I'm super-excited... my article "CrossFit Lessons Outside the Box" was published in the CrossFit Journal yesterday. It's all about how CrossFit has helped me muddle...Read More
Learning Is Fun
Crisis mode continues, and I’m feeling and learning things that surprise me at every turn. I suppose I should feel grateful that I can feel so deeply – cry so fiercely, yell so bitterly, laugh so loudly – better than sleep-walking through life, right?!
I can’t really share my trouble with you, but I can share some of the things I’m learning as I go through this trying time. Some of them my inspire you to say “No duh, Mel.” but they’re worth a reminder anyway.
Eating right is a loving act.
In the last 13 days, I’ve been “disciplined” and eaten perfect Paleo-Zone at some moments – and at other times I’ve self-medicated with pie (key lime and apple), popcorn (with butter), and chips + salsa. It should come as a surprise to no one that in my sad state, I didn’t enjoy eating the food, and it did absolutely nothing to make me feel better. Waste of calories, waste of money, waste of an opportunity to eat something that would make me stronger. I’ve recommitted to eating “right” not because I’m worried about my weight or my body fat percentage or getting PRs at the gym – but because I know it’s the best way to take care of myself.
Booze is rarely a good idea.
Along with the delicious treats mentioned above, I’ve indulged in a few cocktails… not to excess, but enough to take the edge off my raw feelings. In the moment, it dulled the pain a little – but not enough to make it worthwhile. The problems still existed when the buzz of the bubbles wore off… and I don’t need any help feeling depressed right now. Like sugary treats, alcohol is best saved for celebrations when it’s a pleasure and not a means to blot out pain.
Ditto for caffeine.
Y’all know my on-going love-hate with caffeine. Last week, I drank a big ol’ cup at the office every day as a mood enhancer. But like the cocktails, the after-effect made the fun of it null and void. Plus, it interferes with my sleeping, which is a big no-no…
Sleep is essential.
I’m emotionally and mentally incapacitated when I don’t get enough sleep. Given the emotional uproar that is my day-to-day life right now, sleep has been playing hard to get. Sometimes I can’t fall asleep… sometimes I zonk out, only to wake with a jolt a few hours later, mind working overtime, tear ducts fully engaged. The Natural Calm I drink before bed hasn’t been working as well as I need it to. So I’m making sleep a priority and doing everything I can to engineer good rest: cool sheets, the temperature set at 68F, no caffeine, no booze, Sunbutter before bed, and the hardest one: trying to quiet my mind so it’s sharp enough when I awake to figure out the problems I need to solve.
Ditto for friends.
It’s extremely difficult for me to turn to my friends for help – which is RIDICULOUS because I have such amazing friends. I’ve had to get over myself and my stupid pride and talk to the people who love me. You know what? They’re completely, totally, wonderfully awesome – and each of them has said at least one thing that made me laugh or feel better or see things a different way. And every one of them has made me feel loved. If you’re a knucklehead like me who likes to pretend she’s tough and doesn’t need anybody, you might reconsider. You can hoist all the weight you want ALONE during your workouts; let your friends help you carry your burdens the rest of the time.
Workouts can be therapy.
I was afraid to do it because my last few times on the trail have been less than successful, but on Saturday morning, I went for a run on the 3-mile loop around the lake. It wasn’t my best time: I haven’t been running much since the thyroid meltdown, and in the last week, I’ve averaged about 4-5 hours of sleep, plus the aforementioned cocktails and pie. So yeah, no PR there. BUT… I ran in the sunshine. Listened to my iPod. Worked up a really good sweat. Smiled at dogs. And finished with two sets of perfect chest-to-dirt pushups and tricep-burning dips. It felt like a victory over my emotions and a step toward the return to sanity that I know I’ll enjoy again some day. On my one-year anniversary with CrossFit, I wrote about how every workout felt like a celebration. I know the celebrations will return at some point, but right now, in “batten down the hatches” mode, I’m just glad to know I can move my body and free my mind.