Taking a step back: Sometimes less is more.

This past week I had to take a step back in Crossfit, not willingly I must admit, but necessary.

Why? Because of a little injury—well actually more like a little wake up call.

I’m at that point in my Crossfit journey where everything is exciting (…does it ever get not exciting though? That’s a topic for another day.)

or I’m just ambitiously and obsessively competitive like that, probably both.

I always want to do better and be better; I just have that natural perseverance.

Once people I meet at school get to know, I usually get comments like “Karina, I honestly don’t know how you do it, you are so committed to working out.”

Well actually, I am committed to fitness, not just working out; it’s part of my routine, my lifestyle, I would even say it’s a part of me–But at what point does it become damaging?

Let’s re-wind to Saturday’s WOD:

  • Row 500 meters for a record time.
  • Back Squat 20 RM weight 20 reps
  • Pullups for PR
  • Deadlifts- 10 RM weight
  • 10 – Ring Dips for PR

…x 3. Yes, three lovely rounds.

And I pushed it, too much. Why? I honestly don’t know—Actually I do know, I got too wrapped up in the “Oh yeah, I can do that weight.” Well yes I can, but that was a lot of volume, which I should have taken more into consideration. I should of also taken into consideration the high intensity of workouts that past week as well.

But I didn’t. And if I did, I disregarded it.

I got through the first two rounds just fine but during the last round, on that 10th deadlift, sometimes just went wrong. I felt it in my lower back immediately and as I dropped the barbell all I could think was,

“Oh shit.” Yup, oh shit was right.

Like I said not serious, but my back was sore after and I knew it was going to take some time to recover.

Actually, that’s a lie. At that point in time, I was internally freaking out, because you don’t fuck with your back. That’s some serious shit.

Back to my question of: at what point does fitness become damaging?

I read an interesting article once about how there are generally two types of people when it comes to fitness:

a) Those that are looking to fix their current selves; so they pursue a 21-day fix or a diet but they stop once they are okay or have reached their “goal”; Working out is just something they will do if they want to or have the time.

b) Those that make fitness their lifestyle; these people just need to workout because it makes them feel better; it’s a part of them. (This doesn’t mean no rest days, it just means they view working out differently than others)

Some people are just inclined to workout more than others which is completely and 100% okay, I mean like my fellow Crossfitter Vuk always says,

You do you girl, you do you.” 

But as a type b) person, when does making fitness part of your life, take over your life?

I mean are you an athlete? Are you competing in a competition near the future? Are your goals to go to the Crossfit Games?

If your goal is just to be fit then  you need to keep this mindset. Just because you want to be better and fit doesn’t mean push your workouts to extreme limits to reach the Rx weight in a workout.

Progress makes practice and practice takes time.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in trying to be better (e.g. lift more, be faster, etc.) that I forget why I do this every day.

So this time I forgot and slipped up and hurt myself. I literally did not even lift a barbell for six days and it was awful—mentally awful. And six days is nothing, I mean nothingggg compared to some injuries.

I went to the box on Monday, ready to give it ago (since Saturday) but I knew that I was just not going to the barbell workout, especially after a talk with coach Sharon.

So I rowed and rowed while everyone was doing a triplet of deadlifts, hang power cleans, and jerks…and BOY was I crying inside.

But I survived like I survived the next three days with light non-lifting workouts and a rest day.

It was definitely a blessing in disguise I would say because I learned a lot—I learned that I needed to start listening to my body more and to stop pushing when there really is no reason to.

I am fit, I am healthy, so just chill Karina.

Don’t compare someone’s chapter 10 to your chapter 2.

Technique and form come first, there’s no point in adding weight if you lose these two things. The weight will come.

It also reminded me that fitness and Crossfit have other parts to it as well, like the gymnastic aspect. So this week with being off the barbell, I worked on my rowing, pull-ups, double-unders, handstands/handstand pushups, and planks. And it was a good thing because I often neglect these things.

But today, Friday, I woke up and I knew I was okay to go back and lift. I did the barbell WOD and scaled it accordingly and while the deadlifts (my best lift) were slow and I only did half of the required, it was okay. It was okay because sometimes less is more.

Sometimes less is more—Hard concept to grasp but a necessary one to keep practicing. So take a step back if you need to or take a rest day. Your body will thank you.

Like my mother always says, “Karina, take care of your body, love it and listen to it, after all it’s the only one you will ever have.”

I should really listen to my mother more.

Also, a huge thanks to Coach Dave and Sharon for giving me a little lecture about fitness and helping me keep sane this week 🙂


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