It’s my 3 year CrossFit-iversary!! Three years ago this week, I walked into a tiny little gym in Minnesota and decided I was going to do something that scared me. I haven’t stopped being scared, and I haven’t magically become an athlete, BUT I am much better off physically and mentally than I was in January 2012. (And, the gym isn’t tiny anymore—it grew while I tried to shrink, and thanks to that I have lots and lots of people who are now friends and amazingly good inspiration to me every single day.) The traditional third anniversary gift is Leather–not Barbell–so sadly I don’t have a great gift ready to go for Rob, who has put up with my crap for well over 1000 very taxing days.
Last year was a major learning experience—on my 2nd CF-iversary, I was about 2 months pregnant. Being pregnant for the third time at age 38-9 and exercising (something I did not attempt in any way the prior two times) multiple times a week was brand new to me. I underestimated, completely, how much harder it would be than I imagined. Most days it felt like it was like exercising underwater—everything was difficult, and slow, and a slog, and involved very heavy breathing. But I did it—many days a week, all the way until the very very end. Two days before she was born, I finished my last Baby WOD…38 deadlifts, 38 wall balls, 38 box jumps, 380 meter row (38 for the number of weeks I had been pregnant.) /Also, I swear, if I hadn’t been induced at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night, I would have been at 6 a.m. class on Monday, August 11 working out before going to the hospital. Because of this, I thought it would be easy to just be done with the baby and melt all the extra weight off. WELL……..I discovered the hard way, that was ridiculous. Some of the pounds came off quickly, but the rest of them have wanted to hang on…and on…and on. I keep working really hard to take them off, but I also have had to work much harder than I thought to get back to the (mediocre) level of fitness I had attained. It’s hard as hell. January Whole30 helped, but I still have a lot of work to do. But I just keep trucking. Slowly. And poorly. But trucking.
Yesterday, someone said to me, “You had the baby a year and a half ago, right?” Nope. it was 6 months ago. It seems like it was a long time ago, but it really wasn’t. On days that I’m beating myself up that I am not back to where I was before, or that I can’t do the things I used to be able to, I take a look at this photo—which was what Tim and I looked like when Reilly was a 6 month old baby. 10 years after this was taken, we’re much better off today than we were then. Back then, we ate pizza multiple times a week. We went to the gym maybe once a month (maybe. OK, we went to the gym once a quarter. ALL RIGHT ALL RIGHT…that might be an overstatement.) Today, we work hard to make sure we are eating healthy food, and going to the gym even when we don’t feel like it, or when the movements are not “our jam” (umm, for me, that would be every day, but I digress), or when we’re tired…or whatever. We go.
My goals for this year are to get back to my pre-baby weight and fitness level. During the
winter, I’ve set a goal to do accumulate a half marathon of rowing (21,097 meters) in addition to my normal workouts during a given month. When the weather gets better, I am going to restart my daily one mile running project. But I’m also not going to let myself forget what I wrote about this time last year—Melissa 2.0 is better than Old Melissa. When I started CF three years ago, the scale (never a friend) read a number that was bigger than what I was at 7 months pregnant last year. It’s not just about a scale, it’s about how I feel every day. I physically feel better and stronger, and emotionally I feel more secure and more happy.
I’m constantly inspired by the people around me. People whom I will never ever be like, athletically, but that are also working to be better each day. I look around the gym at people who are enough younger than me that I could practically be their mom but who also take the time to say “great job” even though I am taking twice as long to do work at half the weight they are. I’m so grateful that we have found such a supportive and genuinely sweet community of people to help me along on my path.
I turn 40 this year, a number that scares me, but I am content that I’m healthier and happier now than I was when I turned 30. I’m happy that I have found something that works for me, and that I’m teaching my girls that exercise has to be an important part of their life from an early age. I wish I had found it earlier than age 36, but better late than never. Here’s to a beautiful 2015.