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Hey! It’s me.

Posted Sep 09 2012 3:48pm
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Sep 9, 2012 Posted by on Sep 9, 2012 in Blog | 10 comments

One of the things I love about traveling is that it puts me in a new context and can make me feel like a different version of myself. Most of the time that’s a rewarding experience — I get to try on new ideas and patterns to see what’s a keeper. But sometimes, being in an unfamiliar place also creates a sense of not feeling like myself. After 10 (wonderful, fun, exhausting, awesome) days of tramping around Pennsylvania — eating verboten treats, relaxing with my family, taking in the scenery, meeting new people, exploring Philly neighborhoods, skipping workouts, enjoying the front row of the Bruce Springsteen show, and missing meditation — I’ve been not quite myself. Add in the continuing thyroid experimentation, and I’m feeling a bit unmoored.

Yesterday morning I was overcome with an undeniable desire to move. It’s been a few months since I tackled a CrossFit style workout, but my body feels like it can handle a high-intensity workout once or twice a week now, as long as I rest and refuel afterward, so I dug up an old WOD to start my day. It’s a modification of a workout created at CrossFit Central a few years ago when they did a series of WODs named for clients and made one for me.

WOD
15:00 AMRAP:
30 box jumps
20 dumbbell push press, 15# DBs
10 burpees
200m run
I finished: 2 full rounds + box jumps + push press

CASHOUT
Hatha Star yoga: lots of stretching hips, legs, and feet to make us grounded

My performance wasn’t remarkable. Just an everyday WOD to make me sweat — but it felt Good. Right. Since I stopped training hard last November to deal with my hormonal downward spiral, I’ve lost some of my fitness. But that’s the kind of thing that comes back! I felt encouraged, rather than disheartened by my workout. I know how to do this: do the work, rest, fuel, repeat.

I think when we take long breaks from training — for injury, because life gets overwhelming, when we’re traveling — we think to ourselves, “Now I have to start all over again!” But that’s unnecessarily harsh, judgmental, and unfair to ourselves. When I started CrossFit in 2008, I couldn’t do box jumps at all; yesterday I did 90. Sure, they were slow, but I’m capable of doing them so I’m not really starting over. I’m just picking up a thread that was dropped a few months ago. Are you in a place where you feel like you’re “starting over?” Now might be a good time to take stock of where you are and recognize you’re not starting from scratch, you’re starting fresh.

To cooldown after my workout, I wandered across the street to take a look at the mosaic-in-progress in my neighbor Stef’s yard. (She’s the artist who created a bunch of the pottery we used in Well Fed photos.) Mixed into the mirrors and rose patterns are quotes from the famous, the infamous, and the loved. I’d never really slowed down to read them before, but because I was killing time, waiting for my heart rate to return to normal, I took a few minutes to read them, left to right…

If you decide to make someone the enemy and you’re pushing very hard against them, you don’t affect them at all, but you disconnect yourself from the stream.

Martin Luther king understood his worth. He had his god moment.

The world is not set up so that it is easy to be a righteous occupant of it. Award yourself handsomely for any progress made in this department. — Johnny Walker

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.

It was 101 and his hair looked fantastic.

It’s gonna be all right.

Just as I was chewing on the words It’s gonna be all right and gut-checking myself to see if I believed it, I caught a glimpse of myself in one of the mirror shards. I almost didn’t recognize myself at first. I’d been feeling sad, old, tired, and puffy for the last few days, but the girl gazing back at me didn’t look like any of those negative things. My cheeks were flushed from my workout, and my eyes had that fierce thing I get when I’ve just stared down a workout. The thought bubbled up into my consciousness: It’s me.

I visited FIT at the University of Texas last week to have my body fat percentage and resting metabolic rate tested (That whole story is coming soon.) so I have data to help me plan my new course of action. I’ve started my Armour treatment for my thyroid, I’m eating 100% Whole30 clean, and I’m revamping my training routine to include a little bite of CrossFit here and there. It’s a fresh start on the road to being me. Again. Still.

  1. I think all of our learning is about 2 steps forward, 1 step back. I like what you said about it’s never starting from scratch; we ‘stretch’ ourselves into new territory and then we retract a bit back into the old familiar, but we’re never the same. Thank-you for this comforting reminder that we are never truly starting over when it seems like we’ve lost something we had gained.

  2. Dania R. says:

    Thank you for this post today. It’s been a rough and emotional summer and there have been quite a few days I feel like I’ve slipped so far back that I don’t even KNOW how to start over. I needed that reminder that there was a time when I couldn’t row, run, or do box jumps either. And now I can. No matter how slow. Thanks for the encouragement and good luck on your fresh start! By the way, that is a cool-as-heck mosaic.

  3. J. K. Clark says:

    I need to start eating “100% Whole30 clean” again, too. My transgressions aren’t terrible, coffee with a bit of sugar in the morning (until 2 weeks ago, I hadn’t had coffee or sugar since May) and too much fruit/nuts during the day, but I can still tell a difference. I feel weak, as if I’ve lost the firm grip I had on my diet. I’ve had that fear that “going clean” would feel like that first week all over again, but I like the idea of STARTING FRESH. It makes it seem so much less daunting.

  4. Lydia says:

    *bookmarked*

  5. Mary says:

    Great post! Very thoughtful.

  6. Jeanye says:

    Welcome home, Mel! It’s great to hear the hope in your voice again! I’m in a transition pattern as well healing some adrenal dysfunction. It’s hard to remember how important the work of rest is for me right now. I definitely miss the high of the metcon. But I have enjoyed a renewed gratitude for the gift of a long walk or bike ride. Thank you for sharing your story. It inspires us all!

  7. Ms Jane says:

    This post is serendipitous Mel. I’ve just found out that not only am I fructose and lactose intolerant but I’m also intolerant to salicylates. After ranting and raving around the house ALL weekend (wtf can i actually freaking eat!)I have woken up this morning with a modicum of acceptance about this situation and realize that I just have to go on with things and not fight against it. It’s hard when your body doesn’t do what it’s meant to do…gotta just go on. Move. Live. Smile xxx

  8. Casey says:

    Nice post! You look fab in that mural reflection.

  9. Lady A says:

    This hit the spot for me this morning. I really appreciate how your self-expression helps us find the healing accessible within ourselves. It’s nice to remember I can pick up the thread, and that I’m stronger than what I often give myself credit for. Good work on your WOD!

  10. Melissa G. says:

    What a great post. Thanks for this. We’re all in this together, girl. Thank you!

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Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan • melissa@theclothesmakethegirl.com

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