Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Getting in Shape and Feeling Overwhelmed

Ok ladies, in this post I'm going to be perfectly candid and honest with you. Normally I try to keep things personal, but at a certain distance, but I'm laying it all out for you in this post.

A few weeks ago I blogged about how I was tired of getting on the scale and being disappointed by the numbers and how I wasn't going to do that anymore. I'm happy to say since then I've only gotten on the scale maybe twice. It's hard to break that habit. I have been going to the gym more, my goal is four days a week and if I do it more than that, then great.

However, I had a gym failure the other day and felt so frustrated that I honestly wanted to just cry. In the gym. In front of people.

As a little backstory, I started doing Crossfit this past summer and really enjoyed it. I started seeing results quickly and could tell I was becoming stronger. Then around September the class time changed to a time that was too late in the day for me and I hurt my back doing deadlifts. It was my fault that the injury happened, as I hadn't warmed up enough and I knew it, but I wanted to see how much I could lift and ended up hurting my back. Thankfully when I had it checked out it turned out to only be a pulled muscle, but I foolishly didn't realize how long a pulled muscle in the back could take to heal. I also discovered that one of my legs is slightly shorter than the other, which my Crossfit trainer had actually pointed out the very day I got hurt and the physical therapist and doctors think that contributed to me getting hurt. Anyway, my back still hurts on occasion and for several months after that I rarely did Crossfit and got into a not working out funk.

Fast forward to last week and I started doing Crossfit again. I went to the lunchtime class and was very disappointed with it. Not because our trainer isn't awesome, because he is, but because I felt like an outsider with the rest of the group. Not one of them talked to me, except our trainer (who I'm friends with in real life and on Facebook). None of my friends from the previous class go to this lunchtime class, so I have nobody that I know and it's just very awkward. Not to mention all these people can do everything so much better than me. I am not a natural athlete and I have not done anything really physically demanding in awhile, so that already puts me behind these others, but it was just down right embarassing. Every skill that we worked on that day I could barely do.

The next day I emailed my friend/trainer and asked him what I could do to improve, because I just felt like I wasn't strong enough to do these moves and I needed some help. So now, he's put me and one of my friends from the previous class, on a strength building program and told us we also need to do Crossfit regularly to help build our skills. Here's the problem, I don't like the lunch class because I feel so alone in there, so I'm thinking about doing the workouts on my own. Plus, as much as I like Crossfit, I don't feel like it's the be-all, end-all of workouts. I like doing yoga, and spinning and dance stuff too. Plus I need to fit building up my running on the Couch to 5K program in there too. I just feel like there is so much stuff I need to do and so little time to do it. I don't want to burn out or hurt myself, but I want to get in shape. Now I'm to the point where I almost feel overwhelmed and I don't even know where to start.


Jes said...

There isn't a crossfit class here but there is one at a base about 30 minutes from here. I attended their classes for about a month and never felt the welcoming I felt at any of the xfit boxes I'd been to in the States so I stopped going. I hated feeling like the weak outsider. I tried doing it on my own for a while but it's just not the same. I hope you find a class that works for you!

I'm also working on the C25K. After 8 weeks, I finally felt confident enough to move on to W4D1 today and it was brutal but I finished! Sometimes I feel discouraged because it's taking me twice as long to make it through the program as it should but somehow I've managed to not give up!

I hope you find a plan that works for you! For me, finding a gym/routine is almost as hard as finding a church each time we PCS!

Crystal said...

I don't think any particular class, whether it is bootcamp, crossfit, spinning, etc. is the be-all, end-all of workouts either. If you don't feel comfortable with the crossfit class, I would suggest going with something else instead. If you keep trying to go to a class you don't like and are not happy with, it may eventually deter you from wanting to do any classes down the road.

The yoga, spinning, and running you mentioned are all great forms of exercise too. Are there other classes you may be interested in? Or exercise videos?

You'll find a routine you like and will excel at so try not to be too overwhelmed by it all (easier said than done, I know). Just know you can do it and every little bit counts!

Brenna said...

First of all- totally jealous of you having tried Cross Fit! They do not offer any over here on our post and I cannot wait to get back to the states and try it!
If you are not comfortable friend- you will never get the full experience of the workout! Stick to the other things you enjoy and feel comfortable doing. And if you do not feel ready for a specific workout/move- do not do it! No reason to risk another injury!
Keep up the battle friend!!!

Erin said...

I think having a class you enjoy is one of the best motivators. There is a fit mom class on post that I go to 4 times a week. The class is a good workout but half the days my motivation for going to to chat with my friends in class.

Jenn said...

You gotta be proud of the fact that you are motivated enough to go to the gym in the first place, email your instructor for tips on getting better/stronger, and being willing to pursue other avenues of exercise (spinning, yoga, dance, etc.). I think everyone hits these walls every so often, and blazing right through it will ONLY make you stronger and more confident. :)

I am looking forward to doing C25K once this baby comes, but am also hoping to be able to get into a few workout classes on post as well. You know what they say, Variety is the spice of life! :)

Know that you're doing great!!! Hugs to you because staying motivated is THE biggest part of working out (says the gigantically pregnant Exercise Science grad....). ;)

The Pink Growl said...

Aw I'm so sorry that sounds crappy! I've never done Crossfit, but I know all kinds of people who do and love it. I hate it, hate it, hate it when I feel like that - especially at the gym.
Good luck to you and I hope you don't let this get you down on your weight loss journey!

Samantha said...

Maybe if you give the lunch class another chance you'll be welcomed into the fold? I would feel discouraged about it also, though. If you decide not to continue with the lunch time class, you're right there are so many other options! I hope you find something that works for you!!

❈ Annie - Blonde Glambition ❈ said...

First off, I wouldn't call it your failure. It's the group's failure for not being more welcoming. I know people can get into the zone when they are working out, but it's a little different in a group environment. It's unfortunate that they wouldn't be more inviting and helpful.

I'm starting to go to the gym here now. I'm going to try several of the classes to see if any of them are a good fit for me, as well as individual work outs. If you want a workout buddy for any of the classes, running/weight lifting time, or any workout time for that matter, I would be more than happy to join you :)

I think if I can get into a workout routine it will help me through the transition.

loqi said...

This is my fourth try at writing this comment -- I keep launching into quasi-tirades. So, I will try again to be succinct here, and then I'm going to send you a big ass email in which I designate myself your "virtual coach". :)

First and foremost, your have persevered through a lot to continue your quest to get healthy and strong, and you should feel really proud of yourself for that. All of us feel overwhelmed about our fitness goals sometimes, just because there's so much out there! And I'm like you, there are a lot of things that I enjoy doing other than just CrossFit, so it's a balancing act deciding what to spend time.

There are 2 really important points I want to make in response to your post. And they are things that I spend a lot of time explaining to people. I hope you don't mind me "soapboxing".

#1 - If you don't feel welcome in a CrossFit class, the person to blame is the coach.

When you choose to take on the title of "coach", you are taking on the responsibility of leadership. The behaviors that you model will be those that your athletes value. If you don't instill in them the importance of creating a welcoming and supportive group, then you are giving them permission to be a clique.

#2 - The only thing "special" about CrossFit is how it creates communities and empowers people.

The strength and conditioning concepts that CF incorporates aren't anything special or ground-breaking -- it's all standard stuff that sport-specific coaches have been using with their athletes for DECADES. The "secret" behind the success of CrossFit is how communities form around the idea that "average" people can master these complex movements within a challenging fitness program, and in doing so gain a whole new confidence in their own abilities.

If you go to a CrossFit gym, and everyone has an "elitist" attitude -- i.e. snubbing or looking down on those who are still learning or just starting -- then something is seriously wrong. True CrossFitters celebrate every beginner athlete and applaud their efforts, because they recognize their own past struggles, and see the potential possible you possess via the success they've had. It's about loving what you've gained from CF so much, that you want everybody to have it. It's not about how cool you are because you can do kipping handstand pushups on the rings, or whatever.

You know who is directly responsible for creating "true" CrossFitters? You guessed it -- the COACH.

Also, a side note -- if you're doing CrossFit just to get healthier, and not as a competitive athlete, the only thing you need to do to get stronger and better at CrossFit -- is do CrossFit! It's that simple. :)

I've embarked on strength programs a few times, and I always quit them because they don't give what I love about CrossFit - variety, something different to work on everyday, and a way to compare my performance with others. Essentially, I get bored! But with CrossFit, I don't get bored, and I get stronger. Sometimes it might take longer to get strong doing CF without extra strength training. But I'm OK with that, because it's better to get strong slowly than become inconsistent in my training because I find it boring.

Just my 2 cents based on my own experiences, and the experiences of a lot of the people that I've coached. That said, a strength program is *always* beneficial, but I just think it's a lot to ask of someone who is still a beginner. When CrossFit alone stops helping you get stronger, then start a strength program. I guarantee it will take a while. :)

Sorry for the novel, I just see a lot of misconceptions out there about what it "takes" to be a CrossFitter, and what CrossFit is all about, so I felt the need to get my thoughts out there. :)