Blog 11 Grit


Well Muscle Up Club was teaching all sorts of lessons today. My performance in it was, to describe it charitably, sub par. Maybe it was because the workout before it took it out of me, maybe it was because by Friday my work has sucked the life out of me, I’m not sure. I know I did my homework and today the results did not show.

It’s possible other members of Muscle Up club were feeling the same because a conversation started about what we were going to do if we didn’t get the muscle up by December. Now my mind instantly went to steroids but my friend was thinking of other ways to assist the muscle up and she was looking at six months into next year and in all honestly I was feeling a little defeated.

It’s hard when we have been working on this since January. Yes we’ve had sickness and ops in the group so we haven’t had a straight eight months but I have seen a few people now (all guys come to think of it) hop up and bust out a muscle up. So what were my lessons that today was giving me.

We have the tried and true, Suck it Up Trishy, nothing has ever come easy, hasn’t in the past, there’s no reason it should start in the present or the future. It goes a little deeper than that though.

How about what you learn while you are waiting for your goal to materialise? How about the tenacity you need to show up week after week and work and not achieve the goal yet. How about the grit you need to be the oldest in your class or the weakest or the slowest and keep rocking up to class. It’s possible that this mental fortitude training could be as valuable as the physical. Maybe you have to train your mind and spirit as hard as you train your body? Maybe Muscle Up club is about all sorts of learning and only one of those is the actual muscle up.

When I wanted to run four marathons in two years to honour what my Dad did I was a heavy smoker who couldn’t run a 100 metres. I wasn’t even game to tell anyone that I was going to do this goal because it was so far away from where my body was when I set the goal. But I quit the smokes and that friggin killed me. I went out every day and I ran and I ran, further and further and further. I was last every time I ran with a person. I ran in the heat and the rain and my body hurt from February to November which was the running season for those two years.

My house and garden went to shit while I was running and I cancelled many social engagements because I needed to go running. If I missed a marathon the goal was invalid so I had to hit two marathons twice a year and there was only three available per year in my state. I ended up doing the four marathons and an ultra with a shoulder injury. I had never felt fitter.

My point is, this bloody muscle up will come. It may not come soon but I will get it by hook or by crook and it is not inconceivable that it will arrive by Christmas. If it doesn’t I’m going to have to suck it up but if I hadn’t set the Christmas deadline would we be training as hard as we are?

I almost felt a desperation today, as if every day I am getting older and the possibility of doing the moves I want is moving further away. I don’t want to wait another six months for the muscle up there are other moves I want. I need to get this one sorted so I can move on. Funny enough I saw a clip of a sixty year old man learning and doing a muscle up. So I know there’s time but what if I get sick again or injured? It’s nearly September, I need this goal done.

I better not finish on such a negative note so let me list what has been going well. I moved 1.5 kilos up on my clean and jerk. Yay for Trishy, it’s not much but it’s in the right direction. I managed to work, look after my home and still do gym and my muscle up homework. I got a really cool video of me doing pull ups and you can see the muscles in my back moving, that actually was a highlight of the week for me. I’m not crashing energy wize anymore or at least not so much. I’ve figured out my diet, hydration, sleep and resting and that seems to have sorted out those terrible crashes.

You know in all honestly I’m being an absolute whinger. I need to be grateful for a functional body that I can muck around with this stuff. I need to appreciate having employment so I can pay for gym and training. I have lots of advantages which will help with this goal and my biggest asset is grit. I rarely if ever give up. I am as slow as a tortoise but I rarely if ever stop. This is going to get me the muscle up.

That was the week that was. Thank you for reading, catch you next week.

Blog 10 Rope Climbs and Mind Games

mind games

I had the most amazing crossfit workout on Thursday and as I limped away from it when it had finished I thought I’m going to write a bloody blog about this one. However before I begin I would like to share that I have a strong suspicion that I came in second on a workout on Tuesday. Pause for a moment while I list all of those pesky qualifiers such as, yes the box I jumped on was lower than anyone elses, yes my dumbbells were lighter and yes my wall ball was smaller and maybe I jumped around the dam thing a cupla times instead of over it but my god have you ever jumped over a ball when you are tired, it’s lethal. Now just push all of those qualifiers to one side because there was a time when all of that was happening and I was still coming last and now silver for Trishy. Nobody was impressed, everyone said go heavier but I don’t care, I was insanely happy about this. I kept looking at people either side of me thinking have I stuffed up the rep count, maybe do a few more just to be sure. Silver for Trishy – booyeah.

Thursday rocked around and it was a day like any other. Who knew my world was about to be rocked? Well I didn’t obviously. I was canny enough these days to check on our website before setting off for the box to see if rope climbs were in because if you don’t wear long pants or long socks you’re going to get carved up, Rope climbs were in, the workout didn’t look hard and I was still riding my silver victory wave. I rocked up to the box cocky, completely oblivious to the fact that I had never figured out a wod’s difficulty level correctly yet. So it was ten rounds of two climbs and 7 dumbell thingies, I can’t remember what they were called. There was an option to do one of the climbs legless. Yes Lisa I say to my mate lets do them legless we can do anything. Funny enough I couldn’t climb the rope with just my arms and that was the beginning of a faint warning bell going off.

We did the warm up and as a joke my long suffering trainer said congratulations Trish you came first in the warm up. Booyeah for Trishy, this was the same trainer that said you went too light on Tuesday’s workout.

Round one of the work out begins, I’m in long pants and I’m already feeling hot because of the warm up. I climb the rope once, I climb it again and think hmm it’s really hard to climb this twice and then I do the crazy dumbbell thing. We wait two minutes and then we go again.

I climb once and then when I try to climb again I get half way and I think hmm I’m quite tired now and I might fall best to get down and just do the crazy dumbbell thingy which was getting bloody hard and the offer of scaling the weight had magically disappeared,

Two more minutes and I thought nup, no way baby am I going up that rope again, we had seven more rounds. We had Lisa in the class, a woman who I did not want to see me spit the dummy, I love Lisa. We had Mel in the class who NEVER complains, I have known her for two years and she never complains, I didn’t want to complain in front of Mel. Camouflage didn’t seem to be an option and the dam floor wouldn’t swallow me up. Michael the trainer says come on time to climb. I thought ok do one, he can see you’ve made an effort and then you can do the stupid dumb bell thing and we will forget all about the stupid second climb. I was so far from cocky now, cocky was in a different country.

I climbed once, my arms were like rubber, my bloody feet wouldn’t lock and I thought quick head for the dumbbells. Trish, Michael says you’ve only done one climb. Yes I said and it was a good one wasn’t it as I head for the dumbbells. Climb again he says. I can’t I say I’m tired. Climb again he says.

What then happened for the next seven rounds was a discussion about, what injury would get me out of this workout, at this point I didn’t give a flying fig if Lisa and Mel saw me at my worst I was convinced that I could not climb that rope for seven more rounds. I would fall, I would die, I needed to take up knitting, maybe badminton. Why did Sam the writer of the Wod hate me? Did Michael realise he would feel awful when I was dead. He would have to go to my funeral and people would ask why did he kill me? Without hesitation he said, I would tell them, look at those muscles, here is my card. Mind you the louder the kvetching got the closer he moved to the rope in case I fell.

His responses to my almost constant whinging was, do you want more muscles? Not then I didn’t. You have psyched yourself out of doing this. No I hadn’t, nobody could climb a rope twenty times that’s crazy thinking. Do you want the muscle up? I could wait a year or two. Do you want this to be included for your homework for muscle up club? I don’t care I thought, I’m going to die, here, this morning, in this gym and I have dogs. I entered this box thinking I would chat to my mates, workout and congratulate myself in getting up in time to workout. I didn’t imagine that I was going to risk life and limb climbing more times than I had ever climbed before. By the way. the only injury that would be accepted as getting out of rope climbs was to be run over by a car and that’s hard in the middle of a gym. I did offer to go outside and find a car. When I told him he needed to work on his negotiation skills after my repeated requests for scaling options, he said his negotiation skills were fine I was still climbing.

The thing is, the mind fuck with the rope climb is, you can fall off, even though Michael said no–one had fallen off before. You could get so weak and wobbly up there you could fall. He said he would catch me if I fell and he moved closer but isn’t a falling weight greater than a stationary one? Wouldn’t my 60 kilos become 180 or something, then we would both die. God I regretted not paying more attention in physics class, I never knew my life might depend on the answer. Any other activity you can just stop but if you are half way up a rope you still have to come down and I knew how I thought I was going to come down.

I considered the walk out. A couple of people before me have done the walk out; Hardy souls. It’s not as easy as you might think. I found it easier to sit down and pray for the floor to swallow me up but it didn’t, I did share with my poor class that I was considering the walk out.

Lisa started talking to me like she does with one of her daughters when she thinks her daughter may be slacking off. Come on Trish get it done. Give me an injury I asked her, something that would get me out of this god awful workout with honour. No she said. I did try faking an elbow injury but I had lost a lot of credibility by the time I thought of that one.

So I did it. I bitched and whinged and moaned for every bloody rep but I did it. I have never climbed that much. I never dreamed of climbing that much. I didn’t know it was possible to climb that much but I did it. Now here is the mind fuck.

I was not being a faker. I truly honestly did not believe that I had the ability to climb that rope 19 and a half times, God I wish now I could say I did it twenty times. I thought honestly after the second climb in round two that was it. Every subsequent rep after that was, just go until you can’t go any more and each time from somewhere I had the energy and the ability to do it. So this means what my mind believes and what my body can do is not in unison. This was an amazing revelation! Holy hell, I have never considered that every part of me, mind, body and soul were not on the same page. I feel like my body has been hiding her ability and not sharing it with the rest of us. 19 and a half climbs? Where the gosh darn heck did that come from? I left that gym a very different person to the one who went in. Now try and tell me that Crossfit is not magical, it is showing me things that I never thought I would achieve.

That was the week that was. Thank you for reading, catch you next week.

Blog 9 Mental Health and Fitness



I have long believed that fitness, movement, just activity in any form was a major weapon in your arsenal to maintain mental health. Can you hear the ‘however’ in the tone of that sentence? The however is there because what happens when you get injured, have surgery, the gym closes, it’s Christmas, the list is endless. I’ve always told myself it doesn’t matter, go for a run, make an exercise date with friends, walk the dogs, run with the dogs, the list is endless. The problem is you are not dealing with the problem and there will come a time when you are denied your number one strategy to keeping you mentally well, whatcha gonna do then?

I’ve tried alcohol and cigarettes before currently doing exercise to deal with my mind. They all work to a certain extent but you’re just cutting off the head off the mental demon each time, you’re not dealing with the roots, so the problems come back over and over again. It’s almost a frantic way to deal with them. You run around and around in some kind of mental hamster wheel thinking just keep moving and you’ll be fine but eventually you have to stop.

So today I’m home, I’m not at gym, I’m not exercising because I am exhausted and I can barely move but what is moving at a thousand miles a minute is that beautiful pesky mind of mine. So it occurred to me that my mind and I need to tussle. We have to figure out appropriate behaviour while my poor body recovers from the week that was so now it is just mano a mano with my mind.

Guy Winch on you Tube is brilliant. If nothing else his voice is just lovely to listen to. He talks about giving emotional wounds the same priority you would give physical wounds. I can’t rely on gym, pole, trapeze, running etc to deal with my mental issues. They help, they bring me happiness but a calm and peaceful mind that is not at war with itself, that takes something else. I believe that takes introspection, sleep, hydration, good food, blogging, journaling or maybe talking with a professional. It’s been a rough few weeks it’s hardly surprising that my mind is feeling battered. My point is physical exercise is good but it should not be the only source of mental care. It will help but it will not fix the mind. I never realised that until today.

So onto more cheerful things. Since I last blogged the ring dip arrived. Sam said one day in muscle up club give it a go and I did and it was there. I got it before my birthday and you can bet your life I had it videoed and shared all over facebook. I had a goal of getting the ring dip before my birthday and it turned out that I got two before my birthday because a second one arrived one week later so I was an extremely happy camper. I am now up to six pull ups, my legs move a bit but that’s ok I can work on that. Six is more than I have ever had.

I did my birthday challenge with a very good friend. We rowed for 21.1 kms as a half marathon. Funny thing was I thought we were going to do this as row for 5kms, get off walk around have a break then get back on and do another five. I forgot the rotten machine turns itself off if you stop rowing for maybe a minute. So when we did get off to stretch we had to scurry back and it didn’t feel like a break at all. I was so disappointed because I brought snacks and everything. Oh well I can tick that off my list of things to do.

That was the week that was. Thank you for reading, catch you next week.