2013: The Year in Review

If 2013 has shown me anything it’s that I do not have the time and dedication to keep up with regularly posting to blogs! LOL Then again I have a full-time job and a significant portion of my weekends are taken up by post-graduate education of other clinicians that I do, so when I do have a moment at home I usually don’t occupy it with more writing/working! Sorry! But, here is a requisite year in review post, for any of you who are on the edges of your seats waiting for my words! 🙂

2013 has been a landmark year for me. For this first time in my almost 39 years I have discovered that I actually CAN stick with a regular exercise program, but it obviously has to meet some conditions. This is, literally (and I mean literally, not figuratively) the first time in my life I have exercised regularly. I even did a Christmas Eve WOD and a day-after-Christmas WOD this year and I’ll do the same next week for New Year’s. With few exceptions, I managed to do four workouts per week (three CrossFit and one kettlebell). That’s DAMN good for a fat, out-of-shape, de-trained exercise-hater like myself.

What I learned is that all the stuff people say about the “community of CrossFit,” getting into a routine, tracking and logging things, etc are all true. The scheduled “class” format of CrossFit has been instrumental in my consistency, first and foremost. Also biting off the WODs at 5:45 AM and not giving myself a chance to talk myself out of the work has been critical to my success. A side effect of this is that the 5:45 group is pretty dedicated, so you work your ass off with the same people every morning and you get a bit of a guilt trip from them if you don’t show up. It takes a lot of the “self-discipline” out of it.

I’ve made some good new friends through CrossFit and I’ve seen that it is a welcoming community of dedicated, friendly people, no doubt. It’s also super-competitive, so I learned that judges get fucked over at every competition no matter how good of a job they do. LOL If you no-rep an athlete they are SHOCKED that they are anything but perfect and you’ll catch Hell at the end of the event. If you DON’T no-rep someone then SOMEBODY ELSE will give you Hell for it. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t, but I found judging and doing hospitality and stuff at our big competition this year was a lot of fun, all the same.

Some other things I learned: first and foremost, CrossFit is NOT a weight-loss program. I haven’t weighed myself in months and judging by the way my clothes are fitting I know I’ve gained back most of the weight I lost earlier on (which was never more than 15 pounds, by the way). That being said, we haven’t stuck to a good diet in months, either, so there’s no one to blame but me on that one.

All that being said I have added a TON of strength and muscle to my body with the workouts this year. It’s just hidden under all my insulation! LOL So even though I haven’t technically lost any weight, I’ve changed my body composition quite a bit and people who haven’t seen me in a while comment on how much better I look. That works for me, for now. 😉

I set some goals at the beginning of the year: be able to do a great squat, be able to do 24″ box jumps during WOD’s, be able to do one pull-up. The first two are done, although squatting is something that is probably improved throughout your whole career. That pull-up is still eluding me, though. I can get about 80% of the way there, so it’s just that last little bit that I can’t dial in. I haven’t used my rings at home much to train my lats and back to do the pull-ups, though, so if I don’t hit it this year I am going to knock it out in the first quarter of 2014.

I surprised myself by hitting one of my 2014 goals already, though! LOL At our last Total I got a 1RM deadlift of 365 pounds and I told myself I would get that to/over 400 pounds in 2014. We had a workout a couple weeks ago that involved establishing a 1RM for the deadlift and I surprised myself by pulling 400! It used every single muscle fiber in my body but I did it with proper form and it was a VERY cool feeling to do something that powerful at this point in my life.

My goals for 2014 are as follows:

  1. Keep up the consistency. Now that I’ve made it a year’s habit, I think that keeping up the work is going to be pretty easy since we’re locked into the lifestyle now.
  2. Focus on nutrition and consistency of diet. This is the BIG one I want to work on this year and get sorted. 2013 was the first year in my life I consistently exercised. Can 2014 be the first year in my life that I eat well consistently? You can teach an old dog new tricks.
  3. Handstands – I can do most of a wall walk but that last 20% or so scares the shit out of me still. It’s just a matter of getting over the fear and getting used to being upside down a few times, then I’ll be able to invert all I want.
  4. That damn pull-up.
  5. I am going to start doing more ring work… push-ups, working on dips and that sort of stuff to really push my stability.
  6. Endurance. I still crap out pretty easily in kettlebells and WODs. I feel like my muscles fatigue pretty fast and I have pacing issues, like I can knock out Round 1 of a 5 RFT WOD fast, but then I’m grinding for the other 4. LOL Lung capacity and endurance need help in 2014, so I need to try to find the time to doing some longer, slower work once in  while.

That’s about it. Fat guys (and gals) CAN CrossFit without killing themselves and they CAN develop fitness. I’ve proven it. Now for the hard work! LOL