Yesterday was finally the day to get my tattoo finished. We did the outlines a couple of weeks ago and were going to add color at a later appointment. The first session took about two hours, the second did too. And quite honestly, by the end, I was glad we had split it up into two sessions.
My tattoo artist mentioned that the ribcage is one of the most sensitive areas to get a tattoo on. Luckily, I’m not very sensitive to pain; I actually handle tattoo pain fairly well, so the first session didn’t bother me too much. The second however, was a totally different beast. The difference? Outlines versus color. When you stitch outlines, you’re spending very little time at the same spot before you move on. When coloring, the needle hits that same spot over and over again. No matter how sore it already is.
But knowing that I had chosen to do this, I sucked it up, was a big girl and let him do his work without complaining once. (Except for once when my arm fell asleep.)
Despite a high pain threshold and all, I was glad by the time we stopped. I’m extremely thrilled with how the tattoo came out. I’m ridiculously in love with it:
The tattoo was done by the super-talented Michi at Traitors Island in Munich. Can’t wait for my next one! ;o)
After a 48h post-marathon recovery period, administered to me by one of my CrossFit coaches, I was finally back to the box on Wednesday. I was so excited! I had barely trained during the week leading up to the marathon, taking the taper seriously and all that. I missed my little community.
On Wednesday I was back and while my legs were still a little heavy, nothing hurt and I knew that, yes, even at CrossFit you can take it easy if you want/have to. I was lucky (or not?) that we did an array of upper body strength exercises. 25 minutes. EMOTM (every minute on the minute). Nice, classical circuit training of push-ups, pull-ups, ring rows, dips and Russian twists. Pretty much everything I suck at. I allowed myself a lot of assistance that day in the form of bands for the pull-ups and dips and a box for the push-ups. I’d just ran a marathon and I wanted to workout to feel good. Not to kill myself. See, there? I’m being a responsible grown-up.
Yesterday I attended another class, this time with plenty of front squats. Insert hysterical laughter here. Or so I thought when I walked into the box and saw the WOD. The squats went surprisingly well. We had 20 minutes to find our 1 rep max and I ended up at 50 kg. On a good day, I probably could have gone higher in weight. Maybe another 5 kg, but I was satisfied with my weight for that particular session. My legs are still recovering from a marathon after all. And there was a front squat workout to follow: 10 minute EMOTM, performing 2 front squats with 80% of your 1RM. I was surprised how well that went.
We did another workout right after: 3 min AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 4 Power Cleans and 8 burpees. I got really excited about this workout because I love cleans and burpees. [I realize I might be one of the few people to enjoy burpees, but seriously, they’re so good for you!] The guys were supposed to use 60kg for the cleans. There was no RXed weight for the girls, but I think it’s usually 40 kg. I settled for 30 kg. My burpees were slow that day, but I still managed to finish almost 4 rounds. And all the clean practicing I’ve been doing paid off. I felt great about the weight and got praise from one of the coaches for how great my cleans looked. YAY!
Life is precious
The summer has been rough for me. In July and August my depression came back with a vengeance, triggered by job stress, poor training, poor recovery, poor nutrition and pretty much life sucking as a whole. At the beginning of August, one of my childhood friends got married but due to a concatenation of circumstances instead of having the time of my life celebrating with her, it threw me deeper into my depressive episode.
I had suicidal thoughts at that point. They weren’t bad enough for me to actually start plotting how I was going to take my own life, but the fact that I had a dying wish was disturbing enough. I told my therapist, who reacted rather strongly to my confession. I didn’t really understand why, but she made me promise (and sign) that I was not going to take my own life, neither now nor any time in the future, and that I was going to call her or check myself into a clinic before I was doing anything stupid. So I promised. I signed.
I’ve been doing a lot better, especially since I’ve scored the new job, decided to take some time off to focus on my physical and mental health. But I still have other issues to work through with my therapist, that’s why I keep seeing her. We were talking about the power of negative thinking, about how we create our own reality and how to stop that film of destructive thinking. (I still do a lot of destructive thinking, unfortunately.)
One technique that we’ve been using a lot is the imagination of a heavy container where I can store negative thoughts, hence, removing them from my head and liberating myself from them. My therapist then started telling me about how she deals with guilt by imagining a filing cabinet where she deposes her thoughts and in return receives light and forgiveness.
Forgiveness from her son who committed suicide a year ago.
My heart nearly stopped when she told me.
She then went on to talk about her schizophrenic son who had tried to take his own life, failed, was admitted to a clinic, couldn’t be helped even though my therapist and her husband tried everything, how he tried again. And succeeded. He threw himself in front of a train. My heart broke for her. I can’t imagine the immense pain she was and is going through.
I’ve been thinking about her story a lot in the last 24 hours and it’s made me realize how precious life is. It’s made me grateful that I never actually tried (and worse, succeeded) to kill myself, that I never put my family through the pain and grief. It’s made me understand her strong reaction back then.
It’s hard to explain how depression feels if you’ve never experienced it yourself. It’s hard to explain what it feels like to be so despaired that you cannot imagine that there is even the slightest chance life will get better again. But it does. Maybe not immediately. Maybe it takes a fucking long time. Maybe things get worse before they get better. But they will. Life is too precious to throw it away.