Walking into 2017 Like…

 

It’s a new year.  Time to set resolutions? No thank you. Time to evaluate the past year and identify what I want to keep, what I want to chuck, and what I want to obtain? Yes please. I believe in setting intentions and goals for the year as opposed to resolving to never do something again or to always do something .(Those are absolutes which prove to be more detrimental than helpful. More on that point in a great post about warnings Amy Purdy gives in regards to resolutions here).  When you take the time to really reflect on what the last year meant for you, it is far more realistic to set the framework for what you want out of the coming year. For me, 2016 was a year of much personal growth and overcoming some big things, all of which I am extremely grateful for. For 2017, I still intend to keep improving. (I mean, we never really should ever stop) while reintroducing a few things that got away from me. I have personal goals for myself (maybe a bit too personal to share at the moment), and I recognize to get them, I am going to have to take 2017 by the horns (so to speak).

I am a total routine person to a fault. I stress about doing things during the week that will interfere with solid sleep. I literally count the hours of sleep I get at night (and I wonder why I am single!)  For 2017, I intend to not beat myself up if I do not stick to my day to day routine 100% of the time. Life is about the unexpected and allowing wiggle room for things that come our way. It is okay if I miss a workout in the morning (I can make it up later in the day).  I do feel like I have a balanced life, but I am open to shaking it up a bit. And by shaking it up, let’s be honest here. Realistically, it is not exactly likely I will be out raging on a Wednesday night, but it is more likely that I will be out at a hockey game or literary event. It is ok if I have a raging Saturday brunch that turns into an all-day event. The errands I have to do that day can wait till another day. I need to cut my routine and myself some slack if I want to have new experiences or just some old fashioned fun and shenanigans.

Speaking of shenanigans, I need to have more of them in 2017. To my point above, my routine has probably meant I have missed out on some fun opportunities. I am no spring chicken but I am also not ready to live the life of a 70 year old. (Actually as I wrote that, I was reminded that most 70 year olds I know are living life with far more zest than I am.) I am going to say “yes” to more invitations. If it sounds fun and appealing, no more silly excuses like, “I can’t hang out with them, I’ll be the oldest person there.” Or “But tomorrow is squat day, I need to be in bed by 9:30”. These are true stories. So get ready, friends. You will be seeing a lot more of me in 2017!

I know myself, and as much as I do I intend to break my routine this year, I recognize that I do still need boundaries in certain areas so that I do not undo the hard work  I put in. Specifically, I am referring to my old friend, Alcohol. Since I do not believe in setting a goal that has an absolute in it, I will not commit to never drinking. I will commit though to only drinking when I want to. I wrote a post a few months back about dieting and how social expectations play into it (that post here). One thing that I feel just as strongly about, if not more, is that I am accountable for what I put into my body which means I am entirely in the right to not give into societal or social pressures. I am accepting the fact, whether it is neurotic or not, that for the most part, drinking for the sake of drinking makes me feel badly about myself.  I put A LOT of tears and sweat in both in and out of the box. I strive to continuously improve, not reverse or counter all those hours by having too many glasses of wine. I am giving myself continued permission in 2017 to pick and choose when I want those extra alcoholic calories. I also quite frankly cannot bounce back the next day like I used to after drinking, and so for me, drinking becomes like a 24 hour investment. So if I decline to drink, please know it’s my own deal and internal struggle.  Having said that, as I am devoted to reintroducing fun into my life, when I am up for shenanigans, I will have no qualms if they do indeed involve drinking.

My last intention is more of a not-so-subtle ask for help. I absolutely love writing, and I intend to do more of it this year. It brings me a different kind of happiness and gratitude than anything else I do. While my intention is to do more of it, I am on the one hand trusting that the universe will give me opportunities while on the other, I have to proactively go find them as well as self-promote (which is totally awkward and even more so as I am also not-so-subtly incorporating it into this blog!). I am open for any advice or recommendations on the matter.

For me, I am whole- heartedly believing that 2017 is going to be the best year yet. 2015 and 2016 were dark years (not for me individually but on the whole for all of us in the spiritual sense.  I could spend more time on that but I will leave it there…for now). I want to reclaim a lot of things that have gotten away from me while embracing new experiences to come. I am setting my intentions as I know they will be answered.

What are your intentions for 2017?

Control

CrossFit carries a certain mindset much of the time which is to go big or go home. We lift heavy, we train hard and we rep out movements like nobody’s business. Our workouts require us to be powerful and explosive…sometimes. A common theme I have noticed lately is that athletes go hard for certain movements where really control needs to be demonstrated.

We forget how beneficial control is. We should be the boss of a barbell not the other way around. When the weight gets heavy or there are a lot of reps, it is easy to want to just keep going to get a faster time. This happens a lot with presses and cleans. We end up doing a bunny hop because we let the barbell get in control. Even doing movements like back squats require a lot of control. When you let the bar dictate where your elbows go that is when you find yourselves having to bail too early. When you find yourself being thrown around by a movement, stop for a second and reset. Get in control.

Many body weight movements also require control and not going at them at full throttle. For example, when you get more proficient at things like pull ups and toes to bars, the space you move in should be minimal. The more you kick and have explosive kips, the bigger your movement is and therefore it’s actually less efficient. You’ll burn out faster because you are using more energy. Try using more control and your core!

Double unders, which are not an easy feat to master, also require control. The higher you jump or bend your knees, the less efficient you are being. They are one of the easier movements to get yourself tripped up on (literally). You go from doing fast deadlifts let’s say to transitioning to double and you need to slow your roll down friends! Double unders take concentration and a lot of control and when you go too hard, even if you manage to string a lot together, you will burn out.

Hand Stand Push Ups. Let’s talk about these for a minute. Yes they take a great amount of strength but of course they also require being in control of your body while you are upside down. If you do not have your core stabilized or your lats in the right position, you will find yourself falling off the wall. I don’t care how strong you are when it comes to cleaning or jerking. If you go too hard or too fast in an HSPU without being in control, you won’t string together many reps.

Ok I think you get my point by now. Going hard is only part of the equation. Start thinking about being more in control. My recommendation is add some exercises to strengthen your core (check out hashtag #operationsportsbra on InstaGram). Having a stronger core translates to having more control of your body.