I’m feeling the need to step away from my ridiculously long to-do list and reoccurring desire to be one of those strange people who doesn’t need sleep to talk about one little part of my life that has been keeping me sane. See, for the last (nearly) three months, I have been waking up at 4:30 am (yes, AM) to drive the 25 minutes off the island to make it to Crossfit for the 5:15 class. I’m pretty sure if you know me at all, you know that I am NOT a morning person. People have gone as far as to call me a drunken zombie during my first hour of waking. I generally spend the first 45 minutes of my day walking around with crazy, unbrushed bed hair and a pitiful pout on my face, eyes half shut, trying to blink whatever moisture is left on my eyeballs from sleeping in contacts the night before….need I say more? If you haven’t witnessed this, you are really missing out. Nothing says sexy like a 23 year old ambulating like an old lady because her joints hurt and she can’t find her Aleve in the pile of shit obstacles in her room. Did I really just type ambulating instead of walking? Damn OT school. What was I talking about? Oh. Crossfit.
I was thinking about it this morning on my drive back to Galveston Island. The sun was barely threatening to rise and I was doing my best not to lose my dinner of red wine, red bull, and popcorn from the night before. (Give me a break; it’s the end of the most stressful semester of my life). I had just completed a workout that made me push myself to my max- 2 exercises, both with weights, heavy weights. 3 rounds were required, but no set amount of repetitions- just as many as you could do till you collapsed, then move on to the other exercise, and repeat. I’m pretty sure at some point during my last round, I heard a guttural noise that roughly resembled the sound of birthing a pumpkin… Whether it actually came from me remains to be seen.
As I drove, red faced and yawning from my 2 hours of sleep the night before, I looked in the mirror, and saw a pair of eyes that belonged to a crazy person. Those eyes looked alive, alert, excited, driven, powerful…and crazy. People ask me how I can make the drive 3 times a week, how I can get up so early and make it through my hectic, demanding day, how I can make it through the workout, etc. etc. My response is always two fold:
I Crossfit because I love it…and because we all know I’m a little bit crazy.
Since I’m sure every one of my friends has at least one story that could be titled “Rachel’s lost it again: Genius or Madness?”, (could make for some interesting stories/comments, my friends), I’ll spare you my beliefs on why I am the way I am….but I do want to talk a little about why I’ve become so passionate about Crossfit.
It’s not about the weight. Never once have a heard a crossfitter in my gym mention the word “fat”, I haven’t heard a single person complain about their love handles, and I certainly have never caught someone checking themselves out in the mirror, simply because there are none in the gym. It’s not about that. I’ll be honest; I have gone into other gyms and checked people’s bodies’ out- who hasn’t? …But at crossfit it is different. It’s about seeing what your body can DO, how far your body can take you, as opposed to what your body looks like, and I LOVE that.
But then again…it is about the weight. Although some workouts are body weight workouts, most incorporate Olympic weight lifts into the WOD (workout of the day). I would be lying if I said that these lifts didn’t still scare the be-jeezus out of me every time I see them scribbled on the white board, but I’m slowly learning to appreciate the objectiveness of it. Those numbers, that amount of weight you can lift- they’re measurable-not to be used to measure yourself against other people, but to measure yourself against your own personal best. Needless to say, I find the weight lifting the absolute most challenging, but also something that I never anticipated appreciating before I began Crossfit.
The people. From my first day there, I have been treated with nothing but kindness. (well, I take that back, there was one lady in the boot camp class that was dropping snide comments about kicking me out of the class because I was showing her up…but still..) The people are just absolutely great. Attending at 5:15, I work out with all people older than me, mostly parents…but that doesn’t matter. We cheer each other on, push each other, catch up , laugh, joke, and give weak high fives when we are flat on our backs after a difficult workout. I feel accepted.
I crossfit because it is empowering. I don’t know how many times this semester I have simply wanted to break down and cry due to the extreme amount of pressure I am under in my program. My pity party ends as soon as I walk into the Crossfit Box. My mind clears, and I am constantly reminded that I am more powerful than I’ve ever believed possible. I am reminded that I am too stubborn to quit and that I can push myself through anything that I set my mind to. I leave the gym with a renewed sense of self, a fresh mindset, and the confidence to continue forging my way through this tough semester. That is priceless.
Lastly, I love crossfit because it’s ridiculous. I love being ridiculous, and crossfit delivers. It is ridiculously hard, ridiculously fun, and ridiculously worth every ounce of effort you put into it. I’ve come to learn that a life that doesn’t include some form of ridiculousness…well, it just isn’t that enjoyable.
I have absolutely no clever or resolute way to end this post, so I’ll just leave you with this: