Every great day seems to be preceded by a rough one. I wish I had remembered this fact in the midst of yesterday’s turmoil. It may have given me hope. Today, right on schedule, this Warrior Girl had one of her best days in recent memory.
We start a new cycle when my coach returns and he repeatedly said “send me daily updates”. Yesterday my update read “Chest day: nothing to report”. What would I have reported if he weren’t on vacation? If I weren’t hoping he returns relaxed? “It sucked. Weight was low, explosive movements were slower than molasses, I’m an embarrassment to both of us”. What would I have reported had I remembered it was just a bad day? Sets, reps, analysis. But I promised to remain positive in his absence and I forgot about bad days so instead I wrote “nothing to report”.
I am the reason he needs a vacation.
He is the reason I need time alone with the barbell.
Today I decided that focussing on my weaknesses without the constant critique could be relaxing…maybe the Warrior Girl will have fun slaying dragons on her own like she once did. My message today was reps, sets, & weights. I wanted to make a bigger deal of the weight but it would annoy him.
One of the last things my coach said before he left was “I don’t give a crap about your max’s. They don’t mean anything”. But they do to me. They are the only way I can measure my improvements. Max week is my mile marker, what I dream about, what drives me. It is how I distance myself from that 80# anorexic that couldn’t squat an empty bar. Be stronger: this is why I love to lift. Be faster: this is why I crossfit. Slaying dragons is fun for this Warrior Girl and therefore max’s matter. Keep that in mind as you read about today.
Back day: I strung together 6 kipping pull-ups then switched to doing strict. I prefer strict pull-ups and I haven’t done them in months. I wanted to see where they were. In my 6th set I got 10, my last max number. I was happy. I ended my 6×3 barbell rows at 165#, the same as my last 1 rep max. AWESOME! I ended my 6×3 RDLs at 265#, again my last 1 rep max. AWESOME x 2!! I finished the rest of the lifts above what I did last week.
I am 7 weeks away from re-testing my max lifts and I am far exceeding my expectations at this point. Yes, I will set goals. No, I won’t tell my coach.
While the mentor is away the apprentice will play. I enjoyed today and not just because I did well, though that always helps. I attacked what I wanted, how I wanted. Not all my lifts were stellar. I still need to be more explosive, keep my core engaged throughout a set, remain calm when things go wrong. I will be working on these things for the rest of my lifting life. But today I stopped to acknowledge what I did correctly, celebrate the good sets. I didn’t pick at every little error.
I understand his position. Form, technique, explosive movement are the things by which he judges my performance. These are the things that matter to my coach. And his unwillingness to let me celebrate my achievements, whether it be increased weight or good form, is meant to keep me focussed, keep me improving, prevent me from settling for “just ok”. He is only pushing me towards my potential. I have begged him repeatedly to make sure I find my best at whatever cost. He is only doing what I have asked.
Maybe by playing this week, enjoying my achievements, I am actually doing myself a disservice. But it felt damn good to do multiple reps at my last max weight with exhausted muscles. I am excited for what I might accomplish at the end of these 7 weeks. I am ready to level up.
Days to get a consistent set of 115# squat cleans (aka Joel’s return): 5