Running With the Big Boys

This morning I went to Crossfit and had a moment of nostalgia. I got to race with the big boys just like I used to do when I was a kid. For those that aren’t familiar with Crossfit it’s an exercise methodology that is based around the premise of creating “complete” athletes. It incorporates weight lifting, cross-training, running, gymnastics, and basically every kind of exercise you can imagine, developing strength, skills, and balance. Every day there is a WOD or Work-Out of the Day. Well, today’s WOD involved sprints. And for some unknown reason, any time running is involved, I panic. Even when I was a soccer and field hockey player in high school and could run for 90 minutes during a game, I’d panic before practice if I knew we were doing suicides or “One Lap Ahead”. Today was no different.

One of the coolest things about Crossfit is that I am often working-out alongside other strong women… of all ages, shapes, and sizes. However, for some reason, today I was the only woman. There were about 10-11 of us, all about the same age today. My brother-in-law (K) was there too who’s younger and very, very fit… and fast… and loves to find ways to tease me. Just like a real brother. So when the time came to do the sprints I was feeling a bit intimidated. Mind you this is AFTER doing some heavy-lifting front squats. I managed those fine, in my own little female corner of the gym. But for the sprints we were all lined up together at the starting line. Now, Crossfit has some competitive elements involved. Primarily, you’re supposed to simply “self-compete” meaning look to improve your past performance. But come on, when you’re lined up on a starting line with other athletes essentially to race (the clock), there’s little you can do to keep from thinking about where you will fall in the pack. At least that’s how it was for me.

Our task was to run 10 100 meter sprints on the minute, staying within a benchmark time established prior to the first sprint. If you ran the sprint in 20 seconds, you had 40 seconds to recover for the next one. So butterflies in my stomach and all, I lined up with those 10 men on the starting line, determined I was going to beat at least one of them. And it took me back to the days of racing my brothers in the back yard, and how much joy I got out of that even when I lost. Long story short… I’m happy to say I came in about 5th-6th place (and at least 3 of those guys are true Crossfit athletes that actually compete)  in each of the 10 sprints (even the last one!). And I finished… Which is often my very modest of goals. K of course won every time (or was in 2nd) so some things never change. I still can’t beat my brother, but damn it, I’m gonna try! That’s alright, I got to gloat to him that Bayern Munich beat Basel 7-0… a team that his beloved Manchester United were unable to beat. 🙂 He GREATLY appreciated the dig.

Real Madrid play this afternoon in their Champions League match against CSKA and I’m really just writing this to take my mind off of it. I’m nervous about it… Really, I don’t DOUBT that they’ll win. But anything can happen in football and if they lost, I’d be destroyed. My heart is set on a Bayern Munich/Real Madrid final, and that would just totally mess up all my plans. Plus, I’d have to revert to rooting for Barca whole-heartedly, which would put some distance between me and some of my friends. So let’s just pull this off, ok Madrid?!

To end this I’ll post a song that they play all the time in the gym to motivate. It came on again today and now has become a bit of a mantra for me when I don’t feel like putting in the effort.  I couldn’t figure out what it was called or who sang it because my internet searches just weren’t producing what I was looking for. You’ll probably figure out why… *Warning* Explicit language, which is so unlike me but sometimes it’s just called for. 🙂

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