It’s summer. I wanted a change from the norm, and summer’s a time to try new things. It was also hot outside, so I decided to cool off by drinking some refreshing Kool Aid. I got it from some from friendly people down the road. They call themselves CrossFit athletes. Something’s wrong with the Kool Aid though… I can’t stop drinking it. I keep going back for more. No, stop! Don’t touch my Kool Aid. Don’t send help. I’m gonna hang with the CrossFit guys.
I started CrossFit on Monday and it’s awesome. I’m not even sure if I’m spelling it right (I just Googled it, we’re good) but I’m definitely hooked and still definitely intimidated. I haven’t been able to properly lift weights or run or anything since I graduated from uni three weeks ago. It wasn’t out of laziness, but rather strained hip flexor-ness. Needless to say, I’m doing loads better now and I was grinning from ear to ear whilst rowing on the ergometer during warmup on Monday.
Thursday was a slightly different story. That’s why I’m writing right now actually. I’m sure you’ve already heard 50,000 opinions on how awesome (or stupid) CrossFit is, so you don’t need my voice to make that opinion list become 50,001. Rather, what I’m thinking about now is why did I let myself feel so free and happy on Monday during my first day back to training (and first time ever at CrossFit) but on Thursday I was my own worst critic. I felt unconfident in my abilities and inadequate in strength, as if I would never be able to push myself hard enough or be strong enough to do a workout as-written.
On my drive home the song “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors came on. Normally I would have skipped something so happy when I was feeling so down. But I waited and actually listened to the lyrics.
I had a dream so big and loud I jumped so high I touched the clouds.
I have a dream too, I thought. I want to be strong and fast and agile. But I’ve only ever let it be a dream until now. I’ve only ever wished and not done until now. What makes me think that by doing I can achieve? I’m running to prepare for my jump to touch the clouds, but what if I can’t jump?
I’m never gonna look back / Woah, I’m never gonna give it up / No, please don’t wake me now.
That’s when I realized that I’m running backwards. I was looking back on everything that I’ve done and accomplished, and at everything I’ve failed at. All I saw was a finite constraint of what I knew to be physically possible. All of the times I went farther than I thought I could go, but then became afraid of what came next. What would happen if I broke that barrier and kept going? I didn’t know, so I stopped.
That’s what I was afraid of on Thursday. Breaking that barrier, or, I suppose more specifically, not being able to break that barrier. My dream is to push through and achieve something I didn’t think was possible for myself in terms of strength. That’s I was afraid of – the unknown. But life is full of unknowns. How I even got here today, survived school, kept dancing when it seemed like nothing would work. They were all unknowns. The only constant was persistence, and that persistence was made a lot more bearable by having fun along the way.
I’m stronger and healthier now than I’ve ever been in my life. I’m sure by the end of summer I’ll be able to say the same thing, although that’s not why I’m CrossFitting. Sure I’m doing this to be strong, but once everything else is stripped away, the underlying bones that make up that physical and emotional strength, for me, is happiness and confidence in myself. It makes me happy that I can be free to move and improve my skills, and if I’ve hit a wall and am not seeing the improvement I want to, than by golly at least I’m still able to do my favorite thing – enjoy the freedom of movement.
I think I’ve lost track of that happiness, although I started to rediscover it on Friday. It’ll probably take some patience (and persistence) before I can fully let myself loose again and enjoy the freedom that I feel when I move. But I’m ready for a change. I’m ready to enjoy my life again – to break barriers, become confident in my abilities, and most of all, be free and happy. Thank you, CrossFit, for helping me discover what I had lost in myself. And thank you for being there to help me get it back. Your Kool Aid sure knows how to hit the spot. I’ll see you next week at the box.
P.S. The featured image was found using a Google image search for CrossFit.