Blog 17 Working On My Mental Game


There’s been a few changes in my gym world and I haven’t liked any of them. I can’t park outside the front anymore and I’m not willing to leave my dogs on the street so I don’t bring my dogs to gym anymore. Trainers used to let me coast with my workouts. These days they seem to expect more of me and while I am looking and feeling extremely fit I have found that a bit stressful and a bit nice all at the same time. There’s no room for my trapeze in this fancy schmanzy gym and I’m sad about that even though the Universe gave me an alternative venue pretty much straight away. The kicker though, the straw that broke this camel’s back is that they are no longer posting the workouts.

I used to look at the workout and then prepare myself for what was to come. Now I lob up to the gym and kapow here’s what you have to do. Thursday it all got too much and this little camel’s back broke.

I rocked up to gym and I wasn’t feeling a hundred percent. The workout involved 18 rope climbs and before we did the workout we had time for a skill check. While that skill check was going on I was thinking about how much energy I didn’t have. How hard these climbs would be. How tired I would get and how it was just about a certainty that I would fall and break my neck. That’s how I spent my skill check time. The clock was ticking, the skill check would be over and bye bye Trishy. I very quietly waited for the coach to look the other way, I gave a quick wave to the people closest to me, I grabbed my bag and I high tailed it out of there. There’s been several workouts where I have dreamed about getting my keys and going, this was the first time I actually did it and to not even let the coach know I was going was down right rude but I didn’t want to get persuaded to stay and these crossfit coaches are pretty damn persuasive.

I got in my car and my gym buddy Mel came out. I thought Mel I have no time for goodbyes, I’m leggin it, I’m doing a runner, I’m piking it. I have now learned that Mel is pretty persuasive too and back I went with just keys and a drink. I was hoping I could slot in and maybe nobody noticed but everybody noticed, big sigh.

So my head was fucked. I wasn’t good going in before gym started, now that I had steeled my courage to run away, (it’s actually quite hard for some people to leg it you know, some of us just freeze) so I had steeled my courage to leg it and now I was back and those rope climbs were in front of me and I thought, bring me a hole and just swallow me up. At least we had nice runs between the climbs, I do love me a run.

The coach was lovely, I got told off a couple of times for leggin it but the ferrets in my head were working overtime that day so I didn’t hear much of what he was saying, I did hear his jokes though I love his jokes. On Tuesday he had told my group that we did good resting, I’m still chuckling over that one.

The misery isn’t over but there was a lot of growth from this session. I didn’t think that I could do the climbs but you know what I went up and down that rope like a damn monkey. It felt easier than when we did the last rope workout but I was convinced CONVINCED that my energy at any moment was going to go and I would drop and die. So we got to the last round and the coach said how many reps have you got and I said I finished and I hadn’t finished. Let the remorse begin.

I didn’t expect him to believe me, I kind of said it like a joke but when he did believe me I didn’t think quick enough to say, no I’m only joking. This devil came out of my head and said, he’s believed you Trish you can go home now. So I stopped and another woman who was training with me and on the same round and reps I was, kept going and I felt like shit.

This was the first workout where I got in the car and I was ashamed of myself. Normally I’m as proud as punch with myself but today the feeling was awful. The only thing that gave me comfort was that I was not going to ever do this again. If I leave a gym I will tell the coach or I will stay put and I will never ever be a dirty rep shaver again, there’s just nothing lower in a gym. Well maybe people who put the dumbbells back incorrectly, I think they might be spending a little time on the hell burn list. My last piece of misery on this misery pie is that I could have RX’d that bloody workout and it would have been my first that wasn’t just a big run. I’ve always wanted to RX a workout and I get given the opportunity and I throw it all away. Remorse, people it’s a powerful powerful force.

Now with all that hupla going on, it finally made me take a good hard look at myself. Who am I and who do I want to be. I had a good long talk with Sam the gym owner over muscle up club. He says that he doesn’t post the workouts now because we should be ready for whatever the workout is and that is mentally challenging as well as physically. I liked this answer because one of my weakest points is the ability to do things spontaneously. I normally like a good hard think about things. This is where Crossfit is very good for me. I need to shuck off the old gym and start looking at our new way of doing things. Crossfit is helping me mentally. I’ve been hanging on to the old gym like she’s going to come back and she isn’t. So I need to at least accept the new even if I don’t like it.

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


Blog 16 A Very Big Adventure


So I wrote this before my latest adventure knowing full well that before every big adventure I get like this.

“I have a very big adventure tomorrow and I am as nervous as hell. I know I get nervous before these things but I have got the nerves really bad this time. I’m nervous that I will get an energy crash and be useless for the following week. I’m nervous that if that happens it will impact on my job. I know logically that it won’t. I know that I know how to eat right, and hydrate and get enough sleep. I know I’ve done big adventures and still handled work and home ok but this has been a rough year. I have had a lot of health problems and I hope I’m not asking for more by going on this big adventure. But would you want to play it safe? Is that how you would like to live your life? Would you want to be a would of, could of, should of, regret not doing person. It’s rotten timing. I should have gone on this adventure when I was still in the middle of school holidays but I was sick and there were other obligations and so here I go on a big adventure when the weather is hot and I feel very unprepared. The person who inspired this walk though, John Haysman, I don’t think he prepares much and he used to walk from Adelaide to Victor Harbour and back again, and that’s much much further than I am going. He’s a South Aus legend. I’ve always wanted to go on a bloody long walk and this is it. So suck it up Trishy, get your work obligations done, go cuddle your animals and get out there and have an adventure. Bloody hell at this rate you’ll be exhausted before you start.”

So that was how I approached my latest big adventure but actually while doing the adventure I had an absolute ball. I went with Lisa from gym and we walked from our gym in Elizabeth to the city and back again, it was 54.6 kilometres and it took us pretty much 12 hours. Lisa made the journey into a road trip and I had such a ball. We took funny photos on the way and mucked around a lot. We stopped at a bakery and had vegan donuts OMG!!!! We made sure we took our picture when we got to Adelaide and spoke to two blokes who thought it was hilarious we walked to the city. One guy said, there’s a train you know. We stopped for epsom salts because I knew my feet were not going to be in good shape and I nearly got a piggy back home because my poor feet finally gave out on me. Lisa probably could have piggy backed me home but it would have invalidated my challenge if she had so I said no thank you. I now have humongous blisters. Do you know Lisa gave me her spare socks because mine were making the blisters worse and she gave me her blister shield bandages. She’s the full package that girl.

When my feet gave out, we still had to walk 14 kilometres and on blisters that wasn’t nice. It wasn’t nice doing the animals that night or doing anything that involved feet until about the Wednesday then they came good. I currently have a blister that is 4cm wide and I really thought my feet were going to get infected because they blew up. My feet stuck to my socks and my socks stuck to my shoes and I was in a world of pain. How cool though that my body can fix the damage, I didn’t miss any work and I was doing gym in a modified way by the Tuesday. Huzzah for Trishy and her healing feet.

In other news something tricky happened at gym but I have learned from it. You could translate the word tricky to the word bad, and I was upset about it when it happened and for a day or two afterwards, but now that I have learned and grown from it I’m going to keep the term tricky. Jane Fonda tells us that we have to review and assess our lives otherwise we’re not going to learn or grow from what happens. We have to read our own book and this chapter was a doozy.

So regular readers know that I’ve been working on the muscle up and the coach that is helping me said you need to get stronger you’re going to need to do some extra strength sessions during the week. He meant for me to get off my tush and do it myself but I knew that life, work, dogs, home, pole etc etc was all going to get in the way of that and I opted to take on another trainer for strength. So I said to this new trainer make me a she hulk and so far he’s been doing a great job of that.

The problem that has arisen is that when he wants me to increase the weight I am lifting, I run like a rabbit. He will say if you want to get stronger you need to do this weight and I will say, you’re mad that’s too heavy. I think we can all agree that is not a hugely respectful way to talk to the person training you. I saw him Wednesday and we had this thing about 12kg weights which I had to hold over my head. Long story short, it’s too heavy, no it’s not just do it. I will walk behind you. You’re mad it’s too heavy. I end up doing it and it’s fine. Then the very next day when he was teaching the class I was in the very same thing happened with another weight. He said it’s the 12kg weights again, I said it’s not, it’s totally different (it wasn’t), I cannot lift this. Eventually I did it and I completed 30 reps without stopping. He was right, I was wrong and if something didn’t change we were going to have the exact same argument the next time we were training. So what can I learn from this?

There’s no point my just having blind faith in the trainer, I’ve never been good at that, it’s not enough that he says I can do it so I do it. My fears are way too large for that. I had to figure out what was worrying me about the weight and then I need to be able to communicate that rather than just say, “It’s too heavy”. It was quite a surprise to me when I figured out what was bothering me so badly that I would refuse to do an exercise. Here tis;

None of these concerns have priority they all run around my head like crazy ferrets together. I am concerned that when I lift a heavier weight than I have done before I will hurt myself. Will my arms break or will the muscles tear? Will I hurt my back, will I get a hernia. Will my knees have problems but that’s not all. I worry that I will drop the weights on me or on someone else. I worry that I will damage the weights when I drop them. I worry that I will drop them and I will go tumbling after them, note to self stop watching You Tube Fails videos. All of these fears are expressed as “I can’t lift that it’s too heavy.” If I want to progress I actually have to tell him that that is what I am worried about and then address each issue, otherwise I’m just going to stay as a fraidy cat and that won’t get me my muscle up.

So I was upset after we had had two altercations about how much weight I could lift but now that I have done my review and I know what’s going on I feel a lot better about it and I feel like I can go ahead and not be so locked in fear. I’ll still be cautious but I won’t do the absolute refusal, I will communicate what’s happening. Growth my friends, it’s a beautiful thing.

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


Blog 14 Tenacity


I’ve been crook and it has taken a toll mentally as well as physically. When I first became crook I lay in bed and I thought, this is chemo crook. What the hell have I got that has made me feel as bad as when I went through chemo? It took a week and a half to get over the virus and in that time I managed to tear a muscle in my stomach from coughing too hard.

I couldn’t exercise much at all during this time, walking outside to feed the animals left me exhausted. Towards the end of the week I started being able to do some stretches. I made myself eat healthy while I was sick and I kept plugging away at boring old water for drinks.

I missed work, I missed gym and I missed pole. Being ill leaves you feeling very isolated and by the Saturday I was as low as I remember ever being. I had a little bit of energy in me and then I was completely stuffed. I knew that I couldn’t wait until I felt well enough to return to activity. The return to activity was what was going to make me start to feel better, all very horse and cart stuff. I knew I had to start easy and build back up.

First I went to the gym and just cheered people on. Then I started doing a few exercises and soon, after some encouragement from the coach, I was doing a modified workout. I found out after doing that first modified workout that I could do more than I realised and I even did some running which a few days ago was impossible.

My coughing had been so bad that the doctor gave me a puffer. Every time I start to cough now I think will it stop or is it going to just keep going until I tear another muscle. I’m also still sleeping heaps and yet don’t have much energy so I guess that is all the recovery from this virus.

So I went to gym this morning and I really had to push myself to go. So far I had done two modified workouts and this was going to be my third. The cold air in the morning made my chest hurt. Getting up super early and getting the animals done before I left was exhausting. Arriving at the gym and looking at the workout I had no confidence or belief that I could do it. I knew my head was playing mind games with me and I had been chanting positive affirmations in the car on the way to gym. You are well, you do have energy, you will have fun etc etc. The struggle to get there though and not turn around and just say I’m going back to bed makes you realise how hard it is for people to return to fitness when a bump in their journey has occurred.

I know I’d only been away for a very short time but it was enough to knock me off my pedestal. All of a sudden I was a person with a muscle tear and a puffer and who got tired easily. This combination made me look at myself quite differently. The doctor had said that I had recuperated quickly and that gave me some heart but people will often say outside of the gym, oh Trish you’re fit and then inside of the gym compared to other gym goers I might think oh Trish maybe you’re not so fit after all. I told you this virus messed with my mind.

Back in the gym I listened up in the workout briefing, I did the warm up and I could actually feel myself relaxing as the warm up continued. The first part of the session was skills and we were doing double unders, so all I had to do was find my spot and practice. I actually picked up a few gems of knowledge that will help me reach this skill goal a little quicker.

It came time to figure out what part of the workout I would be doing. I looked at the people either side of me and I thought it doesn’t matter what they do and how they do it I’m just here to survive this workout. Normally I would be thinking I wonder how I’ll go? Will I finish in the middle of the group or towards the end? It was really weird to have the competition taken away and it was actually kind of nice. This very coach had said, if you rock up to training we will find a workout that will suit you. So even though I was as tired as hell and my chest hurt I thought just give it a go.

I got given a modified workout and it was perfect. It was enough to make me feel like I was getting stronger but it was not so bad that it totally wiped me out. I was glad I went. The next workout will be slightly more intense and so on and so on until I am back to full capacity.

My tenacity has stood by me like a good old friend. My confidence in my abilities will come back but it needs some help returning. I can’t stay at home and wait for it I have to act as if it is back and then wait for it to catch up. As always I find the mind a fascinating place.

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