- Your workout is my warm-up.
- That’s not a real squat.
- (Insert other activity)? B—-, please. I do CrossFit. (And I have a foul mouth.)
- I am better than you because I can lift your Ford Focus over my head with one hand, whilst I eat my paleo breakfast with the other.
Seven months ago, when I finally bit the bullet and joined our neighborhood box after a trial run at Reebok CrossFit ONE and much encouragement from my husband, I ate that nonsense up. I thought I was so tough the first time I lifted at barbell over my head. And then a week later I completely ate
shcrap while attempting a slightly higher box jump. And my ego was firmly back in check.
Like anything challenging I have faced, CrossFit has made me stronger, but it has not made me better than anyone else.
I may have thought the whole “your workout is my warm-up” mentality was badass initially, but after some consideration, it’s just plain bad. And poisonous. [For the record: I've met very few people who walk around saying things like that. They are, for sure, the minority in the sport.] Our workouts may be brutal, but their value does not lie in being more brutal, more challenging, more whatever than someone else’s workout. And frankly, if you’re doing it right (that is to say, working your tail off and supporting your fellow CrossFitters), you should have neither the time nor energy to minimize anyone else (or how they choose to work out). Someone high five me on that. Please.
For me, CrossFit and humility go hand and hand. Nearly every WOD is an exercise in being painfully aware of my deficiencies and weaknesses. In fighting that little (sometimes medium, often big) voice that says, Maybe you should just sneak out the side door and watch Sunday’s episode of Downton Abbey. In trying desperately to not compare myself to others. I’m not sure about the rest of the Universe, but I know it goes strongly against my inner guidance to repeatedly do things I am not comfortable doing. To share a strength platform with someone who can lift twice as much as me without breaking a sweat. To try new things, and then try more new things. To put at risk the significant orthodontic investment my lovely parents have made by holding a 36 lb. kettle bell directly over my face ( Turkish get ups make me want to American throw up). To willingly do things I am not good at. To attempt something, knowing there’s a high probability I will fail. To fail, over and over.
I have more stories about mortifying things — the many, many times I have missed a lift (I have gotten quite good at safely dropping barbells, to my credit), the time I somehow jumped and fell over a box, the time I got knocked over by a wall ball, the time I hit myself in the chin with a wall ball, the time I hit myself in the nose with a wall ball, the time I pinched my index finger in one of those weight clip things, the time I crumpled like a wet noodle on the last rep of over head squats, the time I got tangled in a jump rope when heading out the door for a 200m sprint, the time I had to go crouch down behind the dumpster after a WOD because I thought I might faint and/or expire – than I do about glorious things that I’ve accomplished while Crossfitting (Not a word? Not sure.).
But I know this: I am more humble than ever. And that can only be a good thing. [I feel like I am channeling Bill Belichick, talking about humble pie. Imagine if he went on Project Runway and just cut the sleeves off a million sweatshirts, and then won? Neither here, nor there. What else is new?]
I know this as well: I wouldn’t keep going back every week if I didn’t feel supported by my community. If I didn’t feel like it was okay to be a total boob and drop things every now and then. If I didn’t feel like it was okay to ask many, many questions. If I didn’t believe that setbacks are necessary for progress. A supportive community, whether its comprised of two people or two hundred people, has an incredible ability to motivate and empower.
I don’t care if you’re a yogi, a kayaker, a football player, a dancer, a runner or a shuffleboard player. We are all at our best when we lift one another up.
Also On Tap for Today:
- Fantastic interview with Richard Blanco, who will be the first Latino inaugural poet
- Making my fourth trip to the USPS this week (is it really only Wednesday?)
- Mary is like the CrossFit video whisperer – here’s another great find
Have you gotten (or given) a boost up lately?