Wendler – Cycle 3, Week 3
75%, 85%, 95%
4 rounds, for time:
20 Arch Rocks
15 Push Ups (Games Standard)
20 SquatsFor coaching purposes I have told this story a couple times in class recently, so I am just going to tell it one more time here. About five years ago, Andy kicked me out of the gym. When I showed up for class one day, he stopped me in the courtyard and told me I was not allowed to work out. “Don’t come back for at least two weeks,” he told me. I turned around, walked back out to my car, sat in the front seat and cried.
Why did he do this? Because I was over-training. I had a back injury originally sustained in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu that I had caused to get worse and worse by training two or three times a day and barely resting. I would wake up in the morning with a high heart rate, sweating in my pajamas. It took me fifteen minutes to get dressed because I could not bend down to pull my pants on. I was eating Motrin like candy because without it I could barely put weight on my left leg. Yet, somehow, I thought it made perfect sense to continue training. I had already been sent home by my Muay Thai coach, I was not going to stop CrossFit, too. I could still do it. I was not a wimp and I was not a quitter.
Andy broke my heart by sending me home. CrossFit was the best part of my day and he took it away from me. Though I could not see it at the time, not coming to class for those two weeks was the best money I ever spent on coaching. Andy was handing me an opportunity, only I was wrapping in failure.
For the first week I went crazy. I was angry. I was bored. I was stuck thinking about how much pain I was in instead of masking it with adrenalin. I was having to go to the chiropractor and massage therapist and actually deal with things. By week two I was well enough to go for daily walks. I discovered restaurants and shops in my neighborhood I never knew existed. Andy invited me to come help him teach classes. “I’ll teach you how to assist,” he said.
When I eventually did come back to class, I put away the heavy weights. I got out the lightest kettlebell and the aluminum bar. I worked my way back up and stopped any time I felt a single twinge of pain. I did not do box jumps for many months. It was a year before I did “Helen” as prescribed.
And what did I learn? I learned how to listen to my body. I learned that “winning” today is worth nothing if it is not building toward tomorrow. I learned to love myself as an athlete and see my short-comings as openings for possibility, rather than as wrong-doings. I learned that my body is an investment, not a get-rich-quick scheme.
From that opportunity Andy gave me, from the moment when he told me to go home, when my money was paying for him to refuse to coach me, from that moment came who I am as an athlete and coach today.