Keeping Pace

When it comes to CrossFit, I am certainly terrible at a lot of things. If it involves pulling or pushing or hanging my body weight from or around a bar, I’m not going to win any contests. It doesn’t mean it can’t won’t be done at some point, but these are the things I struggle with. I weigh a lot. This is not a judgment about myself, this is just a fact. I need to be stronger than your average 150lb chick to huck my ass over a bar. Period. It’s just physics, and I’m okay with that. Also, I’m really fucking strong, so I know will get there eventually. 🙂

But you know what I am pretty good at when it comes to CrossFit? Keeping a steady pace. I will not be the first person to cross the finish line, but I will also not be the person who pushes out the gate so fast that they then peter out in the middle of a workout. I strategize with the big picture in mind, so I try to find a pace that is hard, but that I can maintain until it is done. I am built for distance, not necessarily for speed just yet. I try to work my strengths.

With a WOD though, it is easy to push because you know it is going to be a for a finite amount of time. 12 minutes. 20 minutes. In some cases it’s a whopping 30 or 40. But there is going to be an end, and although it is uncomfortable you push through it because, by design, it is short in duration. Sometimes I finish and think that maybe I could have pushed a bit harder or run just a bit faster. But I know I can push even harder next time, and I do. In fact that is also by design. And it is how we all get better in that gym.

What I am finding shocking though, is that for me, this absolutely does NOT translate into my real life. So much of CrossFit, for me, is a reflection of real life but in this particular instance I realize that I can not pace myself for shit in real life. While it is certainly constantly varied, life is not programmed to be short in duration. And this is really the rub. I always talk about how I am looking for balance, but I don’t even think it is that anymore. I am just trying to find a pace that works, and I don’t think that I have quite found it yet.

Life is long and right now I am working HARD. At high intensity, you could say, and I just did because this CrossFit metaphor is working for me in my brain right now. Roll with me. My day job is full of craziness — but I’m on a path. It has a purpose. I am getting somewhere, so I keep it up. At the same time this blog is turning into less of “this hobby that I love” and more into “this freaking amazing place that is bringing me awesome professional opportunities.” Both of those things require a lot of pushing for many hours of my days.

And now all of a sudden we have a dog. A dog that is awesome but needs to be trained and guided and figured out. Let’s add that to the list of Immediate and Important. And we need to buy a ring. (Well, ahem, Garrett does. ha!) And plan a wedding. And in one month and two days I will be 34, so we probably need to get on incubating that kid we want to have. I mean, right? And then I have to actually have that kid. And care for a newborn, and then a toddler, and then OHMYGOD something about all of that doesn’t strike me as the “cool down” phase of my life.

And when I think about these things I wonder about the pace I’m keeping. I wonder about my future and if, in the WOD of life am I running way too fast right into something that is my weakness. I never mind a little discomfort, but I do wonder lately if I am putting my time into the things that are most important. Am I going to be able to keep my head above water in the future? I spend my nights grinding my teeth while I sleep trying to answer these questions and honestly the only thing I have to show for it is a Super Sexy Mouthguard. I should Instagram that hotness, let me tell you.

Obviously I don’t have an answer for any of those questions. This post is offering you no helpful suggestions or advice if you are in the same boat and I am sorry for that. Maybe I should have added a disclosure statement at the beginning. 🙂 But what I’ve decided to do is just to hold out hope that it is all going to work out. What will be, will be and if I need to slow down, I can slow down. I am trying to trust my pacing instincts at the moment, because at least in the gym they are pretty darn good. And if nothing else, what I do know from almost 2 years of CrossFitting is that your head ALWAYS threatens to give out before your body does.

So for now, the plan is to just keep going.

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17 Responses to Keeping Pace

  1. This post is perfect in every way. And as I’m much older than you, I will drop some old lady wisdom on you: the fact that you’re asking these questions means you’re well on the path to finding the answers. Keep asking. Keep wearing your mouthguard. Consider kundalini yoga.

    Love you!

  2. rachael says:

    Such a good post. Your blog is one of my favorites, particularly because you are so honest with your writing. I look forward to following you on all your adventures, and I hope this blog leads you wherever you want it to!

    • Holly says:

      Thanks Rachael. I think part of the uncertainty too is that I have NO IDEA where I want this blog to lead. I have literally sat down here and written everyday because it is my passion, not because I EVER had a plan. Actually I was kind of anti-blog planning, so the whole thing is just new, exciting but also overwhelming. thanks for the kind words! Much appreciated.

  3. Lauren says:

    This is an *awesome* post. I can’t pace myself (in WODs or in life) so I usually alternate between OMGAWESOMEness and lying on my back trying to catch my breath (in WODs and in life). Keep it up girl, it sounds like you have it all under control! 🙂

    • Holly says:

      This is exactly how I pace myself in life. Yesterday I was completely lying on my back trying to catch my breath. Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. angela says:

    Let me first say that I love your blog, Holly. You constantly inspire me – in fact I’m restarting CrossFit thanks to you! Next, let me say that I’ve been exactly where you are in terms of worrying how life will play out when weighing future plans. Having a kid makes you realize what’s important and everything more or less falls into place. Try not to stress about what life will be like because so many priorities will change. I often want to go back and smack my childless self for complaining about not having enough time. You are way more productive than I ever was before having a kid and I’m sure you’re going to rock whatever life throws at you– and have all of us here rooting for you while you do it!

  5. Erica says:

    Live more! Plan less!

  6. Brie says:

    First day of crossfit today! I am so nervous!!!! Any advice?

    • Holly says:

      Just show up and do your best. The mental part is the hardest — it is easy to let yourself feel intimidated, but don’t. Every person there had a Day One where they had no idea what to do or what was expected of them, so just remember that. It’s like thinking of everyone in their underwear when you are public speaking. 🙂

      Learn how the box works, and just dive in head first. You won’t regret it! Good luck!

  7. sizzle says:

    My problem is that I overthink. Life will keep handing me what I can handle and I will keep dealing with it. If I want it to be different, I have to get my mind to calm down. I’m working on it. I’m in the midst of the craziest year of my life and yet there is so much good in it I can’t complain (too much). I try to just be in the moment and rest when I can (because I am tired and get more tired when I overthink all that is ahead). You’ll figure it out!

    • Holly says:

      I have to say, you are just my favorite lately. I am taking a lot of inspiration from you and your attitude and humor lately. You are going through all of it with so much grace and I just feel really happy to know ya! Thanks for all of your great advice and commiseration and support.

  8. sizzle says:

    That is so sweet of you to say! I’m glad I can lend some inspiration. You’ve certainly given me inspiration! Mutual admiration society – yay! 🙂

  9. Michele says:

    Hey Holly, I LOVE reading your blog, you are hilarious, just my kinda sense of humor. On your WOD analogy, do you actually know what the WOD is before the day it is done? I don’t, and I find that not knowing what is coming is half the excitement. If I sit there the night before and think about what it might be, what it could be, what it should be, sure takes the fun out of it. So I guess I’m sayin, stop guessing and the surprises you find around the corner are much more satisfying. 🙂

  10. I was just catching up with your blog and love this post.

    I have no suggestions, but just ask that if you figure it all out, please share the answers!

    I find the area that I always compromise when trying to make it all work is sleep — and I can say for sure that that’s not the way to do it!