I Quit?!?

true strength

For the first time in recent memory, I quit a workout before it was finished and went home.

I didn’t get enough sleep. My head was not in the right place for the heavy strong woman workout I was supposed to do today. I got a late start. I ran errands first. I was procrastinating. I did a really long warm up and stretching session. My mind of full of fear today and I could not shake it.

I’ve written before that my main goals for this strong woman training are…

  1. gain mass
  2. lose fear of pressing over my head, and let’s add…
  3. don’t get hurt

Notice that “win a strong woman competition” is NOT a goal? Because it’s not. This is NOT my passion. I like some of the exercises, but in general, I don’t look forward to these workouts. They are really hard and scary. Which is exactly why I wanted to do them.

But today, I was miserable.

Something that I’m learning about myself, that I suppose my hubby and my coach both know – I don’t respond well to positive thinking. I’m just too… something. Pragmatic? I cannot logically accept that I can lift a weight that I know is too heavy, no matter how I feel about it. So when very wonderful people try to encourage me, it backfires. When I don’t believe it, it’s just wishful thinking and it never works. And you know what? I really don’t give a sh#t what I’m expected to lift on Sept 21.  I had at least three people tell me to “go for it” today and I was not ready.  Some days, I’m in “beast mode” coming out of the gate locker room. But not usually. Most of the time, I start at a weight I can easily handle and increase it gradually. It’s more about building my confidence than building my strength. The inner dialogue is always the same…

This is a warm up set… This is heavier, but still a warm up set… OK. Let’s try last week’s max… OK. Let’s add 5 pounds – you won’t even notice 5 pounds… OK., now let’s add 10 pounds.

At some point, I fail. If I fail too soon, I’m pissed. However, I do pretty well attempting and failing one week, then nailing it the next. This is a normal cycle.

Last week, I failed to complete a set of log presses at 70 pounds. So today, I didn’t try. I did two three rep sets to warm up and then I did 4 one-rep sets. I was able to handle 75 pounds – not easily, but I did it. Two attempts at 80 pounds could not be pressed higher than my eyeballs.

But that was all the ‘heavy’ I had in me today. TMI ALERT! I pushed so hard on those last two attempts I wet myself. I had no change of clothes with me. And honestly – that was the last straw. I was tired, angry, hot, and unfocused. Game over.

G A M E.   O V E R.

Sent this text to Coach as I was walking to the car. (Please excuse my language.)


I cried in the car all the way home. So frustrated! I am serious about rethinking this decision, however, I believe a good night’s sleep will reset my brain and calm my fears. I’ve refused to try some exercises before and I’ve refused to do some ever again – like hand-stand pushups. All of this goes back to protecting my weak shoulder. It’s gotten a LOT stronger in the last year, but I still feel those little pings.

My mental game is lame.

Coach continued to text me today…


I got home and showered and ate.  I spent the afternoon in my beautiful ‘new’ home office writing blog posts and listening to Vivaldi.  My brain is calmer now.

I don’t recall being this fearful about my program since I was a newb. Maybe that’s because I’m a newb again.  At risk of sounding a little self-obsessed (wink, wink, Martha), I catch people watching me do these exercises and that just makes me feel more insure.  I think my form is OK, but I have to be honest – I don’t know for sure I’m doing them right and it feels like I’m in a fish bowl.  That could be my insecure imagination or it could be legit because I’m doing something so different than what I used to do.

Tomorrow morning, I will decide to either finish the workout I started today or go back to a bodybuilding routine. I suspect I will continue, but I also expect that I will need to make that same decision every week before the “heavy” workout. Constant cycle of recommitting.

I have collected a ton of pictures over the years. For days like today.

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Filed under Life, Strong Woman Training

13 responses to “I Quit?!?

  1. Sometimes you have to surrender to fatigue. We are ladies in our fifties and we need to nurture ourselves. Rest is an important part of training. When you say your goals out loud it can feel as if you are failing when you stray off a bit/have a bad day. Be kind to yourself. The road to a worthwhile goal is never straight. x


  2. Tracy

    “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
    Vince Lombardi


  3. Anonymous

    Suck it up, buttercup!
    You’ve faced self- transformation before, now do it again! And this time, growl LOUDER! Be stronger! WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR ROAR!
    Like a staircase, each step is harder than the last.


  4. Oh Tammy, your post reminds me of a place I once found myself thinking all of the same thoughts you are having right now. My analogy for myself was standing at a fork in the road. To the right was total and complete discomfort, on the left was what I was comfortable with. I ended up going down discomfort lane because I knew that’s where my personal growth would be the strongest…getting comfortable with uncomfortable. Remember you’ve only been doing the strong woman stuff a couple of weeks now. Your body and mind need time to adjust. Don’t feel like you have to hit a new max with each week or workout, give yourself time to get comfortable with the movements first. Hang in there and you know that no matter what your end decision is, your friends support you regardless.


  5. Thanks for sharing the honest post, Tammy!
    I can relate to the overly positive people getting on your nerves sometimes.. A major part of Crossfit is the community aspect but when it is taking you twice as long to do the workout as everyone else and you’re just not getting it quite right, man for every “keep pushing! You got this!”, sometimes you just want to throw a barbell in someone’s direction.. 😉
    You work so hard all of the time and are constantly pushing your body outside of its comfort zone. Just like with when you started weights, everything is so new and is going to take time to adapt and become more comfortable.
    I am excited to continue to read about your strongman progress!


  6. Colin DeWaay

    Okay I just read this so I needed to go to your page and see if you had continued, which you did as I expected. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I think everything that’s happening is for a reason and it’s ultimately good for you. Every last part of it, you needed this challenge and you probably needed the weak moment and “failure” to collect yourself and help yourself succeed. Sometimes the best thing that can happen to us is to be knocked on our ass.


    • I have a serious new respect for the strength sports. I thought I had an understanding of what ” lift heavy” meant. But it’s a whole different thing when it’s not on a barbell.


      • Colin DeWaay

        BB and strength are extremely different things. That’s a hard thing for many people to understand. Hell the bigger I’ve gotten in the last year the less weight I can lift with the exception of the deadlift.

        Perhaps what you mention is part of what you needed from this whole experience.


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