Monday, July 28, 2014


Yesterday I had decided I was going to go to Reed college and run this weird little rock trail dealie I had found. I figured it would be easy on my knee and it would be something, anything to trudging on the high school track.

I walked on over, wandered around for over thirty minutes and couldn't find the trail. I think Reed college just put it out as an illusion to tempt me and then quickly covered it up. At this point, I had walked over 4 miles. With a weak knee, a 2-3 mile run wasn't on the table any longer. Instead there was a dilemma.

What would you do if you where me? Would you give up and go home? Wait until the next day and then do the run? Maybe shrug off your injury and run on the road anyway? Or would you adapt and do something different? More importantly can you adapt? Is your exercise/training regime broad enough that there is the potential to always do something else?

Way back in the day when I started this exercise journey. I was 230 pds and not able to do much. I started on an elliptical machine, hoping to work up to spinning classes. I'd run but it was slow, I was overweight and it took months to work up to 3 miles. I rode a bike and hoped to conquer Papago Park. I also enjoyed doing some of the moderate exercise classes the gym offered and a little bit of weight training. When I was bored with it all, I'd do short high intense bursts of activity. I thrived and while others hit plateau's, I didn't. The weight flew off. Simply put, I had accidentally kept my movement varied but constant and never adhered to a strict training schedule. Because of that, I forced my body to adapt to new situations almost daily, it didn't know if it was coming or going.

Lets fast forward to a very exhausted, jaded me, who had decided to do triathlons and bought into the traditional endurance training regime. Day in and day out, I cranked out the miles. I went from constant varied movement to endurance cardio. 15 mile runs, 50 mile bike rides, I gave up classes and weight training. Who had time for that? When I wasn't doing in season training, I was working on increasing my miles to do my first half ironman. Eventually I hit a wall and I didn't just burn out, I completely bottomed out. All I remember from the worst of it was being very tired.

I know all of you have read every single post I've ever written, right? So it won't be a big shock to you that during the tail end of all that, I bumped into CrossFit.

We also know from that previous post that my body started to change but there was something else happening that was far more impressive than anything I was doing physically. I found myself responding differently to my environment and everyday situations. It was almost like I was also rewiring my brain to be quicker and stronger too.

Everyday with CrossFit, you willingly walk out the door and you have no idea what you are about to face. It puts you on guard and it forces you to adapt to the environment you are being thrown in to. It was like when I started exercising but up the ante by a hundred. Especially if your coach refuses to put the WOD's up on the board beforehand because he's a stubborn bastard. Then you really are walking into the unknowable. You will have to make a very quick decision. Do you stay or do you go? Most of us decide to stay and we have to learn how to adapt very quickly to whats before us. While I would never admit to him that might be a good thing, I need that damn schedule. I will concede it's good for you...but not me.

So there I was at Reed college, facing the idea of having to give up and go home and as I was walking, debating my options. I happened to notice a very gnarly hill. Hmmmm, why go home when I could do some uphill sprints. I knew my knee could handle 10-15 minutes on pavement. I decided to do 10 sprints up the hill and holy crap did it suck, but the amazing thing was, I found something beneficial to do despite the drawbacks of my situation. And best of all when I was done, I was energized and kinda proud of myself. This girl right here, would sooner eat dog crap than sprint.

Because of that constant unrelenting unknowable that I am forced to adapt to. I am rewiring my brain and learning how to stay balanced even when I'm on quicksand. I adapt when I'm thrown a curve ball and can't do my run. I adapt when my husband absconded my computer and I couldn't work during the day. I even adapt when I can't sleep for a couple weeks. I find solutions to my problems because I have learned if A can't happen then B certainly will. There is always a B and if you don't believe me, screw up your knee and watch your coach find a brutal workout anyway.

Life keeps you on your toes. You never know what's around the corner and as soon as you think you got it figured out. You'll find yourself scrambling for a plan B. Doesn't it make perfect sense to be exercising exactly the same way?