Facing the dreaded box jump in full contemplation. Here I am in the 2012 Open. I don’t normally mind box jumps, but I was uncomfortably spent at this moment. With a chance to qualify for the Southwest Regionals, I had a little extra incentive to dig deep. To go to “that place.”
I CAN go to “that place.” That place has served me well when performance and elite athletics is what I was after in life. Using mind over matter to separate my physical self and push beyond what is at all comfortable and achieve more than I thought I could – it’s a great feeling when you have performance goals.
I had no intention of that type of push at the 2012 Open. It was my first time participating and I signed up for fun and for the experience. But, after a few workouts I was surprised to see myself sitting in a position to go to regionals. Internally I thought, “it would be cool to qualify and then happily decline – just to say I made it.” So, to “that place” I went, but rather than decline the trip I found myself packing my turquoise shorts, my pink shoes and my family up to road trip it to Castle Rock.
Thankful for the Regional opportunity, I was back to contemplation in 2013. Not contemplation over the box jump, but contemplation over participating in the Open. I was “done” pushing to the point of body breakdown. I had responsibilities as a mom, a wife and a small business owner and I couldn’t afford to risk injury, exhaustion or sickness over a handful of silly workouts.
But, I’m a gym rat – always have been! The dirty gym smell, chalk covered skin, and tight workout clothes have been a part of my life since I was 3 years old. While many people in my town do CrossFit to help them on the trails, on their bikes or on their skies, I do it CrossFit because I love lifting, body weight movement and simply “working out.” Even though I was done pushing, it didn’t take much to persuade this gym rat to sign up again – for fun of course. It’s just another series of workouts, right?
Without a goal, or chance, of advancing this time (CrossFit was exploding with incredibly fit people), I still found myself going to “that place” in 2013. That out-of-body, slightly delusional place, where the room gets cloudy – have you been there? Hanging on for every extra muscle-up (kind of). It’s a “competition,” so giving it all I’ve got is what I should always do. Or, should I?
The camaraderie and social support still outweighed the physical beatdown, so I was quick to sign back up in 2014. Thankful that I participated the year before and feeling good, I pushed when I wanted to and played it smart when I needed to.
In 2015, I found myself sidelined with low back issues. I thought I might miss the rush, the adrenaline and the challenge, but I actually loved just going to cheer on others. I loved watching my friends and the community achieve things they didn’t think they were capable of. Some overcame a fear of putting themselves out there, some found an inner strength they didn’t know was inside them, and some hit personal bests.
Now it’s 2016. Participate and support? Or, just support? For me, the dilemma is not for fear of putting myself out there – I actually like the rush that brings. It’s not for fear of what others will think of my performance – I have nothing to prove to anyone else. And it’s not for fear of where I’ll end up on the leaderboard.
It IS for fear of crossing a line I don’t need to cross anymore. I’m not as strong, not as fast and not as agile as I used to be, but I’m still capable of more reps and more loading than is probably “healthy” for me right now. After high-intensity training most of my life, I want to make sure I’m in a “healthy-fit” zone and not a “sick-fit” zone. I want to be a healthy gym rat for as long as possible.
Well, it’s time to get my sprint on… the Open is just a week away. And I HAVE signed up. Why wouldn’t I? “It’s THE community event of the CrossFit world.” And “the world’s premiere test of fitness.” But, I’m not participating to test my fitness.
I AM participating to…
1) be a part of this awesome community!
2) set an example for my kids.
3) challenge myself (to avoid crossing the line and to stay in my happy place).
What brings me here may be very different from what brings you here. But, that’s what I love about the Open. Everyone comes to it with a different background, a different purpose, and a different story. And then, we throw down together!!!
I want to embrace each workout, listen to my body, and exercise with some of my favorite people? When it comes down to it, that’s what we’re doing right – “exercising”? I’ve got a smile on my face – let’s do this.