In the last week I have done the following in my CrossFit classes: fallen off the box that propped me up to the rings (twice), stepped on a resistance band swaddled across two metal bars (to assist with tricep dips), stumbled, and felt the fire-y sting of the band whipping back up once my weight released it and smacking me in the mouth, and- just today in fact! – I fell off of the pull-up bar while trying to swing my feet up to touch it (which they never, ever got very close to doing). I am like the three stooges of physical fitness! (In case you are wondering which stooge, the answer is all of them! Toooo much clumsiness in this bod of mine to try to say I am just emulating one)
I have kind of a deep-rooted fear of doing things I am not already good at, especially in front of people. The little kid in me just knows I’m gonna fuck up, and is totally freaked out by the thought of anyone-family, friends, acquaintances, whatever- watching me falter. Let’s just say CrossFit is helping me work through this.
To me, the best thing about messing up so mightily in front of all of the ripped and agile people in my classes is how I just get back up and keep going. It takes a tremendous amount of effort to just get through these workouts and contending with a near amazing clumsiness doesn’t exactly make it easier.
I am on a mission in a number of areas in my life. I’m trying to get physically stoked, make enough money, stream line my job situation, be creative, be awake enough to show up for my loved ones, and have a little sense of humor in the process. I have been known to take too much on (can you tell?) and take myself WAY too seriously or overthink everything I do in the process. When my body comes crashing to the ground, and I scramble up only missing beats because I am laughing (not because I am embarrassed) that is really as great to me as finishing my WOD. Being ready to offer proper respect to my workout and unabashedly bust my ass through modifications, slips and slides, and bizarre weight lifting induced sex noises is excellent. It is an integrous part of myself that I am actually proud to possess and that I’d like to see spill over more into other areas of my life.
Already I am amazed at how CrossFit has improved my physical and psychological fitness. To start, in the past six months I had grown to hate running. Sprints made me feel like the tin man stiffly rusting about and I was hurting myself in ways that weren’t work-through-able fairly often. Yesterday I missed going to the gym due to my work schedule and had a number of stressful moments trying to coordinate the schedules of my four (!) jobs. For better or for worse exercise has always been my stress reliever and so I decided to hit the pavement for a little jog with no goal in mind. In addition to finding extreme freedom in the goallessness, I was amazed at how great my body felt. I could feel my core remembering to work with my legs without me concentrating super hard on making that happen, I had much greater lung capacity then I did during my last jaunt, and most importantly I was stoked! I felt like my exercise had had a little bit of a joy injection, smiling as the sun set around me.
Lastly, and perhaps most profoundly, I have carried a measuring spoon with me to every single place that I have gone for years. I have gone to family meals with one, on vacations with one, to school with one, out to dinner with friends with one. Although my calorie counting and measuring and weighing of my food has waxed and waned throughout the years I have always felt the need to at least have it on hand, just in case. Sometime last week I took the trusty Tablespoon out of my bag and put it in the silverware drawer, because it no longer felt logical to tote around a tool I used instead of asking my body what it needed.
These days I think of my food as a direct gift to my workouts. I am still sticking with veganism through intense weight lifting and I eat to fuel my self so I can do this! Sometimes these facts mean that I eat a lot. I do what I need to do to get strong and miraculously, I feel good about that fact.
Feels like a big shift, eh?