep rocking it!

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Katrina Costedio said...

I love your blog. Thank you.