They didn’t even draw a dick on there while I was knocked out. Rookies.
Having my shoulder assimilated into the Borg collective was like being yanked off ground level, and put in a 737 at 38,000 feet looking down on the whole thing. There was no choice any more. I had to choose to find a reason to be happy about what was happening. Most times it wasn’t hard, because I had to modify almost everything, so none of the times, reps, or loads were comparable to past performances. Everything was a new experience. And hey, it didn’t hurt.
It’s important to remember where you’re standing, because it always changes what you’re seeing.
In recent months I’ve trained at a reduced capacity due to the ongoing reprogramming of the bionic shoulder. I’ve still managed to tear myself up in workouts, though. I’ve also managed to enjoy the vast majority of it a great deal. Previously, just prior to surgery when I was still putting out at a pretty high level, even small deviations would upset me because of the skewed scale I was measuring against. I had to re-learn to love the process and being better than yesterday; not hating that I wasn’t better than better.
These are more fun than Nutella covered churros. Image courtesy of CrossFit® and Dave Re.
Everything was a PR after surgery, because I’d never done it before. Cool circus tricks like the 1-arm barbell snatch and 1-arm deadlift, modified workouts with single-arm burpees, or ring rows instead of pull-ups, etc. It’s easy to just relax and have fun when there’s no comparison. Sure, the clock was always running, but there were no benchmarks to compare the times to. But, that ability to compare is a tenet of what we do in CrossFit, so at some point it has to come back.
Comparing my lifetime snatch PR to my 6-months-post-op snatch PR is like comparing your sex life to porn hub; not going to make you feel better. The point of the comparison over long time scales, is data that’s relevant to more than yourself. It applies to the big picture. For us as individual athletes, especially as we age, we need only compare ourselves to yesterday. Not comparing this snatch to my best snatch ever, but this snatch to the previous snatch. Is it better? Great. If it’s not, let’s fix it.
Being as limited as a Ferrari on valet mode, I’ve found great joy in simple things like clean and jerks. Some days they’ve gone great, some days they haven’t. In times gone by, the latter would piss me off like I was the state of NY this Super Bowl Sunday. But now, I can take joy in the fact that I can do a clean and jerk with two arms.
I got my fucking ass kicked so hard it’s still resting on my shoulders at the end of January.
If you walk into CrossFit New England with an ego, you’re gonna have a bad time. I got a chance at some solid self-reflection the past few weeks while I was at home for the holidays, partly by necessity–I still have to scale and modify lots of things, which as a competitor and formerly one of those athletes who were trying to get a ticket to the dance, that can be hard.
It wasn’t intimidating, emasculating, or frustrating, it was fun. I trained with a lot of the old crew, who surgery or not, would’ve been a step ahead. It wasn’t uncomfortable, though–except for the wall balls. Fuck wall balls. I simply enjoyed being able to suffer with my friends. I even got invited to one of the infamous Saturday afternoon CFNE team training sessions. I got my fucking ass kicked so hard it’s still resting on my shoulders at the end of January. Those guys and girls are on a different plane these days. I had to modify/scale just about everything we did. But just like in a CrossFit class, we all did it together.
It felt like the early days at CFNE when I was first started training with that crew. It looked similar, too; me finishing all the workouts last. But I was there, and I got to do the work with my friends. That’s what matters. I’ll get back there, eventually. Maybe.
We need only compare ourselves to yesterday. Not comparing this snatch to my best snatch ever, but this snatch to the previous snatch.
Look outwards from fitness in the gym to life, instead of deeper into the gym and other people’s fitness.
I’m re-learning to love the process. Enjoying the ability to do, is powerful. Stop and appreciate your gym-mates and the support you draw from them (I’ve had a LOT of it) Try limiting how far backwards you can look at your training for awhile, and see just how great you feel.