I haven’t talked about CrossFit lately because it’s
so fucking hard the bane of my existence very challenging, and when I’m away from it, I need to focus on other priorities, like feeding the children and Facebook. But I am still doing it, partly because I’m aiming to one day wear some trendy booty shorts, and partly because it keeps me strong.But now that I’m more than a half-century old, I’ve readjusted my approach. My goals include being strong and fit, but not necessarily able to squat-clean a car. (Note: Hot Firefighter Husband’s CrossFit goals are less modest. In this year’s CrossFit Open, an international online competition, he placed #536 out of 5,299 men his age. Just saying. #seniorbeefcake)
By contrast, I came in pretty much last, and felt really proud of myself since I didn’t throw up (in public) at all. It’s part of my new life strategy, which I developed after hearing a writer talk about making time for her craft. She said, essentially, that you will have to give up some things you really like in order to focus on what you love. It was a light-bulb moment for me: I CAN’T BE GREAT AT EVERYTHING. No, no, don’t argue with me. I can’t. So I decided to stop trying to be great at CrossFit. I still work out a lot, and I still prioritize my health and fitness. But instead of hoisting 65 lbs. over my head 60 times, I hoist 45 lbs. When the workout is timed, I use every single minute rather than racing to finish, which means I work out the longest. #seniorwinning
Despite my new half-assed approach, I inexplicably entered a CrossFit competition this past weekend. I was sort of pressured into it by Coach Brent Parrish, who organized the event. He asked me to enter in a very nice “if you don’t do this, you don’t really appreciate all I do for you” kind of way, so I signed up and forgot about it.
Well. The date arrived. The Battle of the Barbells was part of the annual Never Quit race, an event to raise awareness about brain injuries and stroke and to support the U.S. military. It consisted of three workouts spaced about 90 minutes apart. I arrived with a reusable grocery bag decorated with pink flamingos, and blended in among the half-naked uber-athletes downing fitness drinks and decorating themselves with neon kinesiology tape. My bag contained nuts and sunscreen. I forgot to bring water.
The first workout lasted 7 minutes – 10 55-lb thrusters (hold the barbells across the clavicle, squat, then thrust bar overhead as you stand up) followed by 5 burpees, over and over and over again until you feel certain you will kill Coach Brent if you ever recover. After I finished it, I called Husband, who was conveniently at work. “Tell me why I shouldn’t just go home right now,” I said. “I’m miserable.”
“Because it’s fun,” he said. I hung up on him, and walked to Walgreen’s to buy some water.
The second workout: rowing, then box jumps and front squats until you die or five minutes goes by, whichever comes first. Afterwards, I called Husband. “Why am I here?” I asked. “It’s almost over,” he said.
Third workout – squat cleans and deadlifts. After the third workout, I felt better because it was over, and I had rallied during the deadlifts so had moved from last place to 16th out of 20. BECAUSE I’M FULL OF BOOM SAUCE, Y’ALL. Also, I wanted to wear the Never Quit t-shirt in good conscience.
So listen up: I did this competition knowing I would look all wrinkly and miserable compared to the sleek tattoo-y hard bodies next to me. Thank goodness I have three tattoos so I wouldn’t totally stand out. What? I haven’t told you about the third? Note to self: write blog about new tattoo.
You can do anything, my loyal peeps, and it doesn’t have to be what everybody else is doing. You can climb a mountain if you want. But if you’d rather just go for a walk in the park and sing Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman” at the top of your lungs, you can do that instead. It’s just as badass, I promise. Do not be defined by your age. Just, you know, pay attention to it, if there are heavy weights involved.