In my crazy world of training for a kettlebell competition, today is a day off. That’s right! Today I can do the mundane things, like wash clothes, clean my kitchen, pre-cook any necessary foods, continue the rearrangement of my basement, pull all the weeds from my gardens, walk the dog, write for real stuff (you mean, actually work??) … etcetera and so forth. In other words, a day off simply means I do not have to lift obscenely heavy things over my head repeatedly, tearing up my hands and cramping out my shoulders, forearms, hands, calves and feet. I get to attempt to complete all of the work I have been pushing to the side each day because I am too flat exhausted … and sore … to do anything, after my workouts.
My current schedule is Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – ON; Wednesday – OFF; Thursday, Friday – ON; Saturday – OFF. Repeat, ad nauseam. It’s all good. It is what I need … and it is what I wanted to do, especially when I dropped softball out of my weekly agenda. I have decided to compete with the 20kg bell (44 lbs, for the metric-ly challenged) during the Bellz on the Beach, IKFF competition in July. We had a test run this past Sunday, and exhausted and starving (worked outside Fri & Sat in 90+ degree weather at a Soccer tournament, on cement, no time to eat, blah, blah …) I still managed to put up decent numbers. Not great, not what I want, but workable, doable numbers. I currently average 10 reps per minute. I need to increase that by about 3 rpm by July in order to hit the Candidate for Master of Sport (Lvl 1) I am gunning for. That means my workouts since Sunday have been with the 22kg and the 24kg bells. You know, in order to make the 20kg feel light. Ahem.
I am sitting here, at my desk, sipping my coffee and thinking about all the work I need to do, which involves standing and removing my butt from this comfortable chair and groaning. Internally. I so badly don’t want to move that the coffee I am sipping has gone cold some time ago. I don’t even want to get up to get more. I’d rather sip cold, black coffee than stand. That’s saying something, isn’t it?
Here’s the real kicker. I LOVE it. I really, really do. I LOVE that my muscles ache, and that my hands are raw and ripped open so much it hurts to flex my fingers. I LOVE that feeling of being exhausted because I have been doing something physical and hard … and COOL. I don’t necessarily love how glued my rear is to this chair on my day “off” … but I am proud that I have worked hard enough that it is. I feel I have earned this bit of lethargy. I know I will have to shake it off shortly, but I feel somewhat empowered by this pain. THIS is good pain. This is pain that tells me I have pushed myself beyond my limits … and I know now that those limits were not my actual limits. They were mental limits, not physical ones. So, I know I can push farther. In kettlebell, my ultimate goal has always been to compete at Nationals with the 24kg bell (I call it my Irish Green Bell). Nationals are in November. I am working out with that 24 right now, in June. It is not unforeseeable that I can accomplish that ultimate goal in the next 5 months.
3 years ago, when I first laid hands upon a kettlebell, the 12kg seemed impossible. Then I picked up the 16kg and somehow competed with it. Even with all of the roadblocks along the way, I am now accomplishing things I never thought I could and while I am less than happy with the appearance of my body, I am nothing short of thrilled with the performance of it.
Things still hurt. Bits are still disgustingly flabby. Parts have to be compensated for. But, by God, the hurting, flabby, compensated for WHOLE is damn strong.
And that means, sitting here, procrastinating on all those things I need to do, feels perfectly fine. I earned this day off. Me and this fabulous, flabby, crazy strong body I live in.