I felt downright decadent sleeping in until all of 7 in the morning today. But after I got up, I still wanted to get more sleep. Or, at least, be lazy for a while.

Instead, I ate half a protein bar and got dressed for my workout. Since we weren’t going to be running outside today, I went with a tank top and shorts.

All I could tell from looking at the WOD before going was that this would not be an easy workout:

AMRAP in  20 minutes:
– 8 Strict Pull-ups
– 8 Box Jumps (36″)
– 12 Kb swings (72#)

And, when I got to the gym, I learned that this is a “Hero WOD.” (And apparently, the Walsh was also a Hero WOD, though I didn’t know that at the time.) Hero WODs are named in honor of military service personnel who were killed in action. They are meant to be hard – harder even than normal WODs.

I wish I could have done it at the recommended heights and weights and without using bands for the pull ups. I want to be able to do that. But I can’t. So I went as hard as I could.

I brought out a green band and a black band for my pull ups, and the trainer added a blue band for me after I switched from the green to the black in the middle of my second round. After that I did the green and blue together for 4 more rounds before conceding to the burn in my forearms and using the black. (The black is the thickest band, and gives the most support. The green is the next step, followed by the blue, but the combination of blue and green is less support than black.)

Ah, box jumps. My nemesis. I made strides today in getting back to the 20″ height. There was no way I could go for the prescribed 36″ height. I’m not even sure I could step up that high – it’s more than half my height! I tried to jump on the 20″ box when we were setting up before starting the WOD, but I was almost crying as I jumped next to the box and felt like I wasn’t getting the height. So the trainer brought out two short, um, things, that aren’t really meant to be used for box jumping, but would help me get back into the motion. I would guess the height was more than 12 inches and less than 18. I didn’t have any problem getting the height, and as I progressed through the rounds I was able to get into a good rhythm, jumping up then down and bouncing right back up.

I tried using a 53 pound kettle bell, which was the prescribed weight for women. I did, really! I gave it a few swings without ever getting it above shoulder height. And when the trainer reiterated that he wanted to see us swing the kettle bells with control, I knew I wouldn’t be able to use it for the workout. But I did try on the first round of the WOD before going to the 35 pound one for the remainder. It was a bit odd with the other two exercises being 8 reps, and the swings being 12. I would get to 6 and tell myself, halfway there. Then 8, and I’d have to remind myself to do 4 more. I’m figuring out how to keep breathing during those motions – always a good thing, breathing.

I felt like I started slow, but somewhere in there I sped up. My movements got smoother, even though the pull ups were excruciating every time. At the halfway point, I was a little over halfway through my sixth round. The trainer told us he wanted us to do at least as many rounds in the second half as we had in the first half, and I set myself on doing 11 rounds by the end.

I managed exactly 12 rounds in those 20 minutes.

I was dripping with sweat; my lungs were desperately sucking in air, and my forearms were ready to quit. I had a good workout. I worked at my level and I worked hard.

But I still mentioned to one of the other participants in the 8am class that I felt like I was cheating with the low box and the bands and the light kettle bell (we were 4 strong this morning). She told me that I had to be patient, and that the strength would come in time.

I walked out, wishing a person walking in a good morning before I crossed the street and burst into tears.

I’m not sure exactly why. But I did work out hard, and I was drained, mentally and physically. That woman’s kind words about what I perceived as an inadequacy in myself touched me. And I also felt like I wouldn’t have the time to get strong, because I don’t have the money or time to continue to do Crossfit like I’ve been doing after next week.

So, I had myself a good cry, and then I went to the rec center with my husband. I ran my 2 miles faster than I have since I started doing Crossfit, in 23:12. I just felt inspired to see what my already battered muscles could do. Then I did my post-run lunges, doing 10 of each of the 30 forward and 30 backward as low, touch-the-knee-to-the-track, lunges. After that, I sat on a bike and kept my legs moving until my husband was done with his weight lifting.

The bouldering cave was next. We spent about 10 minutes there. I got as high as it is possible to get, touching the ledge that marks the top of the cave three times. Every time I go up there, it gets a little less scary, and I feel a little more confident. Even though my forearms were burning, I could still keep a grip on the rocks and hold myself on that wall.

As usual, we ended up in the hot tub, and I let the jets soothe my right hip and quad. The quad has been extra sore since we did weighted lunges in Crossfit, and the hip always gets tight when I run – though less so the more often I run.

Tomorrow will be a Mobility class instead of Yoga, since the Yoga teacher is going to a training. I’m told I’ll enjoy the Mobility class, that it’s like a massage. I am excited to find out.

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