Beauty in Strength

In the CrossFit Box it’s all about you.  Go faster, harder, stronger and all quicker than you did it last time.  It might sound vain to claim that when I walk up to a WOD, I am in a FIGHT against myself.  I recently talked about how I found out how much you learn when you slow down and how obvious things become in those quiet moments.  Some days you can cruz on those quiet moments and other times the light starts finding the itsy bitsy cracks in that foundation and turns them into the Grand Canyon. Part of what I found in CrossFit was how far I could push myself.  I read in the  CrossFit Journal article linked below, the question asking if it takes a certain type of women to do CrossFit or does CrossFit make you into that person.  I believe it’s both. Just as I learn how insightful slowing down is, I also have learned a halt to a dead stand still isn’t comfortable either. Back to finding balance.

I have always considered myself a confident, independent woman and will take on any challenge you throw at me.  CrossFit is a perfect match for me.  I may not be the fastest or the strongest, but if you want someone to push till the end I will give you everything I have.  It is all up to YOU on how the WOD goes.  We all know it’s going to suck but the feeling you get when you can yell “TIME” and drop to the floor in sweet exhaustion and joy that you just tackled a beast is what keeps me coming back.  I feel like I’ve been chipping away at earning my “CrossFit Chick” member card over the last year and 4 months.  There have been many highs and lows, times when I questioned my desire, questioned my ability and questioned my place amongst those other athletes.

The CrossFit Journal,  Beyond the Body, defines what a CrossFit girl/chick is. I will tell you that EVERY single woman who steps into a CrossFit box and looks at the whiteboard and says “ok let’s go”, has already found that place beyond the body! Gaining strength over our mental challenges is a much larger gain than any barbell we can lift.

CrossFit Journal-Beyond the Body

CrossFit chicks swim upstream. They battle against all the images of  female physical fitness that have been implanted since birth. They fight the self-limiting mentality put upon their gender community. CrossFit chicks possess a confidence, commitment and sense of accomplishment that puts them at the forefront of their gender. They know the anxiety of stepping up to competition. They savor the taste of victory. They sweat, suck wind and give their all. They are part of a community that snuffs out the mantra of popular culture—the CrossFit community. (www.crossfit.com) required reading!

As I read this journal article it reminded me of how far off my path I had gotten.  This day was NOT a good day in my little CrossFit world.  I DO CROSSFIT! I am not supposed to let my mind cloud with doubt, fear, and frustration.  I went to training this morning with a purpose…. unfortunately injury interfered with my training.  The WOD included running, clapping pushups and a rope climb.  I can run.. I can clap in  midair and do a solid pushup…. I can climb a damn rope….  Not staying true to my stretching and Trigger Point, I fell to injury.   I have been unable to squat below parallel, unable to jump, run or do any other move that involves hip extension.  So after painfully pushing through a wimpy warmup I decided it was best to switch to an active rest WOD.  Like a ton of bricks the mental battle hit me.  I walked out of the gym, sat outside and tried to figure out WHAT THE HELL I was doing!?!?!?!?  I knew exactly who I needed to talk to.  I may be a CrossFit woman, but I felt like I was fading away like Michael J Fox in Back to the Future when his future is being altered before his eyes. (ok that was hopefully the last random example I use..haha). I saw myself a year ago, not only as I walked into the CrossFit box for the first time with a “kick ass” attitude as my Coaches would say, but also mentally TORN down.  So I sat there and tried to figure out how I could have come so far in that mental and emotional whirlwind and still get slapped down over a WOD.  My very own Popeye opened up my can of spinach for me…. as I stewed away at my dissapointment, he said ” So, how’s that working out for you?”  DAMN he was right. 

 

My teammate, my friend and my newest accountability partner Terilyn, stuck around and we  found some quiet time to train.  With the huge garage door rolled up and the sunlight as our only light.  The rings hung down….. time to TRAIN YOUR WEAKNESS.  Working through every variation of transition work, dip work, false grip pullups… we did it, we worked on muscle ups. That was a great perk in my day! Thank you girl for sticking with me!

 

Second attempt at a WOD.  Round 1 Push Press, Back Squat, Overhead Squat… oh yeah, I can’t squat.  I made myself sub out of squats because I just couldn’t mentally handle another failed attempt to train and finish a WOD.  Sometimes outside variables … those situations, people, and events that you can’t control sneak in through those tiny cracks again.  This time I had a witness and I didn’t like how I allowed all of these variables to leave a mark.  Grumble Grumble Grumble… allow yourself to feel bad, to be mad, to GET PISSED OFF.  THEN, LET IT GO! 

One day on a max Deadlift effort I stood almost nose to nose to Ashley and told her exactly what I knew she needed to hear to lift that bar. She got a PR that night.  We almost cried in the emotion that was exchanged in that short moment.  This Saturday that I had been beat down, I walked across the gym to hear those exact words casually said to me. WHOA. That stopped me in my tracks.  What was actually said isn’t what’s important.  What is important, is the moment that we all have that makes us realize we are stronger than the itsy bitsy cracks in our committment.

Third attempt: WOD was told to me on that moment.  I immediately felt myself rise above it.  When you feel supported in every way, it’s amazing how your strength comes from within.  

10 Rounds: 15 Deadlifts 155#, 15 pushups. Great strength builder on my 1st pull … 5 rounds down then we decreased the weight to keep the metcon component.  HOLY CRAP…………… I”M BACK! 

 

Finding strength beyond what your body can lift, push, pull is what true beauty is.  That is what I define as a CrossFit Woman.  I will continue to work toward any title that aids me in finding my strength beyond my body.  Thanks to my own Popeye and knowing when to make me eat my spinach.

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Beauty in Strength

  1. Shannon you are truely inspiring! I have been facing some road blocks emotionally, which in turn affects me physically. This blog truely touched me, it has opened my eyes again, made me remember what my goals are and will hopefully recharge me. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Pingback: Friday 1.28.11 « Crossfit South Bend blog

  3. Shannon, thank you so much for your post. I just moved from Boston to California 2 months ago, and since I haven’t been back in a Crossfit gym (because we’re starting a business and the finances are not yet there). I have been trying to tell myself its okay that I’m not there again, that I can do Crossfit-like things at the gym….but your post reminded me why its not the same…its that community…its the people in your face supporting and pushing you through those last “impossible” reps. THank you so much for the inspiration. Loved it

    • So happy you found my blog and actually took something away from it. It seems I just put my rants up and then someone actually reads it. haha. I too linked up to your blog and have enjoyed it! Keep CF’ing! ~Shannon

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