Yesterday was painful. Literally full of pain. After running backwards for 1/4 mile on Monday night during our warm-up, my calves were pretty sore on Tuesday but it seemed innocuous enough that I decided to go for a 3-mile run on Tuesday night (my logic went something like: It will loosen them up! Just what they need!). First of all, this was the first run I’d really done since starting CrossFit (remember when I mentioned that I am supposed to be training for a marathon? No, you don’t remember that? Apparently I haven’t though much about it either…), and it did NOT feel good. I did not feel strong, and it didn’t help that I was running (as I always do) with my long-legged, distance-running boyfriend and our friend who is currently about 3/4 of the way through a marathon training plan. Really set myself up for success there. And did I stretch after this 3-mile worst-idea-of-my-life run? No, sir. I drank beer and ate pasta and chocolate bread pudding. Yes I did.
Yesterday when I woke up, my calves felt like they were full of hot lead. When I tried to get out of bed, I literally fell over backwards. I then spent the entire day doing an hilarious but painful Quasimodo hobble-shuffle around the office, wincing every time I crossed my legs and the top of my calf grazed my other knee. I called my twin brother, an amateur but very experienced bodybuilder, to ask him what I could do to bring my calves back to normal without having to skip my WOD (which included no less than 350 double-unders, YEAH RIGHT). He literally laughed at me. “Do NOT work out tonight,” he told me on no uncertain terms. “Give your body a rest. What are you thinking?”
Let me tell you what I was thinking. I was thinking, “I am on a program, here, buddy! I can’t just go around skipping WODs left and right! I only did 2 last week, and I am supposed to be getting better at this!” So I got off the bus a block away from my gym (I just can’t get used to calling it a Box, I’m sorry) and waddled up the street.
I knew that I could not do 350 double-unders. I actually can’t even do ONE double-under, but last night the thought of merely jumping rope made me nauseous. When I walked in, I asked Cheez if we could replace the double-unders with something else. His first suggestion was tuck-jumps. I rephrased. “No, what I’m trying to get at is that it would be a suicide mission for me to do anything explosive with my legs.”
But, thankfully, this is what CrossFit is all about: modifying and adapting. Eventually we decided that I would do 30 air squats instead of 50 double-unders in each of our 7 sets that also included 5 handstand push-ups and 3 deadlifts at 80% max weight. And I didn’t die. It hurt a little (doesn’t it always), but today I am not immobile and in fact feel pretty good. But I did learn a lot this week about being a responsible owner of my body. It was a little embarrassing to walk in last night and have to ask for a modification, basically saying, “I am too weak tonight to do what I am supposed to do.” But there is a fine line between pushing yourself and hurting yourself, and this week I have been walking on that line as if it were extended across a canyon.