Ripping up a WOD after nearly 10 days away.

The value in time off?

Ripping up a WOD after nearly 10 days away.
Ripping up a WOD after nearly 10 days away.

This last week was spring break, and I missed Crossfit terribly while I was in the City playing for part of it. It’s really difficult to maintain a normal schedule (especially work-out and diet) when you’re entertaining. Things always come up. Like showing friends around town and eating out for just about every meal.

Let me tell you, by the end of day one, I was feeling horrible—or at least my stomach was. And that didn’t stop until yesterday when I could get back into my normal ways of eating. Blargh!

My bastardized handstand for Liberty.
My bastardized handstand for Liberty.

In my experience, it’s easy to let one slip-up morph into another and another until you just can’t get back on the horse. Do you know what I’m talking about? Last week (diet-wise, at least) was one big, huge slip-up. It started with some hummus. And then some chocolate cake at the Met. And then some crazy ravioli in Little Italy. And lots and lots of Stumptown lattes. While I did track everything while I was away, I still wasn’t stopped from eating almost 100 points…two days in a row. ACK! Granted, I was walking and standing for hours on end (and doing a few handstands at the Statue of Liberty), but is that enough to off-set the bad nutrition choices? We shall see.

But despite the copious amounts of walking I was getting in each day (to the point where I was wishing I brought my handball for some trigger-point stretches for my poor, poor calves), I was simultaneously scared and excited to go back to Crossfit. Excited because I missed it. Scared shitless because the longest I had gone without was maybe a five or six day stretch, and I surely paid for that in both performance AND pain.

So, come Monday, I geared up for the WOD. With butterflies in my stomach, I finally made my way inside. And once I did, two really awesome things happened.

First, I’m doing the warm-up, and instead of doing normal GHD hip/back extensions I’m doing what I normally do: AbMat “Supermans.” All of a sudden Coach Dean starts giving me the stink eye.

“What?!” I yell over to him.

“What are you doing?” he yells back.


He continues giving me that look that’s a mix between sad puppy dog and judgment. You know the one I’m talking about.

“Why aren’t you doing the regular extensions?”

“On the machine?”

“Well, yeah.”

“Last time I wanted to try them, someone told me it was too soon and I couldn’t.”

“Well I’m telling you to try.”

Really, seriously delightful chocolate molten cake with whipped cream and raspberry coulee at the Met.
Really, seriously delightful chocolate molten cake with whipped cream and raspberry coulee at the Met.

So both skeptical and excited, I got up and moved to the other room, where Murph gets me set up. And once I get used to being upside down (which I really just don’t like), what do I do? Not one. Not two. But TEN…UNBROKEN…hip extensions. It felt SO freaking badass. And I had no idea I could possibly do even one. Which makes me wonder how long I’ve had the strength to do them at all.

So that was awesome accomplishment number one.

Then comes the WOD. I had been debating whether or not I wanted to try to go heavy. And normally when I question this, I end up with 45#. Even though I had been away for more than a week, I decided to go up just a tad to 50#. I’m glad I did, because even with the extra 5# (which, yes, I could feel) I killed the WOD.

I was feeling so great afterward that I decided to try a banded pull-up again. That’s when reality hit again. Not quite ready for that. But ready for real hip extensions!

I’m not quite sure how to take these. Its very exciting to see me progress as an athlete, but I don’t think the lesson here is to go out and eat molten chocolate cake every day. Or to skip WODs for 10 days. But I do think that the lesson could be that rest days are important for any athlete.

Why? Well, before I took off for the City (and actually for several weeks before that), I would come to a WOD and just feel down. Like I wasn’t totally into it because I thought I wasn’t performing like I should, and that it wasn’t feeling as easy as I wanted it to. I understand now that I’m reflecting on it, but I came in the other day, told Coach Dean that I was in a crappy mood, and he told me that I’m always grumpy. At first that took me aback, because people almost always see the bubbly and energetic side of me. But apparently my “feeling down” was noticeable. The short break really helped.

Rest is good for moods and it’s good for performance. Even if it’s only one or two days per week. It’s necessary to keep us feeling good and refreshed—and to prevent burnouts.

So am I back on the Crossfit wagon? Hells yeah! But I won’t forget to work in some rest every now and then, either.


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Exuberant photographer, artist, writer, designer, wannabe chef, and Crossfitter.

2 thoughts on “The value in time off?”

  1. Great post, Danielle! I have taken months off and feel shittier about it every day. It’s like when I haven’t called my grandma in a while. The guilt keeps me from calling her even longer. Eventually, I call her and it is so good that I forget all about the stress over not calling. Maybe me getting back on the exercise wagon will be similar? I feel so down these days about the changes in my body over the past year. I am SO much weaker! I’ve lost so much muscle. I’ve gained so much body fat. I’m obsessed. Great post, luv.

    1. Thanks, lady! I know how it feels to just sort of slip…until you’ve slipped into exercise oblivion. And the thing is, when you do go back, you can’t expect to gain back all your muscle overnight, which can make it even harder! It took me a solid three months (or more?) of doing Crossfit before I realized I had arm muscles. It was nuts.

      Sometimes it’s really the getting back into things that is the hardest. But I know that once you do, you will be golden. 🙂

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