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Humbled By Helen

I tackled Helen for the first time yesterday.

It doesn’t look so bad, right? I breezed right through the run and the kettlebell swings but the pull ups were a different story.

I decided going into the WOD that I was going to do the pull ups unassisted, no matter what. It was the first time I ever kipped all of the pull ups in a WOD. It was a humbling experience. I knew that I could have used a band or jumped the pull ups and finished this workout with a very fast time but that’s not going to make me stronger. After the first round I seriously wanted to quit kipping and start jumping but I fought through every single pull up. My hands hurt, my arms were killing me and sometimes I physically couldn’t even get the pull ups. I would have to step away and regroup. I was the very last one to finish but I got an RX next to my name! (That means you did the workout as prescribed, with no modifications.)

I was dripping with sweat and covered in chalk after the workout and my arms seriously felt like they were going to fall off my body but I was so proud of my mental and physical effort. I can’t wait to do Helen again in the future and hopefully shave some time off as I become more proficient with my pull ups.

The workout was an extra challenge because I am not feeling well. I’ve had so much sinus pressure in my head for the past two days and I feel pretty lethargic all over. I did feel better after I got moving and sweated a little but I had no appetite when I got home. I usually turn to eggs when nothing sounds good. I knew I needed to get some protein in me after the tough workout so I sauteed a sundried tomato and basil chicken sausage (22 grams of protein!) along with kale and mushrooms. I mixed in a scrambled egg and served it over a warmed tortilla with cheese, sour cream, salsa and avocado. My original idea was to eat this like a breakfast burrito/taco but my fillings were a little too plentiful!

I didn’t feel great when I woke up this morning. I had peanut butter and banana on a Van’s Blueberry Waffle before heading into the gym for a yoga private and to knock out some work. I came home around 12:30 totally wiped out. I made a bowl of spicy, brothy soup with udon noodles, Asian veggies, broccoli and tofu. I added a generous amount of soy sauce and Sriracha to the soup.

Then I passed out for 45 minutes and took a hot shower. It was glorious.

I came back to the gym armed with Sudafed and a kombucha. Although I know that I could have worked out today, I decided to take a rest day. I haven’t been sick in a really long time so I want to let my body rest and give it lots of good stuff to hopefully fight off whatever is trying to settle in.

When was the last time you were humbled by a workout? 

{ 25 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Bess @ Bess Be Fit August 7, 2012, 8:24 pm

    I think you did a great job on the workout! That time still seems pretty great especially with doing all kipping pullups! Hope you feel better 🙂

  • 2
    Erin August 7, 2012, 8:27 pm

    I’ve been humbled at every beginner CrossFit class I’ve been to. I run just about every day and often win my age group at local races, but I’ve never done any sort of strength training before, so when my arms fail to support me when doing pushups with my knees on the ground… that’s very humbling. Great job on getting through all the pull ups!

  • 3
    Kamaile August 7, 2012, 8:28 pm

    Way to go Jen! With that soup I know you are going to feel better tomorrow, looks really good & comforting.

  • 4
    Mollie August 7, 2012, 8:28 pm

    you are SO inspiring. I hope you know that. So strong and diligent-you inspire me to want to push myself, so truly thank you!! And that soup looks incredible, maybe one day share the recipe? Feel better Jen!

  • 5
    Summer August 7, 2012, 8:32 pm

    Loving the color of your kicks! Hope you feel better soon.

  • 6
    Erica { EricaDHouse.com } August 7, 2012, 9:12 pm

    You are such a badass!

    I actually felt a bit humbled from my workout this morning. It’s been a week since I had a ‘real’ workout and I started back into things with something I would have breezed through before and could hardly keep up today! It made me really appreciate how strong I was before (and never realized it) and how much my body has needed this time of rest. Good for you for taking a day off!

  • 7
    Meghan August 7, 2012, 9:21 pm

    That feeling of equal parts exhaustion and exhilaration is amazing. And bewildering. I haven’t been able to obtain that feeling because I’ve been injured but once I get back in the game I’m sure it won’t take much for me to get to that point.

  • 8
    Joanna August 7, 2012, 9:59 pm

    CONGRATS on the kipping pull-ups. Isn’t this sinus thing a bummer.. I hate being sick. The rest day will help though (it did for me). And hey, even though it isn’t scientifically proven.. the Kombucha helps with all that too right 🙂

    P.S. I am digging your blue crossfit kicks! Feel better!

  • 9
    Danielle @ clean food creative fitness August 8, 2012, 8:00 am

    Helen is a very humbling WOD! Looks so simple yet it really is killer! Congratulations on the pull ups! Now that you have them try not to resort to a band or jumping! It may take you longer but it is totally worth it! You are awesome!

  • 10
    Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes August 8, 2012, 8:07 am

    Wow, great job completing the workout as prescribed even though you’re sick–awesome! Hope you feel better soon, too! Whenever I do speedwork–either fartleks or 400m/800m on the track–it’s always a humbling experience. I would much rather cruise through five miles than complete speedwork, but I know it will make me a better runner.

  • 11
    Natalie ~ This Chick Will Run August 8, 2012, 9:58 am

    I just started to get into running a couple months ago and value my rest days as much as my workout days. In fact, when I was down and unable to run for 8 days because of a sciatica issue, I instead took Hot Yoga almost every day and found that when I was finally able to get back and run, I was actually stronger. It seemed like the rest and time away actually built me back up even more so, since Hot Yoga kicked my butt.

    Feel better! I have friends who are fierce Crossfit enthusiasts and I’m always amazed. Maybe for me one day, but right now I’m happy to have just done my first 5k this past Saturday! 🙂

  • 12
    Dominique @ Free To Be Athlete August 8, 2012, 10:16 am

    Attempting crossfit for the first time was exceptionally humbling to me. As an endurance athlete, I have an unstoppable attitude, but fast and heavy workouts can beat me up in a matter of minutes. It’s incredibly enlightening to know that no matter how much you excel at your sport, there is always another threshold. Congrats on pushing your limits despite having an easier option. You’re inspiring!
    Hope you feel better soon!

  • 13
    Liz @ Southern Charm August 8, 2012, 10:42 am

    So amazing!! Congrats on pushing yourself and succeeding!!

  • 14
    Kelli August 8, 2012, 10:50 am

    Sinus pressure is the worst! Have you tried Sinusalia? It’s homeopathic and actually works for me.

  • 15
    Lauren K August 8, 2012, 12:33 pm

    You did awesome!! Just by finishing that wod rx, you are stronger. I am humbled after almost every crossfit workout because it is such a high intensity that I feel out of shape! I cannot believe how many pull-ups on are the plan for tonight…

  • 16
    Ali @ Around the VeggieTable August 8, 2012, 3:39 pm

    Congrats on crushing your workout! 🙂

  • 17
    Lisa August 8, 2012, 3:47 pm

    Holy cow, that looks intense! I’m impressed you got through that one. Especially not using any of the assistance.
    Amazing job!!
    I definitely enjoy feeling humbled from a workout, maybe not at the time but after its a great feeling.

  • 18
    Devon @ the food bitch blog August 8, 2012, 4:29 pm

    I am so impressed that you did the pull ups unassisted. Awesome!

  • 19
    Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily August 8, 2012, 4:59 pm

    Holy crap, you are a total rockstar!!!

    Hope you are feeling better today 🙂

  • 20
    elizabeth August 8, 2012, 6:00 pm

    Do you have a recipe link for the blue frosted cookies?

  • 23
    Kel August 8, 2012, 8:44 pm

    I love your blue shoes? Can you tell me the brand/model? Way to go on pushing thru the workout with no modifications– you are inspiring!

    • 24
      Dominique @ Free To Be Athlete August 9, 2012, 3:03 pm

      Jen, I was actually wondering what kind of shoes you would recommend for crossfit and other general gym activities. The only workout shoes I have are running shoes, but I don’t know if they are good for crossfit, etc.

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