Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Advent Mobility: Day 12

It's 12/12/12!!!  That means...time for some mobility talk!  (Scroll way down if you just want the recommended work for today and not the human interest bit.)

You may or may not know, but I have anxiety disorder and suffer from anxiety and occasionally from severe panic attacks.  It was like hell when the disorder first really started acting up in February of 2011, but thankfully a dear and wise friend encouraged me to see a doctor and a therapist.  I got help and am generally much better (and currently not on meds - woot!) but every now and then, I have a REALLY bad day.

Yesterday was just one of those days.  We've had some stressful weeks, and I've been feeling more and more anxious in the last few days.  Yesterday morning I woke up after a great night of sleep and felt really peaceful and all, "today will be a great day."

And then I went to work and about an hour into my day went into a colossal downward spiral of a panic attack that came and went for about 3 hours.

This one was brutal.  I was crying in the bathroom at work (always gotta love that) and had that feeling of a claw gripping my heart.

Thankfully I have some dear friends who I can always text and ask for wisdom and prayer.  I'm embarrassed to say this particular attack was largely brought on by my own selfishness and sin in a particular area - being bitter and not willing to forgive and leave somethings up to Christ.

Why am I telling you this and what does it have to do with mobility?

Well, first off, I ALWAYS want to remind people who suffer from anxiety: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  There a probably lots of people in your life who seem "okay" who suffer the same debilitating fears that you do.  And it is really important to get help!  See your doctor and depending on their opinion, see a therapist!  Getting help is not quitting or being weak - just like in CrossFit, you get stronger and better by working on things and putting in the time and practice with qualified experts.

Second, this is a stressful time of year for most people, whether you fight crazy mental stuff or not.  All that stress REALLY takes a toll on you!  Our little selves can't distinguish from physical and emotional stress...and one big side effect of stress is a TON of tightness throughout your body.

I had a great talk (and cry) with my wonderful husband who picked me up at the office so I wouldn't have to bus to the gym.  I was tempted to just go home and wallow, but he encouraged me to come to CrossFit and just scale everything so I wouldn't push my body too hard.  He thought that would be healthier for me to get to move a little and also to see all my dear friends at the box.

Back to mobility - lots of options for you today!

I got there WAY early and got to watch some of the CrossFit kids class and work on mobility for almost a half an hour.  Boy did I need it!  I worked my shoulders, lats, IT bands, hamstrings, back - it was a huge help.

Then it was time for the class!

Normally I would have used #75-#85 for the squat cleans, but I went with #45.  Coach Allison told me to try to get each set of squat cleans and burpees under 15 seconds.  Done.  She said my hip drive is getting a ton better - even on burpees!

I had planned to use #45 for the thrusters, but I was feeling pretty good after the squat cleans.  I figured it was only 15 reps total, so I'd go for #65.

The thrusters went well, but the handstand pushups killed me.  I got ambitious and thought I'd do them to 2 #10 plates instead of my normal 2 #15 plates.  Well, I couldn't get ANY with the 2 #10s but wasted a bunch of time and energy trying.  I had to go get a #15 in the first round to to 1 #15 plate and 1 #10 plate, but by the 2nd or 3rd round, even that was too tough.  My toes to bar were good, though, thanks in large part to this Matt Chan/Chris Spealler video.

My time was pretty slow, but I got some good work done and was SO glad I came.

Post your time for the mobility work in the comments!  Also tell me if you have any good "stop the madness" tips for panic attacks - I always love hearing new strategies.


  1. Anxiety attacks are no fun. Sometimes I get into my own head too much and it just keeps getting worse... snowball effect. I usually need someone to shake me to get me out of my own head. Props to your hubs for taking care of you and encouraging you to take care of yourself.

    As far as stretching goes I've been focusing mainly on my hips. Couch stretch is my best friend. I neeeeeed to work on getting into a full squat for my snatch and clean. My pulls are good, but I just can't drop under the bar. I should probably do some snatch balance practice too.

    1. Yeah, and then I feel bad for feeling He's the best!

      I have found calf mobility has helped with my squats - I don't know enough about the body to know why exactly, but it does help! And I bet couch stretch does, too. You will get there!


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