I usually can’t wait to go work out. If it’s a morning I throw off the covers and speed down to the gym, blaring my workout playlist. If it’s afternoon I run out of work and, same playlist blasting, get there as fast as I can.
But this morning? This morning I did. not. want. to. get. out. of. bed.
I dashed to Seattle over the weekend, flying out late Thursday, going non-stop (including a workout at Xplore CrossFit and a potluck brunch with the awesome people at OGER CrossFit) and returning on a sleepless red-eye Saturday night with a 3-hour layover in Detroit. Luckily I’m lean enough to slide under those stupid armrests in the chairs in the terminal they have to prevent passengers from lying prone, and I wedged myself across some seats for what passed for a brief nap.
I crashed for an hour and a half Sunday morning when I got home, then went to bed early last night. Like a rock I was, dead asleep when the alarm went off. I never hit snooze on gym days, but had to today to even dredge myself back into consciousness.
For the first time, I actually didn’t want to get up and go to the gym. But I knew I couldn’t go after work — too much freelance work on deadline. I couldn’t stand to make an excuse, even if only to myself, about jet lag and exhaustion though, so I crawled blearily out of my soft bed, and drove to the gym.
Luckily I was so tired I didn’t have time to get worried about what faced me — a long workout of mainly squats, lots of squats, including two sets of three at 90% of my one-rep max. Since I went up to 165(!) on my max recently, my new 90% is an intimidating 150 pounds. That meant I’d be squatting nearly half again my body weight three times, for two sets. If I’d been awake enough to ponder it I’d have scared myself. This video shows the first (and last) time I attempted 150. I was scared to death and it shows.
No room for fear today. I got out of bed, dammit, I was going to do this.
I worked through the sets: 8/45%, 6/55%, 5/65%, 4/75%, 3/85%. (I challenge anyone who thinks weight lifting isn’t cardio work to do this. Sweat poured down my back.)
It was time. I pulled Ben over to spot me. 150 pounds. Go.
I got under the bar, and remembering what Ryan and Waylon told me once, heaved it off the rack like I was pissed at it. It was heavy. But I didn’t stagger, didn’t feel scared like I sometimes do when it feels heavy.
Three. I went down, grazed the training ball that helps me gauge depth, and pushed up. Slowly. Down again. And more slowly coming up, Ben telling me to get my knees out. I didn’t cave, always my biggest fear. Down again. It was freaking heavy. Before I grazed the ball I started back up. My knees wobbled, wanting to come in but I forced them out and slowly fought back up. I was disappointed in the third rep but Ben put it in perspective. I went down and I came up. So what if it wasn’t perfect?
I was tired by now, after so much work, but I had to do it again. The second time I went in with more confidence though because I knew I could do it. And it was awesome. Incredibly hard, but I didn’t cave. I fought to keep my knees out, and pushed my way up each time from full depth, staying tight, and keeping my chest up. It seemed to take impossibly long to stand up each time, but with a little She-ra roaring, I got it.
I wasn’t done yet. These MaxFit USA powerlifting WODs aren’t for pansies. I still had 5 at 80% to go, and to failure at 60% (which Ben clarified meant till I slowed down, not stopped).I went to 10.
Then it was on to bench press, and after sucking so dismally at them a week or so ago, it was gratifying to knock them out in good form today.
I was flying high like in the early days when I left the gym. On the radio ‘Moment 4 Life’ was on — perfect for my mood:
In this very moment I’m king/In this very moment I slay, Goliath with a sling
I wish that I could have this moment for life, for life, for life/Cuz in this moment I just feel so alive, alive, alive
And just think. I could have stayed in bed and missed this.