Well, it happened.
It fiiinallly happened.
I cried…like a little baby…with zero concern for the fact that people knew it was happening…for about 10 full minutes of a 30 minute workout this morning.
The recipe for my epic little breakdown this morning:
3 rounds for time of:
*With a 20# weight vest…that read ‘DAVIDSDOTTIR’ on it right in front to remind me the entire time that whatever I was doing wasn’t as hard as whatever Kat did in that very vest that I was wearing.
150 meter sled drag (135#)
20 GHD sit-ups
30 hip extensions
10 safety bar squats (65#)
I actually think I exerted more effort crying than I did doing the movements in the workout I came up with for myself.
That last part of that sentence is probably a very big part of what the problem was: me making up a workout for myself.
You see, if there’s one thing I know I should understand and accept, but don’t always follow through with, is just listening to my husband, who happens to be what I know I am biased in saying is one of the best CrossFit coaches/programmers in the world. In fact, I think the fact that that is who he is makes me even worse at it than I would be if I were with someone who did something totally different.
His knowledge base encourages me to shut that part of my thinking brain off so that I can just play puppet and trust that what my coach tells me to do is what’s best for me as an athlete.
I’m actually really good at listening to Ben; I can say that because he’s sitting right next to me in the car right now as I write this, and he just confirmed that. I’m sort of psyched that he said that because it’s something that is not in my nature. It’s not that I’m a big know-it-all or anything, but I do question things and not just accept them just because someone says that’s how it is. I’m not sure if that’s a good personality trait or not, but it’s a habit I have.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the 3 minute asthmatic episode I had at the very end of the workout I just did that required Ben to be called over to help me as he ripped the vest off that was “suffocating” me and verbally talk me back into a normal breathing pattern.
Yeah, that was the low point of the workout. No, no, I think it was actually when Big Dave walked by me with his young child while I was dragging the sled crying like a little kid who’s dog had just been put down to sleep. His child was looking at me like I was a real disappointment. Big Dave didn’t even make eye contact with me.
It was awkward.
But, there was nothing that could’ve made it less awkward.
Anyway, on the way home, Ben said something to me that I initially wanted to shoot down as inapplicable to me, but I quickly pulled up my big girl panties, sat there and took it like an obedient dog, and pulled together just enough patience and open-mindedness to accept that what he was about to say may be as hugely helpful to me as it ultimately ended up being:
Heather, you should start thinking about “if-then’s”.
Ben told me that taking the time to think about “if-then’s” before something undesirable happened would psychologically prepare me to be more calm and ready to react rationally when things didn’t go the way I assumed or had hoped they would.
It happens all the time, right? Not just in training, but all of the time.
The car ahead of you is going 5 miles an hour below the speed limit and you left zero extra time to get where you need to be at a certain time.
You kids aren’t on board with being on time for school; they want to play with their toys, walk slowly up the stairs, throw a tantrum because their sibling stole one of their 2,500 Legos.
Your flight gets delayed and causes you to miss your connecting flight home after a long business trip.
The chick in front of you in the line to get barbells takes the last women’s bar…and, the class is doing “Isabelle” that day.
In my case in the workout I did, the weight vest I was using to do bodyweight sled drags, GHD sit-ups, hip extensions, and safety bar squats…all for the first time…felt awkward, mentally defeating, different from everything I’ve done for the last 6 weeks and 3 days, and made it really hard to breathe.
When you anticipate things like this going wrong, you start making lists of how you can react in a positive or productive way, instead of getting frustrated, pissed off at your “luck” that day, or blaming someone else for putting you in the position of “victim”.
Sure, it’d be great if we could all not have to plan ahead and just be able to deal with all of these unideal circumstances, but it’s just not realistic for the majority of us. So, we need a plan.
It’s not that you have to walk around your day waiting for something to go wrong, but you do have to navigate your life with the assumption that not everything’s going to roll out exactly the way you want it to.
You need to look ahead.
I remember back when I was learning how to drive on the highway and my father would always tell me that I need to know what’s going on a few hundred meters ahead of my car, not just what’s going on with the car or two in front of me.
He told me that I should rarely ever need to hit my brakes when I’m on the highway because I should be able to see far ahead enough that just letting my foot off the gas pedal should be enough to compensate for anything further down the road.
I still think about that all of the time when I’m on the highway: keep a far enough distance between me and what’s ahead, and always look further down the road so I can be ready for anything.
And, it’s no different in life.
What my father taught me about driving is very similar to what Ben was trying to teach me about “if-then’s”.
Plan ahead so you can be ready.