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GAINS! — So in the past 8 months of CrossFit I’ve had my ups and downs, gains and losses but yesterday during CrossFit Total I noticed a significant amount of progress aka GAINS! When I saw this WOD posted the night before (as I actively creep the WODs the night before regularly) I was pumped. This was a PR WOD, and I was more than determined to hit new PR’s on everything. I walked into the box last night with confidence; these PR’s will be CRUSHED.

First up was a back squat. I wasn’t sure what my PR for a back squat was but I knew it was in the high 100’s. I love squatting so I knew that adding heavy weight to this movement would be awesome. Steph and I started off light as directed and built up to our previous 1 rep max (my guessed max) of 185lbs. I got the 185lbs easily and added more weight. I got up to 205lbs as time ran out and we were suggested to move on to the next movement. I honestly think I could have done more than 205lbs, probably something along the lines of 220-225lbs but .. a PR of 205lbs with a gain of 20lbs is something that I am wicked proud of. That back squat gain is huge, and I now I know that I can add more and crush 205lbs the next time this movement comes up.

The second movement was a strict press. This movement is actually something that I do more than I should. When we are supposed to jerk weight I always strict press it so it made me laugh a bit when I saw it in the WOD. My arms and presses in general (pushups) are something that I struggle with. I’m incredibly powerful in my legs but vastly weaker in my arms/shoulders. My previous PR for a strict press was 65lbs. Mind you that PR was made way back when I started CrossFit, and I hadn’t tried to PR on it since. I went into this completely weight blind. I honestly didn’t know where I would end up. Building up and past 65lbs was great, I finally ended at 95lbs. That’s a gain of 30lbs! I couldn’t have been happier. I wanted more than anything to break 100lbs but it wasn’t happening. I was struggling a great deal with my right arm/shoulder, and just couldn’t get it to move. I’ll take a PR of 95lbs and I know that 100lbs is right around the corner.

Lastly it was DEADLIFT TIME! I LOVE DEADLIFTS. I’m not sure why I love this movement so much; it destroys my body (Not really. It just exhausts me.), it’s incredibly hard, if you do it wrong you can really hurt yourself, and you are really doing nothing more than lifting weight off the ground. But let me tell you, that simple act of lifting all of the weight from the floor to my hips makes me feel like Wonder Woman. I didn’t know a lot of ladies before I started CrossFit that could lift 300lbs of dead weight off of the ground but now I know many, and I am included in that list. BOOM! Yesterday I didn’t PR on my deadlift; I was actually 5lbs under. I’m not upset about it really. I could sit here and beat myself up over it but what is the sense. I went in, I did my best, and my best just wasn’t over 300lbs yesterday. 295lbs is still a TON of weight, and I’m so proud of myself for lifting it and fighting through the final pull. At the end of the day 295lbs is an amazing score and there will always be another chance to get that 305lbs.

CrossFit Total day was an all-around success. I saw gains, and I saw losses. The losses didn’t bum me out and that’s progress for me. The old Dawn would be bummed out and discouraged. I’d even consider giving up. But new Dawn is now determined to beat that 300lbs PR, and get to 305lbs. It’s doable, and I know that it will be reached before my year is up. The gains though that I reached during this WOD have inspired me. This is my body making these awesome changes. This is my body lifting all of this heavy weight, and increasing it steadily. This isn’t anything that I ever pictured myself doing but now that I’m doing it it’s something that I can’t ever picture myself not doing. PLUS .. my TOTAL score was 595lbs & thats something to be damn proud of.

Footnote: A HUGE Thanks to Emily, Stephanie, & Sarah! I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am without my little support group of ladies. I love my CrossFit lady friends. These women fight through their weights, make huge gains, and push me to do the same. The women are my cheerleaders, my inspiration, my accountability partners, and my support system when I need it. I honestly don’t think I would be where I am, with the successes that I’ve had without them. Here’s to you ladies, I love you all. ​

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Dawn O'Brien

Dawn is a participant in CrossFit Nashua's 2015/2016 "Fit-For-Life" program. Participants track their progress in the CrossFit training program during the coming 1-year period and log their progress in this blog. Best of luck Dawn, in meeting your training goals!

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