Barbells For Boobs

This past weekend I was lucky enough to take part, for the second time, in my box’s annual “Barbells For Boobs” fundraiser. If you don’t know anything about Barbells For Boobs please please check them out! This is an amazing organization which raises to fund mammograms for uninsured women. Early detection and information is the first step in saving lives right?! Okay back to our fundraiser….
Last year, Barbells For Boobs was the first any sort of anything I did pertaining to CrossFit that wasn’t just showing up for the 6am WOD every day. I was beyond excited. I made the effort to raise money for a great cause. My father came out to support and watch. It was a great day. So of course going into it the second time around I was just as pumped. You see this year, I was determined to raise more money AND I knew I would be RX’ing the workout for the first time. I was ready.

Let’s talk a little about progress and transformation…

In recent months, namely July and August, my life outside of CrossFit had kind of sent me on a detour. All my focus had been put on helping my boyfriend organize, pack up, and move himself and his life halfway across the country. I wasn’t going to CrossFit as often as I had been, taking stretches of days off, and I was tired or on the run so often that my eating habits fell off… Except for when I was actually with my boyfriend because he was able to keep me somewhat on track. Thank you love :* …But I didn’t mind because for that time, something big came first. However, after the boy thaaang was all moved in down in Texas and I was back to my life (alone) in Jersey I was frustrated with my lack of performance and progress. Especially physically. I felt as though I had taken 10 steps back in my physical appearance results. For a small wrinkle in time I was so angry at myself and was my own worst critic. Like a super harsh critic. I experienced this fall off in endurance at CrossFit and a plateau in lifts, when others who were at my level had progress. I was PISSED.

But. Rather than allow this feeling to overcome me and succumb to this irritation. I became determined to get myself back to where I needed to be. The latter half of August was were this new journey began. I was BEYOND determined. I was focused. I did have a definitive goal but I had a million goals. I didn’t want to just be better. I knew exactly and specifically what I needed and wanted to be better in.

Cue, September. Again I had almost a week off right at the start of the month due to traveling to Texas to visit this ambitious man of mine. Then I returned realizing that I had finished my Saturday classes and could FINALLY return to my favorite of all gym times! Saturday morning workouts… One of the first Saturday workouts I came back to was a partner WOD. Besides the aggressive combination of suicide like sprints and kettlebell swings, part of the workout was clean and jerks. My heart dropped in nerves and anxiety when, in announcing the partners, my coach looked at me and said “95 would be nice to see”

Now I knew we were doing “Grace” soon at Barbells For Boobs and that the Rx women’s weight would be 95#. But was I ready? I seriously doubted myself.

I finished the workout that Saturday… Barely and with great thanks to my amazing partner!…  But I didn’t really touch 95# for anything over head until the week before. I was (again) in Texas and got to work out at Crossfit Cedar Park, being coached for that one class by a former games athlete. I found myself PR-ing my push press at 110#. Excuse me?! And it seemed relatively, well I wouldn’t say easy by any means but as if I could certainly have done more. That moment boosted my confidence like nothing else.

Fast forward to October 18th…

I woke up in the morning telling myself “Just finish. Juuuuuust finish.” I had practiced in my attic a few weeks prior with what I thought had been 95# but was informed by my father, to my dismay, that it was actually only probably about 85#… That’s what we get for having weird weights with a bar of unknown weight lol… My practice offered a 7:15 finish. Just barely under our 8 minute time cap. Finding out so close to the fundraiser that it was 10 pounds less than I thought was discouraging to say the least. But I kept a positive mindset and made my way over to Hackensack.

Before I discuss how I felt in and after the WOD, let’s just touch on WHY this was so important…

Have you ever had a definitive checkpoint with which you could measure your progress and results from all the hard work you’ve put in? Ya know the kind of checkpoint that means you H A V E to be real with yourself and you can’t sugar coat anything because the numbers don’t lie?

Barbells For Boobs was that for me. It was something, the same exact workout I had done at the same exact time I had done it the year prior. I had to face myself. I had to see how far I really had come, or not come, in the past year. This was it. All I wanted more than anything was progress and pride.

Needless to say, I looked at that 95# on the bar and I said “Let’s FUCKING Do This Shit.” I finished in 6:40. Just a little over 1 minute slower than I had performed the year before. However, the real factor that made a difference is that the prior year I did this workout (which by the way was “Grace” – 30 clean and jerks for time) with only 75#. A 20 pound difference. This time last year if I even attempted cleaning 95# I would have collapsed. It wasn’t a possibility to be considered by a long shot.

THIS is how far I have come. I have learned so much from these past couple months. Going from feeling frustrated and angry at myself for a lack of progress to showing myself that even with some detours the progress I have made over the last year is immeasurable… Or, literally, actually greatly measurable 🙂

I am an entirely new person. A year ago in October I was in my 7th month of Crossfit. Even then I was insanely impressed by the person I had become. I had NEVER in my life touched a barbell (or really even a dumbbell over 5 lbs) before. I could not do ONE SINGLE PUSHUP. I actually distinctly remember the coach doing one of my first On Ramp beginner classes laughing out loud at me when I attempted a push-up and even attempted a knee push-up. Hashtag embarrassing.

Moral of the story here is that no matter what is getting in your way, look at yesterday and remember that you are not the person you were then… Be determined. Stay focused. Know yourself.

Always remember that there are enough haters and critics in this world that will “offer” or force their opinion and judgment on you, don’t be one of them. LOVE yourself.

No matter where you are in your journey it is where you are meant to be and you are meant to learn from every experience and every step, whether forwards or backwards, in your goals. All you can do is never give up, never quit, and work as hard as your body will let you.

You are all amazing.

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