I’ve been trying to write this damn post for months. Fucking months. I’ve got about 7 drafts on it, but nothing that really spoke what I was feeling, what Crossfit actually means to me.
Then, this morning, it hit me. I’ve been waiting all damn day to get home so I could write this out and finally, finally explain it.
(I had to wait because I was at Crossfit today, volunteering and judging for our strength challenge. It was exciting and so inspiring.) (I realize that the beginning of this blog post makes me sound partially, if not completely, insane. Don’t worry, I probably am. It’s fine.)
I first heard about Crossfit while I was still in Germany. Of course, there wasn’t a trainer or coach or anything within any driveable distance. It sucked because I became entranced by it just from reading about it. So when I found out I was coming back, I messaged the owner of the gym here, told him I was out of shape, so out of shape it wasn’t funny, but I wanted to do this so bad. I wasn’t going to take ‘No’ for an answer. He told me that he didn’t have any of the beginning classes starting soon, but as soon as he scheduled one, he’d let me know. Lucky, it started the day before I got back and I was able to start on May 18, 2011.
Before I go on, I know a good number of you are probably asking, ‘What is Crossfit?’ Honestly, I find myself unable to define it completely and yet, succinctly. The best explanation I’ve found so far stems from Wikipedia and is as follows:
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning brand that combines weightlifting, sprinting, gymnastics, powerlifting, kettlebell training, plyometrics, rowing, and medicine ball training. CrossFit contends that a healthy, fit person requires proficiency in each of ten general physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy. It defines fitness as increased work capacity across all these domains and says its program achieves this by provoking neurologic and hormonal adaptations across all metabolic pathways.
CrossFit athletes run, row, jump rope, climb rope and carry odd objects. They frequently move large loads quickly over short distances, and use powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting techniques. CrossFit athletes also use dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, and many bodyweight exercises. CrossFit is used in nearly 2,000 gyms worldwide and by many fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and military organizations including the Canadian Forces, and the Royal Danish Life Guards. (Source: Wikipedia)
Next, what follows is, ‘Why do you do Crossfit? How? How do you find the drive and motivation?’ These are more questions I’ve struggled with, just because I didn’t know how to say it. Why do I do it? Because I needed a damn intervention. I needed to get my life, my health and my fitness back on track and I’m honest with myself. I knew that I could buy a gym membership, hire a trainer, whatever. But I knew I needed competition. I knew I needed someone that would keep me responsible. I also knew that I needed something that was going to kick my ass every single time because that seems to be the only thing that works for me. How do I do it? One day at a time. Seriously, I do have goals. I want to make it to the top level class. I’d love to compete in one of our strength challenges. I want to be in shape enough to make the police academy seem like a cake walk. I didn’t start out lifting the weights I do now- I started far from it and with extremely shitty form on quite a bit of it but I’ve had the most amazing people behind and beside me, helping and supporting and teaching me. How do I find the drive and motivation? That’s a bit longer.
There are days I just don’t want to go. But you know what? That one skipped class turns into two, and three and then next thing you know, you haven’t gone in 6 months and you’ve gained 20 lbs. I know that cycle and I don’t want to go back down that path so, it’s off to the gym I go even if I’m sick (not insanely sick. I’ve missed one session because I couldn’t get away from the bathroom long enough for anything, let alone working out) because I have no excuses. I don’t allow myself to make them. There are times I just don’t want to do the work out, or warm up even. But I sit my ass on that rower, or get my bar ready, or whatever, and I take it one rep at a time, one drive at a time. I get tunnel vision and next thing I know, the work out is over and I’m on to what’s next.
But my biggest, most effective motivator at all? Every single person that ever insinuated or outright stated that I couldn’t do this. That my goals were too far fetched. That I couldn’t be that fit again. Hell, I plan on being in better shape than I ever have before. The most effective person behind this motivation is my not-quite-ex husband. And all the ex-boyfriends that wanted a skinnier, 120 lb stick version of me. Each rep I complete when I feel like I don’t have it in me anymore, every max I break, every time I Rx a work out, every time I do it better than the last, every time my times go down, is a ‘fuck you’ to all of them, each and every one. And oh, how I want to tell them all to fuck themselves for breaking me down, tearing me apart and making me feel worthless because I wasn’t a number on the scale. Being healthy and fit is so much more important to me than being ‘skinny’.
And with any hope, I’ll see each and every one of them someday when I’m in crazy amazing shape and they’ll realize just what they lost by being superficial douchebags. Because that? That would be the icing on the cake and the cherry on top. That would be the best payback ever but even if it doesn’t happen, I know that I’m better off now than I was then, both emotionally and health-wise.