Yesterday afternoon we had our first official obstacle course training camp.
John and I have been coaching OCR since 2012 – but in a weekly class format – so we were excited to be able to offer it in a more condensed way. AND in one of the best Crossfit boxes in Canada, Crossfit New West.
We could not have asked for a better group of enthusiastic and determined people… and got everyone from first timers to those who had completed the World’s Toughest Mudder and UltraBeast.
Yet, everyone had something to work on.
We ALL have obstacles that challenge us.
It’s funny. I think of myself as someone who is generally terrible at everything. Especially anything new.
I saw in their eyes what I have felt in mine. At times, insurmountable challenge – at times, staggering accomplishment.
After I had Seren (AKA the baby), I had lost so much grip and arm strength that I couldn’t even hold myself up on the monkey bars, never mind traverse them. I wondered if I should bother trying to get it back.
The other end of the monkey bars was too far literally and metaphorically for someone who couldn’t make it to the next rung.
Fall, fall, fall, fall. Try again, and again, and again. And again.
I had also gained weight, which made running hard. But I kept on picking my feet up and moving forward.
For the first few years in this sport I could not make it two steps across the balance beam. I couldn’t help but wonder how falling repeatedly off the beam was making me any better staying on it.
Walls were always too high to grab and I couldn’t coordinate using the toe kicks.
Things slowly, imperceptibly, started to get easier. And I started doing harder things. In my head, I’m still the same person who can’t hold themselves up on the monkey bars. In fact, more often than not I am surprised by the things consistent training has allowed me to do.
I wanted to put down the top three things I did to get from puttering along and repeatedly falling off a pull-up bar to standing on a podium with super heroes.
1.) Hang every day. EVERY day. Just hanging for as long as you can is a good start. But it’s boring as hell. I have always been a big fan of mixing things up: holding onto one or two towels, changing grip, bending my arms, hanging for different durations. I started back just hanging as much as a could every time I passed by my pull-up bar with no baby in my arms and I tried to make my forearms numb 5 days a week.
2.) Run, hike, walk and loco-mote. Here it is: running sucks when you start out. But it gets SO much better. Just keep doing it and one day you’ll get it. If you lost it, good for you, you’ll have way more faith because you know it’s still there inside you. If you ask me, you cannot spend too much time moving – just switch up the mode so as to not overtrain. Every little bit, like taking the stairs or walking your groceries home, helps.
3.) Play. Go try a new fitness class, take aerial gymnastics, buy a pass to a bouldering gym, chase your kids around the park. Just get moving and get out of your comfort zone. You’ll be ready for anything life throws at you… or obstacle course racing.
Most of all, be patient and trust in the process. It’s cliche but it’s true. Believe.
For April and May I’m going to be launching different challenges on my Yo Mama So Fit Facebook Page to get you ready for anything this summer throws at you.
They won’t take much out of your day but hopefully they’ll make all the difference in terms of what you can do with it,