Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What the Fuck Am I Doing Here?

I'm not defeatist, or even particularly pessimistic.

Stop it. Don't think I can't hear you rolling your eyes.

But...I'm really not. I'm a realist, certainly, but my personality type also lends itself to rampant idealism...and even ridiculous optimism. As a general rule I tend to view all things as possible with the right preparation and dogged persistence in their execution.

Just because I'm bitchy doesn't mean I'm a doomsayer.

Which is why the last few weeks have been so hard for me. I've had a goal of a 200# back squat for a while now. And what's a goal without a plan? A wish. But I'm not wishing. I'm working. Which is why the amount of failure I've been experiencing is killing me. Not only have I stopped progressing, I'm actually backsliding.

I question all my life choices.

About...shit, 6 months ago now? I started a Smolov cycle to increase my back squat. I started at 130#. I did a 13 week cycle, and it sucked, but at the end of it I hit 155#. Success. Then I took a couple of weeks off of squatting and started over with my new PR. After the first part of the cycle I 1 repped at 165#. Hooray and shit. Then everything fell apart. I took my switch weeks and worked on plyometrics and mobility and upper body...all the other things that aren't squatting. And when I came back to it? I couldn't do it anymore. Every set felt fucking terrible. The heavy squats made me feel like everything was coming apart at the seams.

And I failed. Again...and again...and again.

I saw the chiropractor. I worked on mobility before squatting and after. I sat in the basement with 75 pounds on my back and tried to stay upright.

And I failed some more. Over...and over...and over.

So I walked away for a week. Didn't back squat at all. Just did what was in the WODs and a little front squatting (don't ask) at home, some lunges, that kind of thing.

Today was 1 rep max back squat at the box. I shouldn't have gone. I don't know why I did, really. I started at 50% and just added 10# each round as instructed. I didn't do the math, I didn't want to psych myself out. Everything was fine...everything felt really good, actually.

And then I fucking failed 155#. I couldn't even get up my fucking max from 3 months ago. A weight I could do doubles at just last month.

It's gone. All that work. All that sweat. All that time.


I don't know what to do now. Start over at the beginning? Say fuck it and eat my weight in cheesecake? Get drunk and have a good cry? Start embracing my flat, nearly 40 year old ass?

It isn't that I haven't dealt with failure in the past. For fuck's sake, my whole "athletic" life is built on failures. In general I learn from failure and come back at the problem with new eyes, or better questions that get me better answers. It isn't that I haven't made progress in other ways.

My core is stronger, my ankles are more flexible, I can do movements I was incapable of before.
I don't do them well, but I can do them.

I'm focusing on challenging myself instead of just going through the motions. 
I go longer, heavier, do movements I avoided in the past.

I wear booty shorts in public. I wear the white ones, even (at home). I'm willing to ditch my tank
for WODs, I wore a tube top in public.

All these things are great. I'm happy about them. But the one thing I've been working at the hardest, the most the one thing I just can't do. 

Maybe I'll just quit.  I wonder what that would feel like. Quitting my job at giant corpo-pharmacy felt pretty great. Quitting smoking didn't feel great. I still miss smoking...and if I'm being completely honest sometimes I still smoke. Go ahead and clutch your pearls. I'll wait here.

I won't quit, though. Clearly I am bad at quitting things since I only have 2 examples and one of them isn't even accurate. I'll just rework the plan and start again. Damn my endless optimism. It may be a while, though. I need some distance. Squats are like a shitty boyfriend I just can't get over. How dare he dump me the day before I was going to dump him? I didn't even like him! I SAY WHEN THIS IS OVER.

I am going to quit Starbucks, though. That place can go fuck itself. In fact, go ahead and mark it. Today was my last purchase at Starbucks. I quit. 

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