Sunday, March 11, 2012

Perspective

Generally, I try to be super positive.  Always with a smile plastered on my face (and usually it's real).  I have a lot to be thankful for, the Lord has truly blessed me in so many ways.  I don't usually have much to frown about.
This is an example of a fake real smile, because, as you can see, my son
was in the middle of what my friend Kendra calls a WAF.
But sometimes I get into a funk.  Sometimes I just go through periods of struggle.  I have a long history of depression and anxiety (due in part to both heredity and hormones), so it could just be that crap-monster trying to pull me down.  I imagine depression and anxiety as that scene in Ghost where the black demons float up and pull the bad guys down to the netherworld.  You know the scene with the amazing special effects?  Anyway, this disease bullies each person in a different way.  In my younger years, my particular struggle was with Anorexia and Bulimia.  But as an adult, for instance, I tend to become withdrawn, grouchy (mostly to my poor husband), chronically exhausted, and very self-defeating.  Luckily, through years of trial and error, I have found a medication that I am able to take on a daily basis that helps me to stay fairly stable (but, don't get me wrong, I'll always have a little bit of crazy in me... that's what makes me fun); but every now and then, I struggle.

Just kidding.  Probably.
It's during these little bouts of extra crazy that I tend to really battle stupid Body Dismorphia.  I become totally blind to the progress that I have made, and see every pound that has been shed, still glued to my "problem areas."  I suppose it might be the same as someone having an itchy toe even after having his/her foot has been amputated.  Maybe I'm having phantom blubber symptoms.  Whatever it is called, I hate it.  I want to be proud of myself for what I have accomplished, but during these periods, I just can't.

It is also during these times that I tend to really struggle with what I like to call the "Stare and Compare Game."  I don't usually tend to compare weight, sizes, and shapes with those around me (unless the rare supermodel shows up in all spandex at my gym), not anymore; but I do tend to compare abilities.  I consistently feel like I am the weakest and slowest person in my CrossFit group.  I almost always come in last.  And most of the time, I'm totally fine with it.  But there are other times that it gets under my skin like you wouldn't believe.  There are times when I just want to quit because I am not winning.  Ever.  I know it's not about that, I know I should be competing with myself, I know that this is about me, blah blah blah.  I know all that.  I really do.  And I am so very proud of all of my amazing CrossFit sisters for their abilities.  But sometimes, I just want to do really really great.  I get so frustrated when I can't Military Press the same amount as the next girl, or when a newbie shows up my Dead Lift by 30 lbs.  I want to punch myself in the face (maybe more metaphorically then literally) whenever I have to slow the treadmill because running is hard for me.

I expressed my frustrations to our coach and he explained to me that many of my CrossFit sisters were high school and college athletes and that they have 8 years (at least) of training on me.  He assured me that I am improving, but that everyone else is too.  It made me feel better, but I still wanted to pout.  I mean, I'm a CrossFitter!  I should be a total bad-a**, right?  I don't feel like a bad-a** on the days when I can only use a 15" box for Box Jumps and the other girls are using 20".  One of my fellow CrossFitters told me one day, "I'm always last in my group too, but who cares?  I always ask my self: Did I kick my own a** today?  Yes I did!  And that's what matters."  This gave me a really good chuckle and helped me climb out of the murky waters of self-pity in which I had been unsuccessfully wading.

Did we kick our own a**es that day?  Yes we did!  Look at all that sweat!
I suppose, more than anything, it's a matter of perspective.  Everything is a matter of perspective.  I can leave my workouts feeling bad because I didn't do better than whomever, or I can choose to be proud that I show up every day and work hard.  Recently we had a double WOD day that was really tough (the picture above is of me and one of my beautiful CrossFit sisters following this workout).  Part of the workout included jump roping (triple singles or double unders) and Dead Lifts in a 21-15-9 format.  I was lifting 85 lbs, and was irritated that it took me nearly 6 minutes to complete the WOD.  A few days later, I realized that I was dead lifting less weight than what I have lost from my body (which is currently 92 lbs).  I felt an instant swelling of pride.  Perspective.  Another day I was doing Fran for a second time (many of the WODs are named after women), whacked myself in the forehead with the bar and my hands slipped during the pull ups, turning me momentarily into Tarzan (thank God I was using a band).  I was so frustrated with my lack of coordination (even though I laughed it off with a Tarzan yell).  And then I remembered that when I first started CrossFit I couldn't even do a band-assisted pull up, and my weight on the Thrusters had doubled from the first time Fran came around.  Pride.  Perspective.

I'm at a really good place right now.  I do know that I will always have occasions that I struggle with depression and anxiety, and some of those bouts will be worse than others.  But, for right now, I am going to choose to be proud of what I have accomplished so far.  I am going to look at how far I have come, and not how far I have to go.  I am going to try to keep that ever-important perspective, so that I will continue to try hard each and every day.
This is the back of my favorite workout shirt from Strong is the New Skinny.
Work hard.  Love yourself.  And thank you for keeping me In Good Company.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, Kelsey! I have really been having a tough time with this lately. I have some major restrictions (back) that have been making themselves real apparent, especially since we've been adding so much weight and maxing out. I just have to be ok with low weight (or even just pvc) and following through with movements. Being out a week is not beneficial and i feel like what i have learned slips away real fast when I'm not moving at all! You are SO right, we are all at different levels and our bodies all have different weaknesses or restrictions...so the real challenge is remembering to compare ourselves to ourselves..and keep that healthy perspective :-)

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