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Cancer, CrossFit, Coping …

Another long time since connect throw downI blogged. More WODs happened. I did a scaled version of Arnie that sticks in my mind for being really rather nasty. However, one WOD was a real experience for me. CrossFit Connect had a throwdown followed by a barbecue on the Saturday – we went down for an hour in the morning and again for the final WOD, an inspiring thing to watch, and the barbecue, which was fun.

Perhaps based on the amount of hooch drunk the previous evening, box protocol was suspended and a notice was posted on the Facebook page saying that the Sunday morning WOD would be the first WOD you ever did when you joined the box! I stopped and had a good think about that. My first WOD was a simple bodyweight descending ladder that was brutal in revealing to me how unfit I was:

Skips – 100, 80, 60, 40, 20 – alternating with
Press-ups – 25, 20, 15, 10, 5.

I can’t remember much about that day, except the fear I felt walking into the box, and that fact that I had to run to the loo twice during the skips and I did press-ups on my knees. It took me 12 minutes and 44 seconds. And that was with the time for running to the toilet subtracted!

I knew, I really knew, I could take that time and smash it, even though I was still struggling with sleep and the stress of wondering how Tony’s cancer treatment was going to work out and it would mean an extra training session that week that I hadn’t planned for. But I decided I’d go and do it anyway. Most of the other people training that day went for named WODs, girls or heroes, but that didn’t bother me. I got the evidence of progress that I needed to remind me why I do this.

I’m so glad I went for it. Full chest to floor press-ups, no running to the toilet during the skips, and a time of 7 minutes and 17 seconds!

Yesterday Tony had his first BCG treatment. He was in and out (forgive the pun) in 17 minutes and went straight back to work. He was tired when he got home, which is one of the side-effects, and today he’s been really tired and prone to fall asleep without warning, but if that’s all the symptoms he develops we’ll be very happy! We’ve got a year of this to look forward to, which is not a happy prospect, but it’s great to have good local treatment that allows him to continue to work and next month he’s even hoping to get back to the box and start some light training.

Life is good.

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CrossFit, Cancer and 3 July WOD

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20140626_190312This is Tony, and according to the hospital, where he had his pre-operative appointment yesterday, he’s the healthiest 55-year-old they’ve seen ‘apart from the cancer’. The ‘apart from the cancer’ is a pretty big caveat!

His appointment is 14 July – which is quicker than we were led to expect and that’s great. The no quite so great is that it will be about two months, maybe longer, before he can train again. In total that will be nearly four months out of serious training for him, and he’s not happy about it. But he is the picture of health and we need to remember that – he couldn’t be better placed to deal with cancer mentally, physically or emotionally.

I’ve been re-reading Primal Blueprint Fitness, and focusing on the proportions of exercise Mark Sisson recommends. 2- 5 hours a week of easy exercise such as walking is eminently possible for him after his surgery and I could probably participate in that a couple of times a week if I do some rescheduling … actually it’s quite interesting because although I’d have said I do 5-8 hours a week of easy exercise, looking at his definition of 55-75% of heart rate for 2-5 hours a week, I haven’t. Not by quite a long shot …

10448222_10152121214201360_1076709911877495884_nI’ve probably been doing mid-range exercise, including light-ish weights (not sure what a full watering can weighs, let alone two full watering cans, let alone two full watering cans multiplied by about twenty journeys up and down a 250 metre allotment) and digging, and taking out tree stumps for 8-16 hours a week …. I might not have been calibrating my exercise very sensibly, is the point, and perhaps this is a great opportunity to step back and look again and what I actually do. Even though many people apparently overestimate their exercise levels as reported in the The New York Times, it appears I might have been substantially underestimating mine!

Which brings us to yesterday’s WOD. I felt like crap before I went down to the box to train. Had a stinking cold at the beginning of the week, couldn’t breathe, rotten headache, the whole shebang. By Thursday I could breathe properly, more or less, but still had the headache and hesitated about training. And then I saw the board … AMRAP burpees.

WOD whiteboardSo I got 88 burpees in seven minutes. I’m happy with that, although the plank was pretty feeble at 1 minute 15 seconds. The snatch sequence was rubbish though – completely rubbish. I have a lot of catching up to do in that regard; it’s months and months since I’ve done snatch and it really showed!

The truth is, I really enjoyed the WOD – for seven minutes I could simply try and remember to breathe and hope that the horror would stop soon, and that’s the kind of WOD I love the best!

 

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Elizabeth Merritt Abbott

Short posts by a midwestern, writer, reader, and occational crossfitter.