It is Day 3 of the Fundamentals Course at CrossFit LAX aka the “Fundies” and I want my arms back! Right now it is hard for me to even get dressed, comb my hair, and brush my teeth. When you work out really hard, particularly when you lengthen your muscles, you get micro-tears that can cause significant stiffness, aches, and pains ( Wikipedia calls it the DOMS) . Supposedly, the ache fades in about 72 hours as the muscle heals. The official CrossFit line is that if I work out more, it will help. Maybe that is true, but right now I don’t even want to imagine trying to put on eyeliner.
Yesterday’s WOD was a mix of sit ups, wall balls, kettle bell swings, and ring rows. The idea seems to be to alternate between compression and stretching exercises. The exercises were broken up into 2 minute workouts interspersed with 1 minute of rest, I also played soccer earlier in the day. It has now been 6 days since I gave my muscles a really good rest, so I may sit out CrossFit tonight. I will just go run and play beach volleyball instead. I may return to CrossFit as long as I can keep doing my other activities as well.
I also think I need to reevaluate my goals. Except, my two personas have different goals. One side wants to please my wife, while my other persona wants to be more of a girl (and is a lot more vain). For example, I would love to trim my waist, but that last couple pounds is really tough. I have to accept that I am always going to be a big girl. The other problem is when I exercise, I become more of a dude. This is particularly true for weight-lifting. The natural testosterone in my system will build muscle mass as opposed to that toned look. The new gold-standard of tone is perhaps Michelle Obama’s arms. Her arms are so widely admired they can conduct international diplomacy on their own (at least according to TheOnion).
These are the kind of arms that can inspire our children to dream, that can inspire our children to believe that—despite all the horrors of the world—they too can someday grow up to have taut but feminine arms. Even if it means doing endless dumbbell curls and tricep push-downs five nights a week.
Except for me. Even if I do endless dumbbell curls and tricep push-downs, I will never have Obama arms. There are a few websites that recommend exercises for the transgender crowd. A few years back Renee Reyes posted a workout as part of her extensive transgender survival guide. Her main advice was how to tone the chest and breasts without building the biceps – plus tons of situps to get the belly under control. I liked the workout but have never been able to sustain it on a daily basis.
However, feeling healthy does not necessarily equal looking buff. I can attest to that right now. Already after three days I can see a visual difference but I feel worse. Above all, I want to feel healthy. Part of this is endurance – not feeling short of breath, being able to run without getting winded. There is also a clearness of mind and body where is easier to focus and your body doesn’t feel swollen or bloated. That is a goal that both my identities can agree on.