It is so predictably, unpredictable. It’s that one thing, that for some reason, you are ok getting punched in the face by – on a day to day basis. Sometimes it makes you laugh – sometimes it makes you cry. And yet you simply cannot, and/or will not, remove yourself from this seemingly awkward relationship. Believe me – i’ve been there – done that. And truth be told – i still wear the t-shirt. But, if you are willing to try and look at this modern-day “Bobby and Whitney” from a different perspective, it might just change your life.
So, CrossFit and i have been together for nearly a decade now – ever since my friend and current coach first introduced us. Call it love, call it lust, hell, call it anything ya want, just don’t forget to call it what it is. Hard Work. But, not unlike anything else in this life that is of a higher quality – CrossFit is worth it. Even better than that – it’s UNIVERSAL. CrossFit, has uniquely been able to transcend the metaphorical barriers between “training” and “life” for me over the last several years. And the fact of the matter is, that if it weren’t for CrossFit – i wouldn’t be here.
However, that’s not to say that our courtship hasn’t been without some “rough patches” to say the least. Over the years CrossFit and i have put together some rather mediocre competition performances, some average lifting numbers, and as always one form of soreness or another. There have been times when it was all i could do just to keep my head above water while training – battling soreness, the frustration of a particular movement, or even the distaste of certain programming. Yes, yes my friends – i know those feelings. i know them all too well. And as Shakespeare would say, “there in lies the rub.” Why maintain a relationship with something that leaves your legs covered in S&M-like whip marks, skin scrapes, the leathery, calloused hands of Jack Palance, and a body so sore that at times it’s a new PR every time you are able to wipe your ass? When did any of those things become such a “badge of honor”? Maybe it was the invention of social media, and human nature’s tendency to beat one’s chest louder than the next gorilla – or perhaps there was something more valuable, and more influential at work.
If you look past the battered shins and see instead the hours of practice, dedication, and effort that went into accomplishing something so simplistic, yet unforgettably rewarding – than you can truly appreciate some of what CrossFit provides. * A FIRST – SOMETHING THAT YOU HAD NEVER DONE IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. * Wrap your brain around that statement for a min and really think about the significance of it. Now, do those whip marks not seem worth it? What about those lovely ripped callouses, nice rope burns around your ankle, or that glorious scrape on the front of your shin? Isn’t accomplishing a FIRST in your life worth a little bit pain? Think about all the other FIRSTS in your life – riding a bike, driving a car, asking someone out, rejection, going on a date, trying out for a team, competition, losing, winning. Are you gonna tell me these FIRSTS didn’t come at a cost? Of course they did. That’s because everything worthwhile does.
Think about that mummified, soreness that completely takes over your body from time to time. What if instead of only feeling discomfort, you began to feel the blessing. The remarkable reminder that you have the opportunity to run, jump, push, pull, throw, climb – and use your body the way it was designed to be used. Live in those moments and those abilities – don’t ever take advantage of, or take them for granted. Just like life – CrossFit is physically, mentally, and spiritually demanding – we have to make sure we are in condition to handle it. There will be bumps, bruises, injuries, and setbacks – work through them. Take those setbacks and knocks on the chin as opportunities to get better. Don’t confuse the need to step back retrospectively for the need to step away. There are not one in the same. Turn instead, to your community for support. It is why we are different – why we are unique – and why we are successful. If you don’t ask for help then no one will know you are drowning – we’ll just think you are a really bad swimmer.
To me this relationship – this crazy, mixed up, abusive relationship – is worth all that, and then some. We need CrossFit – we need that consistent physical demand to maintain a fit, healthy lifestyle. We need the family, the friends, and the community that we have acquired as a result of building the dojo. We need those opportunities for another FIRST. We need that constant feedback to remind us that our entire lives are an AMRAP – not just the prescribed daily dose that CrossFit provides us. We need this. No matter how “Jerry Springer” our relationship looks to the mainstream majority – we need this. So get out the tape, the knee sleeves, the wrist straps, the BioFreeze – wipe off the blood, sweat, piss, and tears, and get ready for another WOD. Cuz it needs you too.