The first of many WLC reflections…

Did you know that today was Election Day?  If you didn’t you must have been hiding under a rock somewhere.  Now the real question, did you go out and vote?  If you didn’t, you should have.  A lot of people died for our right to be able to vote and it is your future we are talking about here people.  One final point to make then I will end my political rant…if you didn’t vote today, please don’t waste my time with  complaining about the results of the election.

So, now on to the real post.  Today was one of those weird days, where you feel like you are kind of stuck in limbo.  I mean I was physically going through the motions of the day but mentally I wasn’t all there.  I have been working on this project at work that doesn’t really take a lot of brain power though, so I suppose it’s okay that I wasn’t mentally there 100% today.  I did spend a lot of time thinking about nutrition today though.  You see, over the past 8 weeks I have been participating in the Whole Life Challenge through my CF Affiliate, CrossFit Akron.  One of the BIGGEST things I’ve taken away from this challenge is the importance of taking care of yourself.  I mean, I always tried to take good care of myself, but there was definitely a lot of room for improvement (and believe me there still is a lot more room for improvement – you should always strive to keep growing personally, but that’s a topic for another day)  but it wasn’t until I participated in the challenge that I was actually able to SEE how much of a difference a few relatively small steps can make in your overall well-being.

Let me give you a specific example.  About 3-4 weeks ago I hurt my back, actually I aggravated an old injury.  Typically when this happens, my entire life spirals out of control and the whole self-destructive train comes rolling into town and it can take MONTHS before I finally get my life back on track.  Basically, in the past whenever my back would go out, I would stop exercising and then stop eating well and pack on pounds, and then feel bad about it and well you know how that goes…
the key difference this time though was the challenge.  Since I was doing WLC, I didn’t let myself hop on board the self-destructive train *choo choo*.  Was it hard, HECK YES, because I was mentally struggling with the fact that my body couldn’t physically do what it had been doing a few days prior to the injury.  In fact, it really didn’t occur to me until reflecting on this tonight that I’m really starting to realize how absurd that sounds because even though I wasn’t lifting heavy things, I was still lifting and still exercising.  In the past, I would have completely stopped – but because of the WLC I kept going.

Flash forward to this point in time tonight…I’m 3-4 weeks post-injury and I managed 3 PRs tonight – as in the HEAVIEST and FASTEST I have lifted weights since pre-injury.  I’m convinced this is 100% due to the fact that I have been eating better, sleeping better, and exercising regularly.  Not only was I able to safely work through the aggravated injury but I came out stronger than before my back flared up again (and I have to tell you that today was the first day since injury that I went to class without a sore back so I really gave it my all).  If I had ceased all activity and rode the train for a few months, I would have had to basically “start over” again at CF (and let me tell you – that would have been awful).

The WLC is coming to a close and we have out post-challenge workout this weekend.  I’ll definitely be spending a lot of time reflecting on the challenge this week.  I’m looking forward to implementing the lessons I’ve learned into my non-WLC life and continuing to see the improvements in my althletic performance as well as my overall health and well-being.  If any of you ever have the chance to participate in a challenge similar to this, I encourage all of you to try it.  You will be amazed at how different you look and feel.  You’ll also be surprised at your ability to overcome some of the challenges that WLC presents.
Even though the past two months has been really challenging at times, I wouldn’t change my decision to participate in this challenge and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to take part in it.  I have learned so many things about myself and how to take care of my body and I can’t wait for what the future holds!

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