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When Hold ‘Em, When to Fold ‘Em

Tomorrow I am not going to do my normal workout at Crossfit as I need to rest.  I suck at knowing when I need to rest and when I do not.  While I have been working out now, regularly for over a year, I still have a decade and a half of not doing anything much.  One year does not wipe out the history of 15(ish) years.  I no longer make excuses to get out of going to Crossfit or working out, but I have almost a lifetime of those excuses being made by me, me believing them, and more couch sitting occurring.  Therefore, rest days make me twitchy.

I really do not know when I should rest, because I have this fear that I am just making an excuse so I don’t have to sweat.

Prior to yesterday’s workout, I did deadlifts.  Prior to deadlifts, I did a warm up consisting of 2 rounds of 15 thrusters, 15 sit-ups, 15 lunges with weights, and 15 deadlifts.   Today and yesterday, I have been sore.  And not the normal Crossfit sore where my body is sore but I still move ok, but the kind of sore where I am not moving around with ease because it hurts a lot – I even skipped yoga this morning because I figured it would hurt to move, which sucked as my schedule has been messed up and I have missed my last 3 yoga sessions due to other work.  Normally, I am pretty confident that yoga will solve most of my aches and pains, but this morning the aches and pains won out as simply getting out of bed was a painful process.  There is no pain quite like back pain.  I made sure to move around doing regular daily activities, housework, and other things, because sometimes just sitting makes everything worse.  This did help loosen things up a bit but I am still extremely sore.

I figured I would give our trainer a heads up that I would not really be up to par tomorrow (he stresses that I am supposed to tell him when I am injured or in pain) and he suggested that if I am that sore maybe we should skip and make it a rest day.  The suggestion made sense – I was worried about showing up and not being able to do much – but I didn’t like it.  I replied that I was a pretty shitty judge of when to rest and when to push through things, but mentioned that I can not currently do regular, everyday things with ease.  He said rest.

One of the nice things about being married – to someone who knows you and understands you – is that I often do not have to finish sentences.  I didn’t even have to explain to Will my discomfort at needing to rest.  He said that one of the challenges he has faced with life amounts to the same thing.

“I am not good at knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em,” he said.  Ah, Kenny Rogers, The Gambler really can be applied to many aspects of life.

“If someone punches you in the nose and you curl into a little ball and cry and don’t get up – you are wuss.  If you THINK someone might punch in you in the nose so you curl into a little ball and cry – you are absolutely a wuss.  But if you think someone is going to permanently and irrevocably damage you in some way?  Then it is best to walk away and you are not a wuss.  If it were merely a matter of you working out and you’d be in pain – you and I would both do it.  Crossfit leaves us sore a lot, so pain is not that big of a deal.  But when does it become a matter of causing actual injury?  Actual injury should be avoided,” he said.

Part of this whole Crossfit journey has been trying to find out my limitations, push past them, find new limitations to push past.  I also want this to be something I do for life.  I would love to be athletic in nature, and through Crossfit and yoga, I really feel like I am getting there.  I often wonder if people who have been athletic their whole lives just know when to push through and when to rest.  Does everyone worry about it or is that just a special neurosis I have due to being extremely out of shape for many, many years?  Luckily, we have an awesome trainer who doesn’t mind texts to answer these questions – and I do ask him a ton of questions.

Depending on how I feel tomorrow I will probably do some running.  On Saturday I have some friends coming in to visit and we are going to do some hiking.  Will has promised to take me out on a fairly lengthy hike on Sunday, so with these plans in place, I feel like taking tomorrow to rest and let my body recover a bit isn’t the worst thing in the world.  But I think it is going to be a while before I get the hang of when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em when it comes to working out.  I spent too many years making excuses not to work out and the pendulum has moved too far to the other side of things.  I figure eventually it will even out and I will know what the hell I am doing.

In the meantime, success news!  I can now fit into the jeans that I bought a few months ago that wouldn’t even button.  Not just fit, but with extra room – they are a bit too big for me.  Huzzah!  I am now at 188 pounds and when I started all of this I was at 246 pounds, so I’ve lost 58 pounds.  With the new primal diet (which is like paleo only I drink milk) I am averaging about a pound a week in weight loss, although on occasion it is about a half pound a week.  However, the loss is steady loss.  I am pretty pleased with the slow and steady progress here – I would rather have slow, steady, and permanent, than fast, dramatic, and impermanent.  Therefore, I am pretty happy overall and I just cannot say enough good things about Crossfit, my trainer, yoga, and Crossfit Simple as a whole.  They rock and they have helped me rock.  Happy, happy, happy.



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