Competing in the Crossfit Games

I have never considered myself an athlete, though I grew up in a household where both parents had been gymnasts and my father played both basketball and softball. I had issues passing the “skip” test to get into kindergarten and wasn’t all that motivated to fall on my face trying athletic endeavors despite thinking it was cool my parents would compete walking on their hands down the front walk to the fence…

johnny_automatic_basketball_playerThat said, I did try little league baseball for a while and ended up having to quit because of asthma attacks that would sideline me after practices. In junior high, I played basketball on the second team on defense. I scored 2 points my entire career over a season and a half.

As an adult, I quit trying. I walked around the Denver Tech Center when I lived and worked in the area. I joined a 24 hour gym for a bit, went a few times, and stopped.

Even after getting married to an athlete (my wife played softball and soccer when we were dating and got married and still plays soccer) and having two daughters who both play soccer, I avoided physical activity.

Why? It was too much work. Too boring. Too hard. Whatever excuse I could come up with, I used.  So I got bigger and bigger. More and more out of shape.

Then I started crossfit. I’m coming up on one year of that effort. And I am so happy I did.

me-handstand-at-boxThe day I could do a handstand on the wall, I had my trainer (thank you Drea!) take this picture, which I immediately sent to my mother. Her response? She was glad that it only took 40 years for me to learn how to do a handstand. She’d tried to teach me when I was really young and I wasn’t ready yet. 🙂

So what the hell was I thinking signing up for the Crossfit Games on January 15th?

Good question. Let’s take a look at that decision for a moment.

When I competed in the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge in 2013, it was for a couple of reasons. First, we were going to be doing the workouts anyway and it would be good to see where I ranked among athletes my age and at my level. Second, it was an excuse to go more strict on the paleo side of the equation before the holidays and continue my weight loss journey. It was a twofer.

Did I rank nationally? No. Were the workouts great ways to benchmark my progress? Yes. Did they offer a way for me to get measurements of my waist, arms, and legs, and see if I was gaining or losing inches in the process? Definitely. Did many of those workouts kick my ass to the point where I wasn’t sure I could breathe or stand up afterwards? Indubitably.

Reebok Crossfit GamesSo what are my goals for the Crossfit Games?

My main goal is the same as it was with the Lurong Challenge. As a box, we will be doing the workouts anyway – so I might as well see how I stack up against other athletes in my age range. I’m not competing so that I can compare myself to folks like Rich Froning. I’m nowhere near his league. And that’s FINE! I respect the man and look forward to seeing him and the other elite athletes kick some serious butt in the games.

But even though I’m not competing against Froning… I’m looking at using these games workouts as ways to challenge myself and pushing harder to see just what I’m capable of. I’ve come a long way and I hope to go a lot farther.

As we keep saying with the paleo diet – it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Crossfit is much the same. I both love and hate the workouts. And once I get past that, I have fun working hard with people who are having fun working hard.

If you had told me a year ago that I’d still be doing crossfit, I would have asked what you were smoking. But I’m still here because I’m having fun and enjoy working hard with the folks at our box – both trainers and athletes.

The Crossfit Games is just another opportunity (or excuse) to push hard and see what my body is capable of in those moments. More steps along the journey. More reps towards a healthier, stronger me.

So bring it on. I’m never going to think I’m ready or a real athlete, but I’m going to give it whatever I’ve got.

What about you? Are you joining the Crossfit Games? Why the heck not? 🙂

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Quick Handy Update

Vitamin E is the bomb. Even over just a couple of days, my hands are looking much better and healing beautifully.

More vitamin E, lotion, and band-aids are the bomb. Or perhaps, in this case, the “balm.”

I must thank KB and Ridds for their excellent and handy tips. 🙂

Taking Care of Your Hands

So this past Friday we did the hero WOD “Paul” at our box. It’s a killer WOD that involves double-unders, knees-to-elbows on the bar, and an overhead walk.

“Paul”

Police Officer PaulFive rounds for time of:
50 Double unders
35 Knees to elbows
185/125 pound Overhead walk, 20 yards

Pittsburgh Police Officer Paul John Rizzo Domenic Sciullo II, 36, was shot and killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance call on April 4, 2009. He was engaged to be married with Lisa Esposito.

And it lived up to its reputation as a hero WOD.

Here are my hands after the workout:

hands-tore-up-jan-17-2014

So these injuries led to my asking some questions about how to take care of my hands in the short term and how to avoid this kind of pain in the future. (I promise not all posts will involve graphic pictures of ugly injuries.)

Here’s what has been suggested:

  • Grips – Natural Grip is supposed to make awesome grips. Or you can make your own out of athletic tape. (I’ve also heard to avoid weightlifting gloves for use on the bar, as you lose your grip and can fall more easily.)
  • Using a pumice stone, sandpaper, nail file, or Dremel to grind down callouses that may tear can help.
  • Lotion to keep the skin soft.
  • Don’t use as much chalk, since it causes friction, which in turn causes ripping.

As far as the healing goes:

So far in the last 24 hours I’ve covered with band-aids and put on some Neosporin, and will continue to use some lotion to keep things soft. Need to pick up some vitamin E and a lot more band-aids however!

Hope this helps!

Welcome to the new Crossfitz blog

Hey there,

Thanks for stopping by. This is a new effort I’m undertaking to write about my crossfit and paleo journey. Some of it will be talking about my journey so far and some will be talking about the future. But it’s all about my road to a healthier, happier life via crossfit and all the things I’ve learned along the way.

The fun part? I’m still growing and learning. I want to share that with you.

Still here? Then let’s get started…

–Fitz

A site about my crossfit journey…