My personal mantra for 2017 is ‘Stronger From the Inside Out.’ On January 1st, I took that ‘out’ part literally and I stepped way outside of my comfort zone.
For the past nine plus years, I have considered myself a runner…logging countless miles a week—with many 5k’s, several 1/2 marathons, and 4 full marathons under my belt. Running is something I can do with my eyes closed–so to speak. I don’t have to think about it…just let my legs do all the work. While there are moments of discomfort in running, I have been able to find an ease, a peace, and a calm through it. However, my relationship with running became a little timultuous. I know, that sounds dramatic. But it’s true. I hit a rough patch and boycotted running for months. I did not even want to see a running shoe.
I wanted to push myself beyond the pavement or the treadmill and challenge my body in a completely different way. After some research, I nervously and hesitantly walked into the CrossFit Kumba box (those unfamiliar with the verbiage, “box” is the space in which CrossFit is performed). One of the first things I said to the coach was, “I don’t want to get bulky.” He could not assure me that, but we did agree, I would achieve my quest of getting stronger.
CrossFit has completely changed the way I look at working out. I was accustomed to pacing myself and saving energy for the hill I knew was coming at mile 17. Or knowing how my body would feel after doing speed intervals on the treadmill. I had no idea what ‘box’ I was opening when I entered this CrossFit world. I hardly made it through my initial ‘on ramp’ workout. Never one to run from a challenge, I thought, “this is exactly what I need.”
My initial goal was to focus on the technique. I was not concerned about how much weight I was lifting. As my technique improves (it’s still not perfect), I add more weight and the coaches’ expertise helps me stay within a range that is doable for me. Besides, lifting ‘heavy,’ is all relative. I often surprise myself with what I am able to do in there, and honestly, that is what keeps me going back.
Let’s be real…CrossFit is not pretty and you don’t always look cute doing it lol. In the middle of every WOD (Workout of the Day), I hate myself and ask, “why do you keep doing this to yourself?” It hurts. It burns. It’s hard. But you know how the quote goes… “if it was easy, everyone would do it.”
My body has changed. Not only do I feel stronger, but I also look stronger. And dare I say, I am beginning to form a relationship with CrossFit?.?.? I work hard every time I step inside the box. I am determined to get through each workout. I certainly am not the first to finish, but I’m not always last.
Running and I have reconciled. It is still a part of my routine–I do it a few times a week. CrossFit is now just an addition to my regimen. I am doing my very best to get better at it. At the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about? That victory feels even sweeter when it is beyond your comfort zone. Here’s a challenge for you. Let go of the limitations. Take a step outside of that which is comfortable…and grow.