Thursday, August 19, 2010

Holy Crap I have a Trophy

( No This isn't the actual trophy, but it would be cool )

Ok before you all think this is going to be some sort of Im awesome look at me Puff piece. please read the whole thing. If you know me you know above all else that Im a very humble guy, and I don't brag.

Set goals. then do anything you can to accomplish them. Whether you do or not is not the point, Its the fact that you try, thats what makes you stronger thats what truly counts.

18 months ago before I found crossfit. I was 260 pounds, my days consisted of, wake up, go to work, go home, repeat. I was ok with this. this was the norm, it was comfortable. I wasn't unhappy, I was just complacent, this was the way it was and that was ok. I exercised here and there, did some bicep curls and benched, and attempted to run, I was strong but no where near in shape. I had asthma, and was hooked to my inhaler.
Things changed for me once I found crossfit. I remember the first workout vividly. Linda, Bench, Dead, and Cleans 10-9-8 etc etc. being a strong guy I thought I would crush it, well, I got my ass handed to me, and I fell in love.
Now I know Im wired quite differently than most people. Its hard wired in my DNA, I never ever quit, or give up, Im naturally stubborn, I will keep at something till it either kills me or I conquer it, and I think that's why I fell in love with crossfit. That or my sick desire to see just how far i can push myself. I like to see just how far I can go before I break.I also love Olympic lifting, there is something empowering about being able to make gravity kneel before you, or crush you under his heel, and , its just damn fun.
I joined a local crossfit box, Crossfit Central Maine. Started training hard. Dedicated myself to becoming better. Not just physically, but spiritually and mentally. You see the confidence I gained in the gym transfers to real life. Ive become a more confident person all around, a better Husband, a better Employee, a better Christian, an all around better Man.
By The numbers. After doing crossfit for 18 months or so. I am now, 215 pounds, I dont remember when the last time I took my inhaler was, I run 5ks at least once a month, I can lift 500 pounds off the ground, and have a general lust for life, and all it has for me. Each day is its own day a day full of challenge and wonder. Each moment a Gift from God, with which I make the most of it.
In 2009 I participated in the Maine Fittest Games, I had been crossfitting for a while, and wanted the challenge, wanted to see what I could do wanted to know what it felt like. I did ok, and placed somewhere near the bottom, but at least I tried.
In 2010 I set about to work hard, damn hard, train my ass off. It wasn't about winning, it was more about WHAT AM I CAPABLE OF. How far can I go, how long can I go, how hard can I work. I put in the time and long hours, sore joints and muscles, changed my diet and attacked my weaknesses. Well In 2010 I competed again.
Prior to this I had set some goals for myself. I wanted to place in the top 5 this year.
Well I worked my ass off, and I came in third. Now I know, there are those people who think that anything other than first doesn't matter. Well, your wrong. it all matters. Ive never won a trophy or anything before, and all i can say is, yeah it mattered. Ive never been so invigorated or proud of myself, and no that's not conceited, its perfectly fine to feel good about things you accomplish, and it felt damn good.
So to wrap it all up.
Its not about being first, its not even about winning. Its about setting goals for yourself. breaking down doors that hold you back, smashing in the skulls of those who tell you you Cant or Shouldn't. Whatever it is in life, your weight, your job, stress, marriage, school. Attack it with zest, set goals, smash those goals, work at em, NEVER EVER GIVE UP. Its the pursuit that matters, as long as you try and never quit that's really all that matters. When life throws you a punch, take it, pick yourself up and keep moving, and know the hits will come again. You see that's whats its all about, and that's what Ive learned from crossfit. just keep moving, just get it done, if it doesn't kill you, well guess what your going to get stronger.
So I hope you like this, I don't know if anyone reads this, but its good just to get it all out there.
I hope Ive at least inspired, or influenced one person.

Most people think they cant. So they cant. Start thinking you can, and you will.


Sue Paradis said...

I read every post you write, so you can be sure that you have at least ONE person that follows you:)

I, too, have been a "convert" to the crossfit mentality. I have exercised in some fashion my whole life, but in an on again, off again kind of way. I was carrying some extra weight that crept on over the years and when Jeff decided to join the gym last year, I joined him. I thought I was in pretty good shape but I had no idea what I was in for when I agreed to take the crossfit training sessions with Sarah...I had never swung a kettlebell or used any weights heavier than 8 lbs. I quickly found out that being in 'pretty good shape' wasn't good enough.

I was in awe of the competitors that I watched in the Fittest Games last July--I thought they were CRAZY to put their bodies through such an extreme test of their abilities! At the time, I NEVER thought that I would want to compete in such a grueling event. But in the back of my mind I was already thinking—would I ever be able to make it through that??

I participated in my first crossfit class in early August, but didn't jump in wholeheartedly...I had major butterflies before each and every class, wondering what Bill would have us do next! I would be SO nervous when we would do any kind of lifting--back squats, front squats, deadlifts, etc.--they were the things that scared me the most, having never lifted heavy weights before. Heck, almost every class involved something that I had never tried before! I admit I held back—only doing knee push-ups, taking lighter weights—afraid that I couldn't do what the other more experienced people were doing.

As the months went by and I was accomplishing things and seeing the results of my work, I also felt a difference in my overall attitude towards life. I had become a pretty cynical, negative and unhappy person over the years. I was basically just going through the motions in life—not living. But, little by little I was making changes. The biggest changes came when I started coming to the 6am class and then eventually when Jeff joined in. Being around positive and encouraging people in the class really affected both of us. The positive energy stayed with us and changed our outlook on life. We started living, not just existing. We went running with our sons in the evening, to help them train for the high school cross country team. We changed our diets—less carbs and empty calories and more good food. We took several day trips--some with just the two of us and others with the whole family. We even went out dancing, twice--something we hadn't done since our wedding, over 20 years ago!

When I decided to compete in this year's Fittest Games, I knew I had NO chance of winning. But that little voice inside my head told me that I NEEDED to do it. I needed to prove to myself that I could endure the pain and suffering and come out on the other side. So I did it. When it was all over I felt very proud about finishing something that not many people would volunteer to do (especially at 46 years old). I think even my teenaged sons were somewhat impressed with what their mom could do!

I think we all have a little bit of a 'superior' attitude when we tell people about what we do in crossfit class. Most don't understand what we go through and never will unless they do it themselves. The friendly competition and camaraderie make the hard work more 'palatable'. Some people might think it's crazy to get up at 4:30am when I could sleep in and enjoy my summer vacation...but I have found something that is working well and don't plan on giving it up anytime soon!

The bottom line is that crossfit is not just an exercise program—it is a way of thinking and being. Every day we all face challenges, big or small. It's our attitude towards how we tackle the daily grind of life that makes all the difference. I know it has helped me tremendously and I'm pretty sure Jeff would agree—CROSSFIT RULES!!!

Sisyphus said...

Mikey! I think it is good to take a few moments to celebrate. You've worked hard this year. Personally I've taken great pleasure in watching your skill improve. The depth of your overhead squats, your coordination in cleans has improved dramatically, for examples. Sure celebrate, but then get back to work there is more to do. See you in the gym, and on the field.

Post a Comment