Saturday, May 4, 2013

Why I Cross Fit

Amongst my friends, I am the only one who does Crossfit. Of course I have made quite a few friends along the way but my inner circle of friends (including my husband) don't do it.    I go very early in the morning.  My alarm goes off at 4:55 a.m. I literally leap out of bed because I don't want to wake up anyone else in the house. Not because I am respecting their sleep (God knows they do not respect mine), but more because I am respecting my time.  From 4:55 a.m.- 6:30 a.m. it is all me.  Lately I have had to gingerly get out of bed because I have one or two kids surrounding me like a cocoon. I get asked a lot how I can get up that early. Its easy when it is my singular solace in the day and you better believe it is worth waking up for.

Before I leave I have a ritual, I feed the dogs, set the coffee, and set the breakfast table. I dress in the bathroom with the clothes I've laid out the previous night.  I can't remember the drive to the gym because I'm not fully awake until right before I walk in the door. This is a good thing, because if I were, I could convince myself to turn the car around and go back home.  But by the time I enter the gym any mental hesitation isn't a thought worth entertaining. And yes, everyday there is a slight hesitation because I know, that no matter what, I will not be able to go through this workout half committed.  CF requires your full attention. First, you may get hurt if you are not paying attention. Secondly, there is a lot of counting reps and I will be damned if I am going to do ONE more rep then necessary.
I will admit, when I first started almost a year ago, I did it for vanity reasons. I wanted to see more definition and I was frustrated that despite my daily workouts, I wasn't seeing results from my efforts.
When I walk in to the gym,  I am free from pretense and unlike any other time of the day working in publicity, I don't have to be "ON". Its me, without makeup, just ready to push myself physically and psychologically.   If you are not familiar with this type of workout (this is for you mom) here is a link  crossfit. I can't possibly explain it.

All of this time previously spent at the gym and diligently watching what I ate was because I was trying to be skinny, and when I would look in the mirror at night I didn't like what I saw because it wasn't what I wanted to see. When I had the realization that "skinny" wasn't in my DNA I began to appreciate what I have and have even found that there is beauty in strength.

I'm your average 36 year old married working mother of 4. So Why do I CrossFit? I do it to build confidence in my ability. At work whether it is said or unsaid, I feel that I am inadequate.  I'm not a Ph.D, and I'm certainly not an expert in anything that any one of my colleagues would find interesting.  This belief weighs heavily on my shoulders and I carry it to every meeting I attend. BUT when I'm working out, and nobody there has a clue about what happened at work the previous day, the thought that I'm inadequate never occurs to them. In fact, quite the opposite.  Today I was working to achieve a personal record.  PERSONAL record. That is what is great about CF. You compete only with yourself.  So my PR to beat was 195 lbs.  Today I dead lifted 205 lbs.  If I can't be 100% proud of what my body looks like, at least I can be 100% proud of what it can do.
That is more than my husband weighs and more than what all four of my sons weigh (combined)  And don't think I don't think about that. You have heard the stories of Moms lifting cars to free trapped children, well God forbid if you are ever in that situation, I'm the girl to call.

When I walked into work this morning and my boss criticized a choice I made a week ago, I didn't believe him. Why? Because in the back of my mind I knew that I could dead lift him, and that this morning I felt like I was capable of anything.
I mentioned earlier that I push myself psychologically. For some it is yoga, other's is running but my mediation is this. I push myself to places that I didn't think were possible.  I sweat out any doubt and although there are times when I want to quit, my workout partners and coach are quick to scream encouraging words.  If they have that much confidence that "I can do it" then I better believe I can.  I find myself repeating "you can do this, you can do this, you can do this" but that mantra doesn't stop when I leave the gym.  It continues all day and that is a pretty cool mantra to be telling yourself.

Over the past year I have dealt with the pain of losing a loved one, thankfully I found that surrendering my mental pain for brief but beneficial physical pain eased what I was feeling on the inside.   I have found that sweat not only purges my body of impurities, but also my head of anything I don't need occupying my thoughts.

My intention to begin Crossfit was to look better, I had no idea that  the changes in my body would be an added bonus to something that would give me the strength in more ways than one.


  1. Love this article. LOVE CrossFit. Love my CrossFit box and peeps. I truly believe everyone should try it, but I also believe it's not for everyone. But you can't knock it before you try it!! I'm learning to embrace my fit self and be proud of the shape I'm in. CrossFit has changed my mental self as well as my physical self. I push myself to do more/be better...

  2. Thank you Ellen. I love it too and you should be proud! Just getting through a WOD is an accomplishment worth being proud of. Keep up the good work and thanks for reading!