Newsflash: I’m human. Really. While most of my fellow athletes toss around words for me like ‘beast’ and ‘badass’ the truth is I’m woefully human. I get hurt (hello tendonitis in my shoulder). I get frustrated (hello f-bombs). And apparently that frustration turns to tears. At least it did today.
The CrossFit mascot is Pukie the Clown, so named because the workouts are known to make many athletes toss their cookies. I’ve never thrown up from a workout. I’ve almost fainted or felt nauseous but I’ve never let myself get to the point of being ill. I’m a straight-up competitor, but why would I want to push myself to be sick? That’s not for me. No thank you.
I’ll be honest. It’s been about 6 months at my new box. It wasn’t an easy transition. At my old box, we all started together. Our journeys were parallel paths and my regular class was a bunch of amazing and competitive 40-something parents…like me. We pushed each other. We supported each other. And we abused each other. We got each other. We were a family. But for reasons not important to this post, when I made the switch to my new box, I just figured I’d find a similar faction. I presumed they’d get me. That they’d understand my passion and my feisty spirit. But many of the athletes at my new box were more laid back than me and I didn’t find those soulmates I had previously. I felt a little adrift. And this doesn’t take away from anyone. We all have our own passion and competitive spirit. To each their own. I just thought I’d find mine immediately.
So I wasn’t 100% comfortable. I had to adjust who I was and get to learn who they were. Now, 6 months later, I’m finally feeling like it’s a home for me. A place where there are people to push me. And a place where some people don’t want to be pushed, and that’s just fine, too. A lot of my frustration with my journey comes from being someone who spent most of her life not thinking I was capable of anything and now I know I’m capable of everything! I’ve seen what’ve I accomplished and it makes me want more. Because I know I can. I have it in me. This is a blessing and curse.
So today, during a benchmark workout that was hard, but shouldn’t have been devastating, I broke. I started out with screaming some ‘fucks’ and kicking the bar when I failed my overhead squats. And when I fell to the floor to do a burpee and couldn’t get back up, I lost it. My anger turned to tears. I finally felt vulnerable enough in this space to show them my soft side. I broke. But the beauty of CrossFit and these people is that they weren’t going to let me stay broken. Everyone gathered around me and shouted words of encouragement. No one left my side until I finished the workout, Rx, and 3 seconds under the time cap.
I wasn’t embarrassed in the least. And the woman who always calls me ‘beast’ came over and gave me a kiss on the forehead after making sure I was ok. That’s the true spirit of why I do this. It’s not only about getting strong. It’s about sharing something with like-minded individuals. People who want you to succeed but really who just want to be better versions of themselves. Like me. Even if that means crying. Because vulnerability is its own form of strength. And don’t let anyone tell you differently.