Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gut Check - for the Athlete Creator

"If you're not getting better, you're getting worse."

These words are at the core of everything I do. Every day I make decisions that either result in some part of me getting better or getting worse. (In case you're wondering - Staying the same is the same as getting worse.)

That parenthetical comment is really the heart of my gut check today. I caught myself thinking, "Good, I'm the same." Am I really the same? Can't be, so I need to ask myself some tough questions.

How do I feel?
I have to say that mentally and emotionally, I'm better. Without a doubt. I've had some busy weeks. There were very few nights I was able to be home to relax. Surprisingly, I didn't see signs of my typical anxiety or a feeling of being overwhelmed. That is incredibly significant. Managing my anxiety makes every aspect of my life so much better.

How is my training progressing?
It's hard to assess my training progress since I mainly do circuits of three to six movements. Rarely do I do the same drills in a circuit twice. I've tried doing one drill at a time so that I can gauge my progress easier, but that is so monotonous to me that my brain ends up working against me.

Circuits suit my brain better most days. Every day, after testing for my drills, I test whether they should be individual or in a circuit. It's obvious from my logs what tests best. Not always, but 8 times out of 10.

I'm disappointed in my pressing progress. I can't seem to figure out how to increase the amount of weight I am able to press. It used to be so important to me to press a 20 kg kettlebell. I've actually forgotten why that was so important to me. I think it's time to let that go. I'll press more when my body is ready to press more.

I've pretty much stopped doing snatches. I figured out they were tearing up my delts around T3 on my left side. Snatches rarely test well, so I rarely do them. The pain I've had near my left scapula has disappeared. Not being in pain is definitely a benefit to my life. It was hard to let go of the identity of being a "snatch queen." I was on the USST and SSST boards for awhile. Whoop-dee-flippin-do. That doesn't mean anything to me anymore. Being pain free does.

How is my body comp?
Here is kicker. I just took all my measurements. They are pretty much the same as a month ago. The same = worse. Or does it? Let's examine the evidence.

I have not been able to train as frequently in the past 6-8 weeks because of all of the busyness in my life. Add to that my embarrassingly crappy diet, and I should have gained fat like crazy. SHOULD have, but didn't. Come again?

My body is getting better at burning what's available. I've consumed more processed carbs in the past two months than I did in the previous two years. No lie.

I kept waiting for the scale to move, for my pants to feel tight, for the sky to fall.

It didn't.

What does the evidence prove? It proves that I am better. It proves that if I keep experimenting, I will find what makes me better. It proves that my fear of certain types of food was unfounded.

It frees me. Feeling free from a restrictive diet is definitely better than obsessing over everything I eat. The guilt is gone (most days). I'm still learning about myself and my relationship with food. It's fascinating.

So, there's a glimpse inside my gut. Now that I've purged, I can post my trianing from today. For the record - I rarely train on Sunday, but today was different. Love that!

Circuit - 5 rounds - 19 min. 45 secs

Waiter Plate Press - 25 lbs.
Left - 35 reps
Right - 40 reps
1875 lbs.

BB Sumo DL - 135 lbs.
29 reps
3915 lbs.

Inverted Rows
46 reps

1 comment:

Dave Sandel said...

Yes, I like this very much. And thanks for the unnecessary shout out! :p