I used my jet lag to my advantage on the first day and hit the hotel gym around 6 a.m. Heading to the gym while on vacation is no longer a strange concept for me. I remember a time when I would pack gym clothes, with all the best intentions, but never make it to the actual gym. This time, however, packing an extra suitcase with just my workout clothes was worth it.
I wasn't impressed with the hotel gym. It was really basic, and I knew that although I could get a bit of resistance training in, it would mostly be cardio. With that in mind, the next day I head outdoors for a jog/walk around West Hollywood. Between the heat and the distance (6.5 km), I was wiped out by the end of that day!
So, the gym and the outdoor walk were 'normal.' What was really exciting to me was going to Jean Jacques Machado's Brazilian Jiujitsu Academy. It was intimidating walking into an academy that I was completely unfamiliar with, putting on a gi (that I don't like wearing anyway), and then grappling with men I didn't know. I'm glad that D was there, even though we weren't grappling together. It was a really great experience. Even though it was just one session, I felt like I achieved a lot just by going there and doing it. I'm still working on facing my fears and building my confidence - this was a great way to test being outside my comfort zone.
My second big challenge was going to CrossFit. I really, really wanted to go to a CrossFit box while I was in Los Angeles, but I was scared. CrossFit is no joke. You push yourself to the limit - it challenges your mind and your body. Would I be ok going to a new box? Would I feel comfortable enough to perform? Would I be up to whatever WOD they had planned for the day?
I was really, really anxious heading to the Box. My heart was pounding, and there were a few times when I thought - never mind, I'll just turn back ... but I didn't turn back. I went in and gave it a go.
The people at CFLA (CrossFit Los Angeles) were great. Everyone was welcoming and friendly. We started with an outdoor run warm-up (run?? shit, will I be able to keep up) and got to know each other a bit before going back to the Box to continue warming up/stretching and of course our WOD.
Before doing the WOD, each one of us had to state our goal - whether it was to complete the WOD in perfect form, beat a certain time, etc. I said that I wanted to complete the WOD within 6 minutes. The coach said - no way, you can do it under 5.
Talk about putting on a bit of pressure, but it was exactly what I needed. I managed to complete the WOD under 5 minutes, and I felt great. Everyone was being encouraging and supportive. It was such a great atmosphere, and I felt amazing afterwards. My only regret was that I wasn't going to be in LA long enough for another CrossFit workout.
What I Learned
I need to trust myself more.
Dieting and exercise are so much easier once my mind was in a positive place. Even though I know that I am strong and capable, I am still not confident in my abilities. It is this lack of confidence that makes me think (know) that I am not pushing myself 100% yet. I wonder why I could not tell myself - set your goal at 4 min 30. So what if you don't make it; at least put forward a challenging goal so that you can push yourself.
I'm still hesitant, and I need to believe - without hesitation - that I am up to the challenge. Having a supportive environment is really important (thanks Dizzle Rivera for encouraging me & believing in me). However, I need to also provide that type of support to myself.
This is something that I want to work on for this next year. By next summer I want to be able to walk into any CrossFit box around the world and feel confident that I belong and am able to compete.
(Link to: LA Update Part 1)