The Road to Linda…
Learning how to be patient, manage my expectations of myself, and focus on the end goal.
I am notoriously impatient and I put a lot of pressure on myself to excel at everything I do, immediately. I drove my coach mad last year – Yes, I too have a coach; with a different goal and a different focus every couple of months. I wanted to be strong, I wanted to be lean, I wanted to be good at gymnastics, I wanted to do CrossFit, and on and on and on….
By the time December 2016 arrived I realised that I hadn’t actually achieved a single one of my goals for the year. Why? Because I wanted it all and I wanted it immediately. I hadn’t given myself time to follow the process, to learn, to grow and to develop as an athlete or as a person. I ended up pretty much right back where I had started at the beginning of the year. Discontented, unfocussed and still stood on the start line.
I needed a goal. Not just any goal but a goal that was so far out of my reach that it would take the best part of 2017 to achieve. I needed a goal that was going to test my every facet…
I chose LINDA…
For those of you that are unfamiliar with CrossFit, Linda is a barbell workout – AKA “The 3 Bars of Death”. The workout consists of 1.5x bodyweight Deadlift, bodyweight Bench press and 0.75x bodyweight Clean. With a rep scheme of 10-1 – Essentially 55reps of each lift, 165reps in total, as fast as possible.
Why this workout?
Because I knew I wasn’t strong enough to complete even 1 rep of the Bench press or the Clean, never mind 55 of each. My coach thought I was crazy! BUT we made an agreement that he would help me train for my goal on the proviso that I was not allowed to change my mind a few weeks in.
This was going to take me a year to train for. I was going to have to focus on a very structured strength program. Limit the amount of cardio I did and reside myself to the fact that I was going to gain a little weight. For someone that has previously been significantly overweight this was a big deal and was going to be a big challenge.
What did I need to change to reach this goal?
I needed to change my perception of pretty much everything. Training was no longer about the aesthetics of ‘getting lean’ and being able to see my abs for 8 months of the year. It was no longer about being super strict with food, limiting calories or the perpetual daily struggle of ‘what can I eat?’, ‘How big of a portion can I have?’ etc. etc. I now needed to learn how to fuel my body to make it perform and to make it strong. This meant eating food! And eating more food!!! Although this was a scary prospect from an aesthetic perspective actually eating more was not a problem for me! What was going to be the challenge was eating the right amount of food to fuel my training without falling into the old trap of self-sabotage and self-anilation. I needed to eat more but also eat well.
I made a conscious decision to train to make my body do the things I wanted it to do rather than be concerned with how it looks. I still weigh myself weekly but now with the purpose of checking that I am maintaining a healthy, stable weight and so I can track how my strength is improving in relation to my bodyweight - Weight lifted vs bodyweight is a good indication of strength. The more you can lift at a lighter bodyweight the stronger you are –Physics!
And let’s face it Linda is a workout based on bodyweight so I kinda need to know the numbers!
8.5 months into my training for Linda. Where am I?
I have maintained my body weight for the last 6 months without really paying too much attention to calories in vs calories out. I tend to eat intuitively… if I’m hungry I eat! I eat mostly whole foods and avoid refined sugar
· I am stronger than I have ever been
· I no longer view my body as ‘too fat’ or ‘ugly’
· I am more confident
· I am more patient
· I am more focussed
· I am relentless in my endeavours
I am yet to complete Linda and I’m in no hurry to do so. The results are not taken from end goal but from the journey. By taking the time to allow myself to learn, to grow & to develop, I now know that I can…
· Complete the workout whenever I choose
· Apply myself to any goal and achieve it
· Be patient
· Be happy with my body and proud of all that it can do
What can you take from this post?
A training goal, like any other goal, takes time to achieve. This is easily forgotten as time passes. A goal is something that you need to work towards as at the time of setting it you don’t yet have the required skill set to achieve it. If you did then it wouldn’t be a goal!! You must allow yourself time to learn and to grow. This will include failures along the way but these are all part of process. A failure is not a negative thing it simply shows you how not to do something, embrace every bump along the road, find the positive and use it to your advantage.
The Golden Rules for success?
· Never ever give up on your goal
· Ignore all those that say you can’t and do it anyway
· Give yourself a break. Every step is a step forward, only standing still will get you nowhere
· Remember it takes time and the more time it takes the sweeter the reward