Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'm a not loser, baby.

I "teach" bear crawl. Don't love it!
I hate to lose. And when I say “lose,” what I mean, is that I have performed poorly.  I can do this all by myself, or this can be accomplished in a group. Anyway, I really hate it. No matter what I try and tell myself. No matter what I try to tell you. I hate it. I have a competitive drive that is like a fire burning inside me. I can’t put out its flame. Not with common sense. Not with what’s rational. Not with reason. Not with any form of anything. When I say I don’t care, I am lying. Because I always care. Always.

Is this a curse? Maybe? Possibly. My sister is a perfectionist. I am not. I have often thought of her being “cursed” with this. Maybe we are all cursed to some degree – with something. We all have our “things.” One example that comes up in the gym or garage, is that I can’t stand plates being put on a bar wrong. Numbers on the outside for bumpers. Numbers on the inside for metal plates (they butt up against the collars better this way). We all have our idiosyncrasies. The things that makes us who we are. Things that make us crazy. Things that define our lives to some degree. Or maybe to a large degree.

My competitive nature? It has both served, and ruined, me at times. Being a competitive person can either make you euphoric, or make you feel like a complete failure. There is rarely an in-between. Does this mean I cannot lose graciously? No, I can. And I do a lot. But it always bothers me. I rethink what I could have done better. What went right? What went wrong?

So what brings me to this topic today? Well, last week’s workout. What was it? It was my dear friend, Loraine’s birthday WOD at Sumner CrossFit.

So, here is the way it went. . . Loraine invites me to do her birthday WOD with the group that I train (with her) every Wednesday night. How can I say no? I can’t – and I actually want to do this -- even though I’ve been on 4 month lifting-only program. I thought it would be fun. I’ve actually missed that “pre-WOD-anxiety” that a metcon brings.

But my pre-WOD anxiety included some knowledge of where my cardio ability is right now. Not good. By choice, mind you. But that is beside the point. The WOD included “bear crawls.” A LOT of bear crawls at a significant distance. I knew what this meant. Cardio taxing. Muscular endurance taxing. Both of which I am lacking at this point because I haven’t been training in those realms. The WOD also included several rounds of the “bear complex” (power clean, front squat, push press, back squat, push press) of lifting. My wheel house! I thought this would be my “balancer” in the workout.

3-2-1-GO! I blaze through the first 3 bear complex. On to the bear crawls. One lap. Not so bad. On to the the next 6 bear complex. Feeling okay. Bear crawls, 2 laps. Getting a bit bad. Nine rounds bear complex. Not as easy as I expected. At all. Not really loving the rapid fire lifting. Kind of thinking about how much I love my breaks between lifts in my usual workouts. Then 3 laps of bear crawl. This was ugly. I was angry after one lap. Seriously pissed after lap 2. Lap 3 left me in the fetal position at every freaking corner of that stupid lap. Even with Loraine, watching, and giggling, and cheering me on, I still curled myself up at every corner, and cursed her very existence for creating this heinous workout. Six bear complex. Sweating so bad that the bar wanted to slip off my back. Two laps bear crawl. Beyond words mad at myself for being so cardio/endurance weak. Three bear complex. One lap bear crawl – slow as a sloth. A sloth! Touched the tape. Done.

As I sat there panting, in the very familiar way of days long ago, I thought about how I felt. What was my very first thought? What was my freaking- awful-freaking-time?? I had not even looked at the clock when I finished, but I knew it was bad. I already knew I wasn’t happy with my time or my performance. And when my friend Barry said, “Good job Lori!” I wanted to scream, “That’s bullshit. I sucked,” but instead, I said “thank you.” And I even laughed a bit -- because it was rather funny. Kaylor, another SCF trainer even said to me, “You were SO slow on those crawls!”

So although, I can experience this type of “failure” with composure, I will never embrace losing. I will never feel good about performing at what I feel is beneath what I am capable of. I set a high standard for myself. I can’t change that. And I don’t believe that lowering my personal “bar” will result in anything beneficial in the long run.

When I lose, or am disappointed with myself, I am seriously pissed. When I perform under par, it bothers me. I don’t care that I haven’t been training for that type of workout. I sucked. And I hate that feeling. But hating “that” feeling is what drives me. It drives me to be better. It drives me to want to be the best -- even when being the best in the room isn’t possible.

And being “the sloth” will always piss me off. Because the competitor in me is always present. Always.

Because, I'm not a loser, baby.

PS: Loraine’s time was 13-something. Mine was 19-something. Enough said. Still love you Birthday Girl. My Birthday is in April. . . Heavy Snatches Baby! Be ready. . .