I started Crossfit way back in July of last year. You might have read my gushing about it. And then you thought to yourself, well, she’s only been at it for a month. Let’s see how she feels further on down the line.
How do I feel about it now, six months later? Well, for one thing, I’ve stuck with it continuously for those six months. I can count the times I skipped on one hand, and those were either attributable to being so ill my fiancee wouldn’t let me go or finding out our car wouldn’t start when we got in it to go to our class that day. I did not skip a single class just because I didn’t feel like it. I did not skip a single class due to injury, even though I collected a few – I knew the coach could always work around it. I went three days a week, every single week. And that in and of itself says a lot.
That doesn’t mean I was absolutely ecstatic to go every single time. On the contrary, I had about three weeks where I dreaded each and every class. And this was several months in. I felt like I wasn’t progressing. I felt like I was getting worse. I felt like I was only trying to give it my all instead of actually bearing down. And it sucked.
We did things that I am absolutely terrible at. Ring work. Handstands. Bear crawls. I sat in the car and cried after one class because it just didn’t come together – I couldn’t give it my all and I finished way behind everyone else. The coach even told me to stop one round early because I’d reached the cut-off time and everyone else was finished. But I forced my way through it anyway and bawled out my anger and frustration in the car.
But I kept going. And it got better. I managed to break down that mental barrier that had been keeping me back. I began to look forward to the workouts again, to get super excited. I still finish last occasionally, but I’m okay with that because I know I’m actually giving it my all. I’m actually progressing.
I still get a thrill of fear sometimes when I see the workout and I wonder how the heck am I ever going to finish that? And then I remember all the other workouts I’ve done, I’ve completed, I’ve excelled at, and I remember that I am stronger than I think I am. I see that board and the workout and, even though it scares me, I tell myself I can do this. It will suck, but I can do it.
Crossfit isn’t for everyone. And, like everything in life, each person takes something different away from it. For me, it’s given me more than a 120lb deadlift and the ability to do five chin-ups. It’s given me that courage to say I can do this. It’s not fearlessness – I’m still scared of those WODs – but the knowledge and understanding that, though the process may suck and I might fail, I can get through it. And this has translated beyond physical things, like finally signing up for and completing that 5k, to life: I can plan a wedding, I can get that job, I can talk to certain members of my family, I can write and rewrite this manuscript, I can dare to dream big.
Crossfit has helped me understand that I don’t know where my limits are yet. I haven’t reached them. In fact, they’re a long, long ways off. Crossfit taught me that there are things I’ve been saying I can’t do all my life that I can do. Crossfit has taught me to wonder at what I could do. And it has shown me how to turn that subjunctive into an indicative.
So six months later, I can still definitively say: Crossfit is freaking awesome.