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Before yesterdayInky Impressions

West Coast Series

5 September 2022 at 09:26
By: Mariam

As amazing as my first experience was, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do competitions again… It was not why I started training, and wasn’t even a thought when I transitioned into CrossFit.

I was also very put off by how ugly competition could get… Fitness has always been about me being better than I was yesterday and an escape from the drama of daily life, not a comparison with the next person or a vehicle for more drama). I just wanted to keep getting stronger, keep getting fitter and keep adding to my skill set.

But about 6 weeks ago I saw an Instagram post for the West Coast Ladies Comp and decided I was going to give it another go. Same as last time, this combined two things I love – CrossFit and charity – and was also an opportunity for me to gauge whether there had been any significant improvement in my fitness since last October.

From the second I made the decision to participate, I felt different. Nerves were present but not overwhelming. The excitement was there, simmering just under the surface. Preparation was different. I trained as I always do but with a little more focus and intensity, and when the events were released, trained with purpose.

The hardest part of this whole experience was getting teammates. It was important for me to be with people who had a similar mindset and approach to training in general and this comp. I was hoping to end up with lekker people. I ended up with the best.

Rushda, Lucy, Mariam – Just For Kicks

When we set out to do this, we had one goal: to have fun. But we also wanted to do our best. As the weeks of prep went on, we discovered that we were a lot more familiar with one another’s abilities than we realised, and that we had reserves and skills we just had not tapped into yet.

Comp day came. I could speak about how challenging it was, or how my heart dropped into my toes when I missed a lift and how it soared again when I saw my 4 year old niece in the crowd, or how hard I celebrated when my teammates hit their PBs. But the one thing that still resonates with me now, 9 days later, is reflected in the image below…

This moment encapsulates the whole experience, from our first team training session to the very last competitive rep.

We chose the team name “Just For Kicks” because we that was precisely the reason we chose to compete. We are relatively new to the sport, and did not think of ourselves as serious contenders. Each of us have our own reasons for doing CrossFit. But we all love going to our box, we work hard and we have a lot of fun in class, and that same energy came out in truckloads in a competitive setting. We died laughing 😂😂

I don’t want to take anything away from the amazing women who stood atop the podium at the end of the day. They are living proof that women are capable of amazing things and that they are a lot stronger than they look. But the whole experience was just so much bigger than the result for me. Feeling supported and celebrated at every step of this undertaking, not only by my teammates, but also by our Coaches and box-mates and families, is what made it as amazing as it was.

The real win was us coming together as a crossfit community, having the best time doing what we love to support a worthy cause.

mariamosman29

West Coast Series

5 September 2022 at 09:26
By: Mariam

As amazing as my first experience was, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do competitions again… It was not why I started training, and wasn’t even a thought when I transitioned into CrossFit.

I was also very put off by how ugly competition could get… Fitness has always been about me being better than I was yesterday and an escape from the drama of daily life, not a comparison with the next person or a vehicle for more drama). I just wanted to keep getting stronger, keep getting fitter and keep adding to my skill set.

But about 6 weeks ago I saw an Instagram post for the West Coast Ladies Comp and decided I was going to give it another go. Same as last time, this combined two things I love – CrossFit and charity – and was also an opportunity for me to gauge whether there had been any significant improvement in my fitness since last October.

From the second I made the decision to participate, I felt different. Nerves were present but not overwhelming. The excitement was there, simmering just under the surface. Preparation was different. I trained as I always do but with a little more focus and intensity, and when the events were released, trained with purpose.

The hardest part of this whole experience was getting teammates. It was important for me to be with people who had a similar mindset and approach to training in general and this comp. I was hoping to end up with lekker people. I ended up with the best.

Rushda, Lucy, Mariam – Just For Kicks

When we set out to do this, we had one goal: to have fun. But we also wanted to do our best. As the weeks of prep went on, we discovered that we were a lot more familiar with one another’s abilities than we realised, and that we had reserves and skills we just had not tapped into yet.

Comp day came. I could speak about how challenging it was, or how my heart dropped into my toes when I missed a lift and how it soared again when I saw my 4 year old niece in the crowd, or how hard I celebrated when my teammates hit their PBs. But the one thing that still resonates with me now, 9 days later, is reflected in the image below…

This moment encapsulates the whole experience, from our first team training session to the very last competitive rep.

We chose the team name “Just For Kicks” because we that was precisely the reason we chose to compete. We are relatively new to the sport, and did not think of ourselves as serious contenders. Each of us have our own reasons for doing CrossFit. But we all love going to our box, we work hard and we have a lot of fun in class, and that same energy came out in truckloads in a competitive setting. We died laughing 😂😂

I don’t want to take anything away from the amazing women who stood atop the podium at the end of the day. They are living proof that women are capable of amazing things and that they are a lot stronger than they look. But the whole experience was just so much bigger than the result for me. Feeling supported and celebrated at every step of this undertaking, not only by my teammates, but also by our Coaches and box-mates and families, is what made it as amazing as it was.

The real win was us coming together as a crossfit community, having the best time doing what we love to support a worthy cause.

A weak imitation of strength

10 March 2022 at 14:31
By: Mariam

Something my ex-boss often did was volunteer my services to colleagues without consulting me first. Even though it annoyed me to no end, I rarely said no – my boss was a relative, but also, helping teachers meant I was indirectly helping the kids. One day though, a particularly demanding colleague came to me and instructed me to do something not work related, and I flipped.

Long story short, I used more curse words than actual English and even though my rant was not directed at this colleague, she was very offended and I was made to apologise.

This incident though is what prompted me to make more of a conscious effort to control my reactions… to try and temper my reaction in favour of a response.

Today I was asked by my new boss for some assistance in a disciplinary case with one of our learners…which led me to witnessing a very unpleasant differing of opinions between a few of my colleagues.

My natural tendency is to shoot from the lip (diplomacy be damned). But in the past decade of working in an industry where I have had to interact with people in the most uncomfortable and tense situations, I had to learn to pick my battles and how to communicate tactfully under distress or pressure.

I watched a colleague of mine today, who has been a teacher for close to forty years, who prides herself on her ability to communicate, who very rarely (if ever) resorts to profanity, speak to her superior in the most appalling way. She may not have been swearing, but her body language, tone and choice of words were combative and disrespectful. She cut everyone off mid-sentence and basically shouted when she felt that people were wrong for not sharing her point of view. I had to fight the urge to tell this woman to stop acting like a brat, and were it not for the fact that I was sitting beside my boss (who has not lost her composure once in the 12 years I’ve been working with her) I may have given in to that urge.

The unpleasantness I witnessed in the staffroom today was a perfect representation of the saying, “Rudeness is a weak person’s imitation of strength”… and reminded me of a few things: When things don’t break your way, remember that tantrums are only tolerated from toddlers (don’t throw your toys out of the cot); your tone conveys way more than your words; it is entirely possible to be rude without swearing; and it is entirely possible to have a difference of opinion without being an asshole.

mariamosman29

2021… Looking back

30 December 2021 at 06:09
By: Mariam

A couple of days ago, I downloaded an app to compile the 9 best images on my Instagram page. I did it twice and it came up with exactly the same images both times. Eight out of the nine images are tied to what has been the biggest highlight of a very difficult year – my Crossfit journey.

A year and a half ago, my Coach predicted that I would take on Crossfit. I kept telling him no, and that he was mad, but he insisted that it would happen. It is fitting, I suppose, that the first time I ever stepped into a crossfit gym would be on his birthday.

No one could have predicted that an attempt at humour on social media would lead me to what has become an integral part of my life. A year ago I fought to get out of bed in the mornings. These days I’m up before my alarm goes off, because most mornings here is where I’ll start my day…

R8dfit, my box.

R8dfit is much more to me than just a crossfit gym. Here I have found laughter, refuge, solace, empowerment, motivation, friendship and an incredible sense of accomplishment. It is where I’ve learned to love my body for what it can do, rather than what it looks like. It is the one place I can come to and be the realest version of myself, and where I am always striving to be a better version of myself.

It’s not always easy. And me being the accident magnet that I am, I’ve had a couple of incidents and injuries, the latest one this morning (missed a box jump and banged my shin against the wooden box). Yes, there is swelling. Yes, there was blood. My win today though was carrying on when stopping would have been understandable, and working till the end. It’s moments like today that are reflective of just how far I’ve come in less than a year.

Crossfit has given me so much more than new athletic skills and PBs. It has given me strength during times of difficulty. It has given me the courage to try new and unfamiliar things. It has made me less afraid of challenges and made me realise that I can do difficult things. It has changed my response to failure, taught me to really embrace it for what it is – a part of the learning process and a stepping stone to success, not only in the gym but in many other aspects of my life.

2021 broke me down in many ways… Crossfit gave me the tools to build myself up again.

mariamosman29

Challenges Part 7: Competition

31 October 2021 at 15:16
By: Mariam

Crossfit seemed like the natural next step in my fitness journey. Competing was not even a thought, much less a goal. But any time you can combine something I love doing with a good cause, I’m in.
I’ve had my own struggles with mental health, and training is one of the main things that helped me overcome those struggles. It seemed almost poetic that my maiden competition would be the Cents 4 Sense Repathon. Crossfit for a Cause, if you will. It was also supposed to be less intense than usual crossfit competitions (but I was in for quite the reality check on that 😂).

In any sphere of my life, the one thing that kills me is disappointing the people I have any sort of responsibility towards, so the anxiety was very real this past week. Somehow (and I still don’t know how or why it happened) I ended up on a comically matched team – the box machine and an ASICS front runner (both experienced and successful athletes) with two competition novices. I wasn’t afraid of the work. I was deathly afraid of letting my team down… To the point where I had considered pulling out of this competition right up until this morning.

The last piece of advice I was given is that nerves are good – it’s what you do with them that matters. A competition setting being completely new to me, I didn’t know whether I would channel the nervous energy effectively and there were so many things that I felt might put us at a disadvantage: I’m not the strongest when it comes to lifts. I only train at crossfit twice a week. We didn’t train together as a team, or work out much of a strategy beforehand.

But everything happens for a reason and everything happens exactly as they are meant to. It was like a switch flipped in my head once we started. I was told that there would be many people cheering and shouting instructions at me, but I found it strangely easy to silence the rest and listen to my team. We communicated well, and focused on getting through the work, instead of the competition.

Aside from the somewhat anti-climactic (but hilarious) surprise WOD, there isn’t a single bad thing I can link to this experience. I got through a lot of work without injury, and got a personal best in one of my weaker lifts. We qualified for the final workout in our division and placed higher than I expected. I CHOSE to do burpees! I got to see some incredible WEAPONS go to work on these WODS. I had more laughs today than I’ve had for the past two months.

But the best thing of all is the incredible atmosphere and sense of community I got to experience, from the crossfit community in general, and in truckloads from the R8d team specifically (Crossfit is the one sport where it is entirely possible to be someone’s competition and fiercest supporter at the same time). I’ve always been a spectator, but today I got to experience the power of the crowd from the other side as a competitor.

To my teammates, Ruf-qah, Quaniet and Sulaiman: a massive, massive THANK YOU. We fell into a rhythm a lot quicker than I expected. I felt supported and encouraged at every moment of today, and in the days leading up to it. I could not have asked for a better first competition experience. You guys were amazing, in every way.

mariamosman29

A weak imitation of strength

10 March 2022 at 14:31
By: Mariam

Something my ex-boss often did was volunteer my services to colleagues without consulting me first. Even though it annoyed me to no end, I rarely said no – my boss was a relative, but also, helping teachers meant I was indirectly helping the kids. One day though, a particularly demanding colleague came to me and instructed me to do something not work related, and I flipped.

Long story short, I used more curse words than actual English and even though my rant was not directed at this colleague, she was very offended and I was made to apologise.

This incident though is what prompted me to make more of a conscious effort to control my reactions… to try and temper my reaction in favour of a response.

Today I was asked by my new boss for some assistance in a disciplinary case with one of our learners…which led me to witnessing a very unpleasant differing of opinions between a few of my colleagues.

My natural tendency is to shoot from the lip (diplomacy be damned). But in the past decade of working in an industry where I have had to interact with people in the most uncomfortable and tense situations, I had to learn to pick my battles and how to communicate tactfully under distress or pressure.

I watched a colleague of mine today, who has been a teacher for close to forty years, who prides herself on her ability to communicate, who very rarely (if ever) resorts to profanity, speak to her superior in the most appalling way. She may not have been swearing, but her body language, tone and choice of words were combative and disrespectful. She cut everyone off mid-sentence and basically shouted when she felt that people were wrong for not sharing her point of view. I had to fight the urge to tell this woman to stop acting like a brat, and were it not for the fact that I was sitting beside my boss (who has not lost her composure once in the 12 years I’ve been working with her) I may have given in to that urge.

The unpleasantness I witnessed in the staffroom today was a perfect representation of the saying, “Rudeness is a weak person’s imitation of strength”… and reminded me of a few things: When things don’t break your way, remember that tantrums are only tolerated from toddlers (don’t throw your toys out of the cot); your tone conveys way more than your words; it is entirely possible to be rude without swearing; and it is entirely possible to have a difference of opinion without being an asshole.

mariamosman29

2021… Looking back

30 December 2021 at 06:09
By: Mariam

A couple of days ago, I downloaded an app to compile the 9 best images on my Instagram page. I did it twice and it came up with exactly the same images both times. Eight out of the nine images are tied to what has been the biggest highlight of a very difficult year – my Crossfit journey.

A year and a half ago, my Coach predicted that I would take on Crossfit. I kept telling him no, and that he was mad, but he insisted that it would happen. It is fitting, I suppose, that the first time I ever stepped into a crossfit gym would be on his birthday.

No one could have predicted that an attempt at humour on social media would lead me to what has become an integral part of my life. A year ago I fought to get out of bed in the mornings. These days I’m up before my alarm goes off, because most mornings here is where I’ll start my day…

R8dfit, my box.

R8dfit is much more to me than just a crossfit gym. Here I have found laughter, refuge, solace, empowerment, motivation, friendship and an incredible sense of accomplishment. It is where I’ve learned to love my body for what it can do, rather than what it looks like. It is the one place I can come to and be the realest version of myself, and where I am always striving to be a better version of myself.

It’s not always easy. And me being the accident magnet that I am, I’ve had a couple of incidents and injuries, the latest one this morning (missed a box jump and banged my shin against the wooden box). Yes, there is swelling. Yes, there was blood. My win today though was carrying on when stopping would have been understandable, and working till the end. It’s moments like today that are reflective of just how far I’ve come in less than a year.

Crossfit has given me so much more than new athletic skills and PBs. It has given me strength during times of difficulty. It has given me the courage to try new and unfamiliar things. It has made me less afraid of challenges and made me realise that I can do difficult things. It has changed my response to failure, taught me to really embrace it for what it is – a part of the learning process and a stepping stone to success, not only in the gym but in many other aspects of my life.

2021 broke me down in many ways… Crossfit gave me the tools to build myself up again.

mariamosman29

Challenges Part 7: Competition

31 October 2021 at 15:16
By: Mariam

Crossfit seemed like the natural next step in my fitness journey. Competing was not even a thought, much less a goal. But any time you can combine something I love doing with a good cause, I’m in.
I’ve had my own struggles with mental health, and training is one of the main things that helped me overcome those struggles. It seemed almost poetic that my maiden competition would be the Cents 4 Sense Repathon. Crossfit for a Cause, if you will. It was also supposed to be less intense than usual crossfit competitions (but I was in for quite the reality check on that 😂).

In any sphere of my life, the one thing that kills me is disappointing the people I have any sort of responsibility towards, so the anxiety was very real this past week. Somehow (and I still don’t know how or why it happened) I ended up on a comically matched team – the box machine and an ASICS front runner (both experienced and successful athletes) with two competition novices. I wasn’t afraid of the work. I was deathly afraid of letting my team down… To the point where I had considered pulling out of this competition right up until this morning.

The last piece of advice I was given is that nerves are good – it’s what you do with them that matters. A competition setting being completely new to me, I didn’t know whether I would channel the nervous energy effectively and there were so many things that I felt might put us at a disadvantage: I’m not the strongest when it comes to lifts. I only train at crossfit twice a week. We didn’t train together as a team, or work out much of a strategy beforehand.

But everything happens for a reason and everything happens exactly as they are meant to. It was like a switch flipped in my head once we started. I was told that there would be many people cheering and shouting instructions at me, but I found it strangely easy to silence the rest and listen to my team. We communicated well, and focused on getting through the work, instead of the competition.

Aside from the somewhat anti-climactic (but hilarious) surprise WOD, there isn’t a single bad thing I can link to this experience. I got through a lot of work without injury, and got a personal best in one of my weaker lifts. We qualified for the final workout in our division and placed higher than I expected. I CHOSE to do burpees! I got to see some incredible WEAPONS go to work on these WODS. I had more laughs today than I’ve had for the past two months.

But the best thing of all is the incredible atmosphere and sense of community I got to experience, from the crossfit community in general, and in truckloads from the R8d team specifically (Crossfit is the one sport where it is entirely possible to be someone’s competition and fiercest supporter at the same time). I’ve always been a spectator, but today I got to experience the power of the crowd from the other side as a competitor.

To my teammates, Ruf-qah, Quaniet and Sulaiman: a massive, massive THANK YOU. We fell into a rhythm a lot quicker than I expected. I felt supported and encouraged at every moment of today, and in the days leading up to it. I could not have asked for a better first competition experience. You guys were amazing, in every way.

mariamosman29

Happy birthday Coach Amir

20 October 2021 at 12:34
By: Mariam

Today is Coach Amir’s birthday, and he told me to write him a story 😂 I couldn’t think of a story so I tried to write a poem…

Happy Birthday Coach! Long may you have the strength for the wonderful work that you do.

On February 15th, during midday at work,
Through the chaos in office I heard my phone chirp
“Check your DMs, you’re a winner!”
But what was the prize??
So I checked and could scarcely believe my own eyes.

A week later I pulled up in front of the Box,
So nervous I almost sweated off my socks.
I sat in the car and wondered what would unfold, then nervously dragged my feet over the threshold.

It’s been eight months since then and still I can’t help but wonder,
If I’ll ever defeat the mighty double under,
My pull-ups are non-existent, my muscle ups too,
My rope climbs need work (and I doubt it’s the shoe).

I’ve practiced my lifts, and hung from a beam,
I still wanna die when I see a squat clean,
But you’ve encouraged me, Coach, with patience and sass,
And whatever the WOD brings, I make sure to move my ass.

When I wake up to WOD on a Tuesday morn,
My body, with wrist straps and knee sleeves I adorn,
I’ll probably finish last and be flat on the floor,
But I’ll come back on Thursday, ready for more.

mariamosman29

Happy birthday Coach Amir

20 October 2021 at 12:34
By: Mariam

Today is Coach Amir’s birthday, and he told me to write him a story 😂 I couldn’t think of a story so I tried to write a poem…

Happy Birthday Coach! Long may you have the strength for the wonderful work that you do.

On February 15th, during midday at work,
Through the chaos in office I heard my phone chirp
“Check your DMs, you’re a winner!”
But what was the prize??
So I checked and could scarcely believe my own eyes.

A week later I pulled up in front of the Box,
So nervous I almost sweated off my socks.
I sat in the car and wondered what would unfold, then nervously dragged my feet over the threshold.

It’s been eight months since then and still I can’t help but wonder,
If I’ll ever defeat the mighty double under,
My pull-ups are non-existent, my muscle ups too,
My rope climbs need work (and I doubt it’s the shoe).

I’ve practiced my lifts, and hung from a beam,
I still wanna die when I see a squat clean,
But you’ve encouraged me, Coach, with patience and sass,
And whatever the WOD brings, I make sure to move my ass.

When I wake up to WOD on a Tuesday morn,
My body, with wrist straps and knee sleeves I adorn,
I’ll probably finish last and be flat on the floor,
But I’ll come back on Thursday, ready for more.

mariamosman29

Teamwork makes the dream work

30 September 2021 at 07:19
By: Mariam

Word of the day: PARTNER

PART A – 25 minute time cap
You go, I go
30 rounds
3 deadlifts
3 burpees over the bar
20 rounds
3 squat cleans
3 burpees over the bar
10 rounds
3 clean and jerk
3 burpees over the bar

PART B
Each partner has 2min30 to establish:
~1RM jerk
~1RM front squat

I’m a numbers girl. It doesn’t matter what situation I find myself in, I will always find the Math in it and permy be crunching numbers. But today, the numbers are not what I focused on.

Yes, I took a whiteboard and kept track of our progress through the WOD, but that was more because the OCD nerd in me won’t allow me to miscalculate, and my mental calculator fails when I have to keep track of large numbers and at the same time try not to die in a workout.

I also had a partner to consider. I wanted to make sure I was not holding her back or hindering her rhythm in any way… which is basically what the workout was about: finding a rhythm that enabled you to just keep going without stopping for 25 minutes. Building endurance has been a hard struggle for me and for my partner as well. We may not have finished all of part A, but we didn’t stop until the clock beeped, and I am very pleased with our effort.

Some other random thoughts from today…

~ My first ever partner WOD had deadlifts and burpees… And so did this one 😂😂😂 If today is any indication, I’m negotiating burpees better now than I did before 😁

~ I most enjoy the post workout feeling. Today, I actually enjoyed the workout too… Largely because of my awesome partner. She just brings the gees wherever she goes, and I need that kind of energy to keep me out of my own head.

~ S/O to Coach Amir for scaling our working bar to 20k… Last time I had to squat clean for reps, I hurt myself. Squat cleans are one of my worst movements and this morning they felt almost fluid.

~ According to my coach, I made one technically sound jerk today. I don’t even care about the weight, I was just happy to hear that the technique was good. It felt good.

~ R8dfit is full of beasts with mal krag.

Class was so lit this morning. Three months and counting…

mariamosman29

Teamwork makes the dream work

30 September 2021 at 07:19
By: Mariam

Word of the day: PARTNER

PART A – 25 minute time cap
You go, I go
30 rounds
3 deadlifts
3 burpees over the bar
20 rounds
3 squat cleans
3 burpees over the bar
10 rounds
3 clean and jerk
3 burpees over the bar

PART B
Each partner has 2min30 to establish:
~1RM jerk
~1RM front squat

I’m a numbers girl. It doesn’t matter what situation I find myself in, I will always find the Math in it and permy be crunching numbers. But today, the numbers are not what I focused on.

Yes, I took a whiteboard and kept track of our progress through the WOD, but that was more because the OCD nerd in me won’t allow me to miscalculate, and my mental calculator fails when I have to keep track of large numbers and at the same time try not to die in a workout.

I also had a partner to consider. I wanted to make sure I was not holding her back or hindering her rhythm in any way… which is basically what the workout was about: finding a rhythm that enabled you to just keep going without stopping for 25 minutes. Building endurance has been a hard struggle for me and for my partner as well. We may not have finished all of part A, but we didn’t stop until the clock beeped, and I am very pleased with our effort.

Some other random thoughts from today…

~ My first ever partner WOD had deadlifts and burpees… And so did this one 😂😂😂 If today is any indication, I’m negotiating burpees better now than I did before 😁

~ I most enjoy the post workout feeling. Today, I actually enjoyed the workout too… Largely because of my awesome partner. She just brings the gees wherever she goes, and I need that kind of energy to keep me out of my own head.

~ S/O to Coach Amir for scaling our working bar to 20k… Last time I had to squat clean for reps, I hurt myself. Squat cleans are one of my worst movements and this morning they felt almost fluid.

~ According to my coach, I made one technically sound jerk today. I don’t even care about the weight, I was just happy to hear that the technique was good. It felt good.

~ R8dfit is full of beasts with mal krag.

Class was so lit this morning. Three months and counting…

mariamosman29

D is for Drama and Deadlifts

5 April 2021 at 00:12
By: Mariam

Before I started writing this post, I asked for suggestions on a topic starting with the letter “D”. Only one person responded, and their first suggestion was “deadlifts”. Quite fitting, given their place in my life, and quite funny because it was the first word that popped into my head too. The second suggestion was “drama”. Again, fitting, as I seem to be a magnet for it.

Both words were humorously suggested, and while the two words are completely unrelated, I seem to have found a connection between them.

There have been times in my life where I’ve been blindsided by emotional shit storms. The past 9 months have been full of such moments, some of my own making but many from people and situations around me…full of drama and disappointments: I tested positive for Covid, I’ve lost 2 bosses (one to death and the other to retirement) and the changes that have occurred since then, well let’s just say it did not all go as I would have liked, I lost an aunt… All this in between the daily drama that comes with my workplace and family.

The older you get, the more dramatic life becomes. Just as you think you’re getting a handle on dealing with life, it throws you another few curve balls, so you’re constantly in a state of “what the fuck?!” The stress and worry doesn’t get any less…you just have to learn to pick your battles, somehow increase your strength and capacity to deal, and find ways to cope with it all.

I’ve tried many different ways to cope with the drama, disappointments, heartache and sadness that periodically rear their ugly heads…and found that only one thing really works for me. Nothing flushes out a shitty day like breaking a huge sweat. An endorphin release soothes raw emotions way more effectively than food.

One thing my coach likes to program in my workouts is deadlifts. A deadlift is a strength movement. You start by making sure you have a good grip on your weight and that your body is in the right position, bent over and braced… Then, straighten the knees and back to lift, hold, and then set the weight back down again. And repeat.

Now to me, this sounds very much like what a person does with worries or drama. Somehow, you’re always capable of carrying the burden…then, it’s up to you to brace yourself to deal with it, set it down when you feel your hold start to slip, reset, adjust your grip and just pick it back up again.

Writing this has made me realise that drama is very much the deadlift sets of your life. So on the days the drama feels just a little too heavy, just remember-as long as you’re still breathing and standing at the end of it all (sore but mostly uninjured) it’s only going to make you stronger.

A Touch to remember

28 November 2020 at 04:32
By: Mariam

Sitting on my office chair,
scrolling through desktop folders,
A pair of hands come from behind,
to rest upon my shoulders…

The stroke and squeeze that follow
Evoke memories that make my heart soar,
But reality brings it right back down,
‘Cause the hands on me aren’t yours…

There’s witchcraft in your lips,
and magic in your skin,
With every kiss and touch,
you silence the chaos within.

And on those days where the madness
feels just a little too much,
I reach inside my heart,
for the memory of your touch.

Sweat 1000 – the R8d version

26 August 2021 at 14:22
By: Mariam

How do you cause pandemonium in the gym without actually being in the gym?

You send weird, cryptic clues in the group chat, ask people to guess the workout and watch the cray cray unfold.

That was how today started, before I even got out of bed. The one thing that was established was that we needed to complete 1000 reps of something (I seriously considered taking another rest day) and after many creative (but incorrect) guesses, we got to know what the WOD was going to be…

The objective: chase down 1000 gorilla jumps in 60 minutes. Now, most would be thinking, “WTF is a gorilla jump?” Simply, it is a lateral jump over a box, but with your hands placed on the box for support. I thought, okay, the movement isn’t complicated…but there is always a catch. Every two minutes the clock will beep… And when it does, you have to complete 30 double unders before continuing with the gorillas.

It’s my seventh consecutive week at crossfit, and every single class has hit a weakness or two of mine. Normally, this would demoralize me. My body is still getting used to the volume of training (I’m up to 4 days a week with one extra day for running) and I am still figuring out how to recover optimally. I can’t help but think that if I had come across Crossfit ten years ago, I would have given up already.

But I come home on a Tuesday and Thursday night, totally smashed from whatever madness Coach has thrown at us but totally shocked with some of the things I managed to do, and excited (and a little scared) to see what we’re going to do next.

I don’t have double unders yet, so my “break” from the gorillas was 9 wall ball shots. I knew this WOD would make my engine explode, and I knew that 1000 was a target I wouldn’t reach today. But I am all about celebrating even the smallest of wins these days, and I set 2 smaller goals for myself… Do my movements as properly as I can, and work till the very last second.

I was so “binne in” my mental calculator malfunctioned a bit on multiplication… And I actually ended up with 216 wall ball shots, and accumulated 780 gorillas.

People who know me well know that when I take on anything, I want to execute as close to perfection as I can get. For the past year or so, and more so since I ventured into the world of crossfit, the one great thing that has happened is that I have started to embrace “failure” as an important part of my fitness journey. And this mindset is slowly starting to spill over into other aspects of my life.

I didn’t manage the goal of 1000… But a cumulative total of 996 reps is not a small number either, and I pushed myself to work till the very end.

I’ll take those wins.

mariamosman29

Sweat 1000 – the R8d version

26 August 2021 at 14:22
By: Mariam

How do you cause pandemonium in the gym without actually being in the gym?

You send weird, cryptic clues in the group chat, ask people to guess the workout and watch the cray cray unfold.

That was how today started, before I even got out of bed. The one thing that was established was that we needed to complete 1000 reps of something (I seriously considered taking another rest day) and after many creative (but incorrect) guesses, we got to know what the WOD was going to be…

The objective: chase down 1000 gorilla jumps in 60 minutes. Now, most would be thinking, “WTF is a gorilla jump?” Simply, it is a lateral jump over a box, but with your hands placed on the box for support. I thought, okay, the movement isn’t complicated…but there is always a catch. Every two minutes the clock will beep… And when it does, you have to complete 30 double unders before continuing with the gorillas.

It’s my seventh consecutive week at crossfit, and every single class has hit a weakness or two of mine. Normally, this would demoralize me. My body is still getting used to the volume of training (I’m up to 4 days a week with one extra day for running) and I am still figuring out how to recover optimally. I can’t help but think that if I had come across Crossfit ten years ago, I would have given up already.

But I come home on a Tuesday and Thursday night, totally smashed from whatever madness Coach has thrown at us but totally shocked with some of the things I managed to do, and excited (and a little scared) to see what we’re going to do next.

I don’t have double unders yet, so my “break” from the gorillas was 9 wall ball shots. I knew this WOD would make my engine explode, and I knew that 1000 was a target I wouldn’t reach today. But I am all about celebrating even the smallest of wins these days, and I set 2 smaller goals for myself… Do my movements as properly as I can, and work till the very last second.

I was so “binne in” my mental calculator malfunctioned a bit on multiplication… And I actually ended up with 216 wall ball shots, and accumulated 780 gorillas.

People who know me well know that when I take on anything, I want to execute as close to perfection as I can get. For the past year or so, and more so since I ventured into the world of crossfit, the one great thing that has happened is that I have started to embrace “failure” as an important part of my fitness journey. And this mindset is slowly starting to spill over into other aspects of my life.

I didn’t manage the goal of 1000… But a cumulative total of 996 reps is not a small number either, and I pushed myself to work till the very end.

I’ll take those wins.

mariamosman29

Challenges Part 6: Crossfit

5 August 2021 at 20:13
By: Mariam

It’s been a month since I officially joined R8dfit and what a ride it’s been already.

This past month has been a rollercoaster. Some weeks I felt so great and some weeks (like this week) just got me down in a big way. I’m realizing that the rollercoaster is more because of the way I’ve been dealing with things mentally than the actual training itself.

Class started off with skill work today (which I absolutely love – it’s my favourite part of any class, learning the nuances of a lift or new skill). After that, it went pretty much tits up, and I actually missed a lift and hurt myself. I’m bummed, but the injury doesn’t feel too bad right now (I still have full range of movement) and I’m hoping that it heals quickly enough over the next few days to allow me to resume with my normal training schedule next week.

I knew Crossfit was going to be the biggest physical undertaking of my life. What I didn’t realise was how big of a role my head would play. More than my physical shortcomings (which I know will improve with effort over time) the past four weeks have exposed some mental shortcomings, and forced me to face some hard truths about myself.

I won’t go into them all… It will take all night and I have work in 4 hours. But it all boils down to one thing – taking this journey in MY vehicle (no one else’s) and being okay with the speedbumps I will inevitably encounter along the way.

As difficult as it is, and as awful as I feel right now, this has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and come next Tuesday I’ll be stepping into the box again, ready to learn more things and add to my arsenal.

But first I’ll take a few days. Rest. Recover. Reset. Refocus.

mariamosman29

Challenges Part 6: Crossfit

5 August 2021 at 20:13
By: Mariam

It’s been a month since I officially joined R8dfit and what a ride it’s been already.

This past month has been a rollercoaster. Some weeks I felt so great and some weeks (like this week) just got me down in a big way. I’m realizing that the rollercoaster is more because of the way I’ve been dealing with things mentally than the actual training itself.

Class started off with skill work today (which I absolutely love – it’s my favourite part of any class, learning the nuances of a lift or new skill). After that, it went pretty much tits up, and I actually missed a lift and hurt myself. I’m bummed, but the injury doesn’t feel too bad right now (I still have full range of movement) and I’m hoping that it heals quickly enough over the next few days to allow me to resume with my normal training schedule next week.

I knew Crossfit was going to be the biggest physical undertaking of my life. What I didn’t realise was how big of a role my head would play. More than my physical shortcomings (which I know will improve with effort over time) the past four weeks have exposed some mental shortcomings, and forced me to face some hard truths about myself.

I won’t go into them all… It will take all night and I have work in 4 hours. But it all boils down to one thing – taking this journey in MY vehicle (no one else’s) and being okay with the speedbumps I will inevitably encounter along the way.

As difficult as it is, and as awful as I feel right now, this has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and come next Tuesday I’ll be stepping into the box again, ready to learn more things and add to my arsenal.

But first I’ll take a few days. Rest. Recover. Reset. Refocus.

mariamosman29

Thick Skin

5 June 2021 at 05:53
By: Mariam

I entered work very cautiously this year. There were so many changes that happened in rapid succession…all of which had the potential to stir trouble. Things started to stabilize, and I felt myself growing more and more relieved that the collective objective was winning over any individual agenda. Over the past two weeks though, individual agendas reared their ugly heads in a way I haven’t experienced in a while.

I’ve made a massive effort to change how I respond to challenges at work. Throughout the past 11 and a half years, I’ve had to endure repeated personal attacks at my workplace…a few outright to my face, most behind my back. And with the most recent one, my reaction and response are in direct conflict with one another.

I’ve heard these words regularly throughout my life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been someone who didn’t take things personally (mostly because I was too young and naive to “read in between the lines”, and also because I had this habit of just brushing things off and moving on). I don’t hold a grudge and forget very easily. As a result, the natural assumption is that I have thick skin…and the assumption would be correct. More often than not though, the thickest skins hide the softest hearts.

For the longest time I’ve been of the mindset that because I work in education, I’ll take more than I should for the sake of the end goal (this being the wellbeing and benefit of the learners we serve).

But I am sick and tired of being at the receiving end of abuse, simply because I “can handle it”.

If I am being unfairly questioned on my character, work ethic and professional conduct and integrity, I am going to take it personally.

And I should not have to just take abuse for the sake of the greater good. I should not have to endure people’s duplicity in order to create a fake sense of togetherness or team spirit. I am not Jesus, and I have decided to take a firmer stand where necessary.

Here’s the thing about thick skin… At the end of the day, it’s still skin. If you find the right tool and slice at it long enough, it will eventually bleed.

The next time you come across someone with thick skin just remember…just because they don’t express their pain verbally or visibly, doesn’t mean that it’s not there.

mariamosman29

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