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A little JFA can go a long way


I meant to blog after each Crossfit Open wod. Obviously, I did not. So really quick:
Nothing made my heart sink like 13.3. Last year I got one muscle up…and that was about the last time I practiced muscle ups with any level of seriousness. This year I managed to fail every muscle up attempt…which were many. 13.4 welcomed me with toes to bar. I was expecting this to be a horrible workout for me because I was slow. I didn't do that bad. The last workout was short. 4 minutes. This was the one workout I repeated. I felt I had more to give in that small time frame. I tried a different strategy that ended up working better. I came out of the last workout feeling more trust in my skills and more hopeful that I was somehow adjusting to the pond of stress in which I had been drowning.

This year, my baby became a mobile, curious toddler. The husband and I make a good team. We were making headway with stress and sleep. That ended quickly though. Before the 2013 CF Open even started, most people were ramping up their preparation. I was waving goodbye to the husband and learning that life as a couple raising a kid was gone. I was living as a single mom working a full time and part time job. What I had gained physically the previous year had dwindled due to other priorities. I wasn't about to stop and drop everything to have a pity party. There are plenty of single parents who had spouses gone for longer or knowing they would never return. I figure I was in between easy and shitastic. Not a good enough excuse to quit.

I worked out 2-4 times a week, including the CF Open wod. I spent no more than one hour at each workout. That one hour was my break away from other stressors. When I got to the gym for the CF Open wod, I rowed for two minutes as my warm up…or I didn't warm up at all. I’m not saying that was the right thing to do. It was the right thing for me to do at that time. I needed to keep the environment light to cope with my situation. I was out of shape. If I let my head get too wrapped up in that, I could have lost sight and tore myself to pieces. I need a little JFA to keep the mood fun. I focused on being mentally with it and not letting the out-of-shapeness of it all play head games.

I think it worked. Not great performances. I didn’t quit though. I gave myself room to be a competitor by setting up challenging, but not sky high goals. I kept a clear head by keeping the environment free of mental and emotional nonsense. I finished the 2013 CF Open in the 99th spot for the Southwest Region. It wasn't a qualifying spot, but it was a good place to be in out of almost a couple thousand other women who signed up. I also had the third top performance out of the ladies in my gym. Both ladies are bad asses and coming in third to them is nothing to be ashamed of.

I’m not sure other people connected me to my performance. I came in like a joker and didn't do shit for a warm up. I laughed and dorked around during the workouts. I admitted to being out of shape or sick or stressed or sleep deprived. That did not equate to dead last and a little JFA nursed a bruised ego enough to do something good. Being honest gave me the chance to make good calls on how to perform. It worked enough to get me 99th, allow me to be a part of my son’s life, keep me mentally with it for work, let me serve my country, and allow me to be a half-hippy Paleo snob by cooking my son’s food and making my own lotion (yeah it went that far).

Nothing seemed perfect. By involving yourself in the crap times, you learn to make adjustments. I learned to deal with a shit ton of different things. Towards the end, I would even say I was successful at it. The next time life doesn't give me the perfection hook-up, I may even be more (dare I use the term) resilient.
The point of this whole mess is not to be lazy and slouch around. It’s quite the opposite. Be involved in the life happening around you. To do that, not everything can be a top priority. It doesn't mean completely give things up either. Figure out how to manage your performance on various priorities. Trust what you have, even if it’s not where you want it to be. Work your mental and emotional sides. Make those resources useful and available. When it feels like you have nothing, you’ll need all of that to get by. 
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