Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It's Dirty In Here, Because I Can't Clean

Today, this morning, to be more precise, I was incredibly discouraged.

My triple-extension is just non-existent. I have been able to get away with it (dirty lifts) in WOD's, because most workouts don't call for too heavy of a load, and I can muscle it up just fine. I have had a few people comment on my lack of hip extension and drive, and today was the last straw.

What is triple extension? It's the simutaneous extension of three joints at the same time, the ankle, knee and hip, and getting all three of these joints to extend powerfully at the perfect moment is a beautiful thing.We see it when we throw a ball, long jump, sprint, and when we properly clean and snatch.

Annie demonstrates exactly what I'm not doing.

I read the CrossFit Journal. I listen to Mike Burgener. I listen to other athletes. I have been coached on it. Shit, I was coached through it over my Level 1 Trainer Course, so what the fugg, man? Why can't I get it? I need to un-mute my hips. Where's the remote?

It's embarrassing. That's what it is. I was called out today, by a much better athlete. He offered his tips (which were good), I took the coaching, tried to implement what I was being shown, but the inner-beat down began, the self-hate set in, and I took off my Do-win's while thinking, "I need to burn these things, why the hell do I have lifting shoes when I can't even lift properly?" To make matters worse, I was wearing my "I <3 jerks shirt" (thanks, LifeAsRx, for making me look like a total douchebag), and I was so discouraged about my crappy clean form, I didn't even get to the jerks, and I'm sure those need a lot of work, too.

Instead, I went and hid in my friends spin class, wallowing in my lack of athletic-prowess, feeling like such a poser in my stupid lifting shoes and wrist wraps.

Should I even be playing around with the Olympic lifts if I don't have a proper coach? There's a reason we do the power version of everything in CrossFit, it's easier, less technical.

So, all day today, I'm at work, commuting, shopping, cleaning house, etc, I'm just racking my brain, trying to find a solution, and the only one I see is: practice. Trust me, I thought about just quitting, giving up on lifting all together. I mean, it's hard enough to have the balls to walk up to the cage in the first place, at a new gym, on your own, and then to have someone call you out on your shit form, well, it's no wonder I have to fight this urge to go running to the hills.


What would you do? I'm going for another glass of wine, that's what I'm doing.



At least Miyagi doesn't seem to mind my lack of hip-opening. :)

22 comments:

  1. Hey Court - hang in there! It can be SO discouraging when you know in your head how a lift or movement is supposed to go and your body just. won't. do. it.

    My advice? Take one day (just one) where you avoid the box and do something else you KNOW you kill at. (Sounds like you're a good runner?)

    Then go back the next day and swallow a big dose of "I will be humble and not hate on my body while it learns" and start light and just keep at it while it sucks. Give yourself a time limit (say 20 min) to work form and then move on until another day.

    You'll get it! Keep reminding yourself of ALL the progress you've made and that you sure the hell deserve to wear those lifting shoes.

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  2. I know this feeling. Mine nemesis is bench presses. We've been doing them a lot lately and my little garage style gym and every time I just beat myself down because for some reason my body does not grasp which muscles to use in bench presses. I get so angry, discouraged, bitter, etc and just flop though the workout with a sour look on my face. I finally sucked it up and asked what I can work on and I've already made it a 2013 goal. :)

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    1. If you work on your bench, I will work on my clean! Together, we will = machine!

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  3. I get it. The self hate talk, the embarrassment, and the lies we tell ourselves. Spin it. Look at your pics before you started to lift. Look how far you have come. Every day we learn and we grow, today is no different and you are no exception. Set this as a goal and knock the shit out of it. I believe in you.

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  4. Not gonna lie, I reach for a glass of wine on bad days too :) But look at all of the times you have proven that little hater-voice inside wrong! You can do it, girl!!

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    1. I know, right? Wine = answer to everything.

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  5. I suck at everything but . . . I just keep going. I figure one day it's got to just click. Let's see who did I learn that philosophy from????? Um YOU!! Hahahaha. Little do you know you really are inspiration to lots of us readers. So your form isn't perfect on cleans, well you are only human - geez you can't be perfect at everything ;) but really like you said, practice, practice, practice and one day practice turns into perfect. Have a great Thanksgiving!

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    1. Shirley, thank you! I needed a swift kick in the pants. If you DO keep at it, trust me, you will get there! I have to remind myself that I couldn't do a push up at one point, a pull up, I couldn't pick up an empty barbell! You have a great Turkey Day, too!

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  6. Two words for you. Tall Cleans!!!!!! Coach B Showed us these at the oly cert!!

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    1. Yeah, the dude that corrected my form, said I was doing too much jumping, that I needed to get under it, not be "all tall," direct quote. Totally against what Burgener coaches, a "jump" and a "land."

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  7. I completely understand how you feel. I spent 3 months banned from the barbell until I had a decent squat. This means I spent every class in the corner walking myself into a squat near a pole or doing goblet squats and other exercises to open my hips. Right before I started our strength class, I was allowed to squat with a barbell.

    My advice is to find someone who has oly lifting experience. I would also reach for another glass of wine. But you can do this. If you need a contact, look at this blog www.whothefistomcolvin.blogspot.com He's my former strength coach.

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    1. I SHOULD be banned from the barbell and put on the wall, sometimes my squats are pretty gnarley.

      The guy that offered advice is a pretty legit lifter, I feel comfortable taking advice from him, though not sure about coaching cues.

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  8. I can totally relate to this. I've been having issues with my knees caving in during squats. It hasn't really impacted my loads, but it's demoralizing to hear people constantly yell at me to spread the floor or push my knees out. Believe me, I'm working on it! Even though I should be incredibly proud of my 1RM, I still berate myself daily for not having better form. The moral of my story is that you are awesome! Keep practicing the triple extension, because you WILL get it. In the meantime, be proud of how much you're muscling up!

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    1. THAT'S WHAT SUCKS THE MOST! It's not like I'm not trying! I am busting my butt TRYING, and it's not quite there. We just CAN'T admit defeat! We must train on!

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  9. Come hang out with me! I have run 4 marathons, 3 half marathons and I have terrible weight lifting form! It will make you feel accomplished.

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  10. The last thing you need is more (amateur) advice, so here goes...just kidding on the actual technical advice. I'm working to develop form and only have enough muscle to lift my kids, so far.

    BUT! It just takes *that one time* when something about a cue makes it all click. You're stronger, more impressive, and more determined than so many other CrossFitters around. Keep listening/looking for that cue that's going to fit you exactly, and you'll wonder why it took awhile to get it.

    An aside: in snatch clinic on Monday, we kept drilling (PVC or unloaded bar) to find the power position and pass through it, work from it, each rep. It's a straight up-and-down, stand-up hang, arms straight, slight knee dip, but not butt back--hips under shoulders. So we kept running through each position, making sure we always passed through that power position. For me, it made each second pull taller and straighter, letting me drop under in alot more solid way (big weakness for me) each time. Instead of being too loose in the middle from starting the pull with my hips behind my shoulders in the hang, I could stay tighter in the middle and get more extension to float the bar up.

    Good luck! You'll be killin' it soon.

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  11. Well, it if makes you feel better an old guy told me i was doing bicep curls wrong.. who even knew you could have bad bicep curl form? ... once i got over the shock of being called out by this guy, i let him (and another, much nicer guy) show me the proper way..and i'll admit that I felt a huge difference once I was doing them properly.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Oh, that's so funny! An old WOMAN schooled me at an all-women's gym I used to work at in high school on bicep curls! Them old folks love their curls!

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