2015: What a Year it’s Been!

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My Christmas present to my gym: Gingerbread Gym, complete with coaches to scale.

As I type this, it’s the last day of the year and I’m staring 2016 in the face. It seems like just yesterday I was sharing my goals with you for the year, and now it’s over.

Since I shared goals with you for the year, I think it’s only fair to share with you how I did. But, I’m also going to give you a bit of a year in review in my CrossFit life.

Basically, I met some goals and others I didn’t. Would I have liked to have met all of them? You bet. But you know what, I’m not particularly sad/upset/depressed about the ones I didn’t meet. Over the past year, I’ve come to see that goals are great to guide you. They give you vision and something to work towards. But, in CrossFit and in life, there is life beyond your goals.

Life happens, you run into setbacks, and some goals don’t get met. But, at the same time, sometimes there are unexpected victories. Sometimes success comes seemingly out of nowhere (but it’s actually the result of months of hard work). Just yesterday, my coach reminded me again how important the little things are. Which is an important perspective, especially when it seems like months are going by with no PRs. If you keep grinding away, working on the little things, you WILL see results.

That being said, let’s revisit the goals and talk about how things went…

  • Unassisted strict pull-up (hopefully in time for the Open!)
  • Pistol squats
    • Nope. But, to be fair, I didn’t work on them consistently all year – off and on again, but they were definitely back burner for a while. I’ve been back at it for the last couple weeks, and I think (and others have told me) I might be close.
  • Deadlift 300 pounds (currently at 270)
    • No. I actually haven’t retested my 1RM in months, but not there yet. I really think that I just need to clean up technique, and actively engage my lats, and I’ll have this. No doubt I’m strong but I need to fix some things. I can get this one in 2016.
  • Clean and Jerk 150 pounds (currently 135)
    • So close! I’ve gotten my C&J to 145, and I’ve cleaned 157, but the 150 C&J hasn’t happened – yet. Although I have to say, I’m really happy with the progress I made on my clean in the fall. It went up by a lot, and I’m way more comfortable in the squat clean now, which is huge for me, considering I always used to freak out and power clean when it got heavy.
  • Snatch 100 pounds (currently 90)
    • Yes! I actually got this one before the end of January in competition. And then I was stuck for most of the year…but thankfully PR’ed again (finally) in November. I still feel like if I can fix a few problems, I am on the verge of a breakthrough. My OH squat has gone way up, and other things have gotten a lot better. It’s not strength that’s holding me back (noticing a theme here…?).
  • Get better at tracking how I’m feeling after WODs. I’m really good at writing down my workouts every day, but I want to pay attention to how certain things feel so I can focus on how nutrition/life outside the gym is affecting my performance.
    • Yes…sort of. I’ve been better at recording this, but not exactly at looking back over it and making changes accordingly. I do think I’m more aware though of how differently I can feel on different things, and how what I eat (or don’t eat) affects my WODs. I will continue to pay more attention in the year ahead.
  • As well, keep up with clean eating in order to drop a bit more weight to help make body weight movements (especially those pull-ups) easier (I hope to write about this part of my journey in a separate post soon).
    • Yeah! It’s still a journey, but I have achieved the weight I wanted to be at, and managed to more or less maintain it (give or take a few pounds) for about 6 months. It’s amazing how not only what, but how much you eat can make such a difference in your performance. Yes, I’ve lost weight, but it’s amazing how much my body has changed over the last year.

So…my goal accomplishments were a mixed bag for 2015, but I’m not upset. Because, in addition to all the stuff mentioned above, a few others things happened…

I competed in my first CrossFit Open. To say I had highs and lows would be an understatement. But at the end of it all, I was proud of myself for putting myself out there and giving it my all. Even though I was pretty tired of the Open by the end, I am glad I did it, and am looking forward to/ am completely terrified for the Open 2016.

Toes to bar have come soooo far. Open workout 15.1 was the first time I’d ever RX’ed a T2B WOD. Huge accomplishment, I was so proud. Even though in a 9 minute workout, I only completed 18 T2B total. During the last few weeks of 2016, I did three WODS which involved 50+ T2B. RX. Yeah. So there’s that. Gymnastics movement are a huge struggle for me (understatement of the century) so any success in this domain is pretty big for me.

I got injured. At the time, this was one of the hardest and scariest things that had happened in my short CrossFit career. I couldn’t do the WODs or lift the weights I wanted to. So I was forced to drop the weight, do a crap ton of mobility, avoid some of my favourite moments, and have a laser focus on form. It wasn’t sexy or exciting, and at times it was downright frustrating. And PRs? Forget about it.

But, at the end of the summer, I started feeling better. And all that hard work payed off – big time. First of all, I fixed my squat, a longstanding bastion of terrible form (I now joke that my old heavy backsquat was a really heavy good morning – that’s how far forward I folded). My squat form is now on point (give me a follow on instagram and scroll back through for a great side by side comparison). Fixing the form was great, but I also started adding some serious weight to my back squat, and over the course of the fall, I PR’ed my back squat by a total of 15 pounds. And that’s 15 pounds heavier than my old PR at terrible form. I feel really great about where my squat is at now, both in weight and form.

Oh, and speaking of PRs…since building back up to lifting heavy, the last few months of 2015 were PR city. The summer drought ended, and in the last few months, I have PR’ed my overhead squat, back squat, snatch, clean and jerk, clean, bench press, push press and strict press.

I’m not sharing these numbers with you to show off. More so just to show that hard work really does pay off. And the longer you stick with CrossFit, or any sport, you see that you go through seasons and phases. Summer was really hard. I didn’t PR for months. But I didn’t give up and walk away. I worked hard in a different way, and, once I was healed, that hard

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The first pull-up. Easily my favourite CrossFit moment of 2015.

work payed off big time.

And speaking of hard work, one other thing that has really come a long way in 2015 is my push-ups. I’ve been chipping away at them all year, and didn’t really realize until the last few months that they have gotten so. much. stronger. Push-ups don’t come easily to me (or to most girls), but they are much less of a weakness than they used to be.

There’s a lot more that happened in 2015 (competitions, Murph, 6 AM crew getting even more awesome) but this post is getting pretty lengthy and I don’t want you to think I’m just here to brag. I just want to share some perspective, and to remind all of us that even when it seems like we might have failed, or haven’t met our goals, there are so many other successes going on.

So here’s to another amazing year. Another year of showing up, even when I don’t feel like it. Another year of hard work. Another year of finding my passion and chasing my dreams. Another year of small victories, of success and failure. Another year of PRs (and likely several months without a single one). But, most importantly, another year doing what I love alongside some of the most amazing people I know.

Stay tuned for a post coming with 2016 goals. And keep on doing what YOU love. Whether or not you met your 2015 goals, I’m pretty sure you did something awesome this year.

Happy New Year!

Love Hilary ( on behalf of the Two Babes and Barbell)

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