Everyone Starts Somewhere

I felt a little down when I left the gym this morning. Some days it just seems like I’m never going to get a pullup. Today was one of those days.

Our workout was the I AM CROSSFIT workout: 3 X (7 cleans + 15 pullups + 400m run). It’s not one of my favorites. The last time I did it was in January, and I used a 65-lb. bar for the cleans, finishing in 11:04, well under the 15-minute cutoff, and a vast improvement over the time previous to that, when I didn’t finish.

Today, I upped my clean weight to 75 lbs. It was a good challenge, definitely a push; I have trouble getting my elbows around and up in the front. But I liked working on that, and the 400m runs weren’t so bad. The pullups, however, were awful. Even with the blue band, I was only able to do them two at a time, and my mind was working against me the whole time. My pullup mojo was gone missing, and my finish time was 16:15.

Instead of celebrating the increase in my clean weight, I was brooding over my pullups as I drove out of the driveway and onto Burnet. Stopped at the light, I looked over at the running track and saw a beautiful sight.

It was a man, maybe in his mid-thirties, definitely carrying a good amount of extra weight on his frame. He was wearing a camo t-shirt and an iPod strapped to his bicep. He walked around the curve of the track, arms swinging with purpose, sweat gathering on his face. It was 7:19 a.m. and there wasn’t another soul on the track. Just him. And the sun waking up. And his determination.

I don’t know what that man’s goals are, or what motivated him to walk this morning.

Seeing him reminded me: we all start somewhere. And no matter how far we get, if we’re doing it right, there will always be plenty of interesting, challenging places to go.

Those pullups? I’ll get ’em eventually. The trick is to enjoy the pursuit as much as the capture.

And camo man? I hope he keeps on walking the track.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Our workout
3 rounds, for time:

  • 7 cleans, 75 lbs.
  • 15 pullups, blue band
  • 400m run

12-lb. med ball:

  • 50 chest pass
  • 2X 20 around the world
  • wheel of fortune
The Best Version of Ourselves 2018

The post below was originally published in 2011, and it's been updated each year to reflect where I am in my life and the new...

Read More
A Little Respect (Strength Monday 7/8/13)

In my quest for lean superhero-ness, Dave and I are hitting the craptastic gym in our Converse to lift heavy stuff and work on skills...

Read More


  • Aaron says:

    Great post Mel. Keeping it in perspecitive… and enjoying the journey. Way to up the weight today!

  • Maggie says:

    i’ve totally started feeling that way when i see people around me improving their fitness! sometimes when i’m walking around town lake, i just want to cry and/or hug everyone for taking charge of their health and happiness…it’s so inspiring and definitely one of my favorite things about austin.

  • erikajeanne says:

    yes. exactly. It’s easy to forget how far we have come when our eyes are so focused a few steps ahead. If this were easy, I have a feeling we’d all be bored. Good job this morning, I’m proud of you for always being willing to challenge yourself and also being unafraid to move past your comfort zone. That’s what makes you a winner, regardless of what your time is/was. :o)

  • Melicious says:

    Aaron! Nice to hear from you, and I'm super excited to see that you have a blog. I will be reading your archive in between meetings today at work jail.

    Maggie & Erika, thanks for being amazing training partners. Y'all are the tops.

  • cabin77 says:

    I love this post. Sometimes it’s hard to remember how far we’ve come – I’m guilty of this when I have a “bad” weigh in. So I gained .8 pounds this week – I’m still DOWN 13!!!!

    And here is my update for the challenges: http://cabin77.livejournal.com/260820.html

    I’ve decided to post the link here because I’m becoming more verbal about my journey and I didn’t want to take up too much of your comment space!