I actually had this post scheduled for a different day, but when I realized yesterday marked one full month of blogging, I knew I had to post it – keep reading to find out why.
Alright, I’m just going to put this out there – I’m really hard on myself. Yes, I can feel some of you rolling your eyes right now… and I can hear you thinking, tell me something I don’t know. I know. I know. It’s something I’m working on.
I put so much prep work into launching this blog and, even though the first post was about putting fear aside I was still scared to press the “publish” button and shout out to the world, “hey friends, I’m doing this!” But, I did it anyways. And I have been blown away by the response (a huge thank you to all of you).
Truthfully, I have also been a little inspired by myself – I am truly committed to facing my fears and have already gained so much from this experience.
Coinciding with the launch of this blog, there was a lot of talk in my life about something called the CrossFit Open.
If it sounds like I’m speaking gibberish, you can take a minute to find out what the heck that means on the games’ website.
Don’t want to check out the link? Cool. Basically it’s a chance for you to test the progress you’ve been making with your fitness – over the course of five weeks the head honchos of CrossFit announce a workout for that week designed to test your limits. As you do this workout you are judged by someone at your gym (seriously… judged). So if you don’t complete a full push-up for example they can say the worst two words ever uttered in an open – “no rep” 😩 If you’re an elite athlete you’ll use the open as the first step in qualifying for the CrossFit Games, but let’s be real, I recently celebrated doing 10 strict pushups for the first time in my life like I’d won an Academy Award, so that’s not my target.
Got it? Kind of? Good enough. I took
a lot some time off between gyms (or boxes for you CrossFit folks) so it wasn’t until this year that I discovered you can now scale workouts at the Open – which means people like me can kind of do them. My husband has been encouraging me to sign up since December (when registration wasn’t even open…).
Even with the scaled option the Open intimidated me. It’s not actually the judging part (I spent 18 years being judged as a dancer and gymnast). It’s me. What if I can’t finish the workout? What if I’m just not strong enough? What if I embarass myself (very, very likely in my case). All of this is code for, I’ve never done anything like this before, so yeah, it’s scary.
But then I re-read my first blog post and knew I had to sign up. Walk the talk. Try something new. I didn’t know what it would be like to run a half-marathon until I lined up for the race on a cold, rainy October morning. I did know that at the end of the day, I just needed to put one foot in front of the other and I’d be alright. Worse case scenario, I’d just grit my teeth and slowly, ungracefully plod my way through. Crossing that finish line was an incredible moment that resulted in me signing up for countless other races, including two more half’s.
I fully understand that CrossFit isn’t for everyone and some of you might think I’m crazy (that’s cool). But what I love about it is that it lets me push myself in ways I could never have imagined. In the last six months I’ve hit PRs I didn’t think were possible (including pushups! holla!). So I signed up, and showed up.
The first Open day I walked into the gym a giant bundle of nerves – I mean, the workout included a total of 75 burpee box jumps! 😱 I thought, well at least this will be a great 20 minute sweat sessh. I had zero expectations of being able to finish the entire prescribed workout. But I was greeted by room full of people pushing themselves physically and mentally, while everyone there circled around and cheered them on. This is what I love about CrossFit: the entire community comes together to support one another on a journey to be better – better than you were last year, last month, even yesterday.
One thing CrossFit and running have in common is something I know I can do – just. keep. moving. So I did – snatching dumbbells overhead, jumping over a 20″ box and mentally cursing my way through those burpees, when all of a sudden I realized – I might finish this after all. Sure enough, I did the entire workout in 19:13 (you had 20 minutes to attempt the workout). I felt like I’d crossed that finish line again – somehow I had surpassed my expectations of what I was capable of.
The same thing has happened each time I’ve stepped into the gym over these last five weeks. I’ve beat my own goals for each work, doing more more rounds and lifting heavier for more reps than I ever thought possible. This Saturday is the last Open workout (“Oh god, what if it’s Thrusters?!” has gone through my mind several times this week haha), and I have to say, I’m going to miss it – the excitement of watching the workout announcement, eyes widening with the introduction of each new move, the cheers and grunts of pushing through each workout. I’m so lucky to be part of such an incredible community. So this Saturday, I’ll be hitting up the gym to finish working my way through an entirely new experience, completing my first Open, walking the talk through each work out (and collapsing in a sweaty heap of workout euphoria).
Are you doing the Open too? Or challenging yourself in new ways this month, in the gym, at work or even in life? Let me know in the comments below!
Interested in learning more about CrossFit? There is a great documentary up on Netflix called, “Fittest on Earth: The Story of the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games.