Friday, October 12, 2012

Embracing the Suck

I realised this morning that CrossFit has given me perhaps the greatest gift......... that I can do anything. Yes I may not be fastest, strongest or prettiest but I can now try anything I want to do. 
I have a confidence and strength within me with is now just being realised.  I’m not necessarily talking about climbing Mt Everest in the physical sense, but literally every single day I get to tackle my own Everest’s and conquer them just for taking on the challenge. Every time I try something new or push myself a little further I win, no matter the outcome on the score sheet. I win
My body is now more prepared than ever to meet the demands I put upon it. I was watching people yesterday struggle up the stairs to try and make the train, and I realised that I was no longer one of those people. I know that if I needed to I could race up those stairs and run down the platform to make a train. The fact is I would do it without giving it a moment’s thought. It hasn’t always been that way. In a lifetime gone by I would see that I clearly couldn’t make the train and would want to avoid the stairs so I would wait for a later train. As I watched that train pass me by I didn’t realise at the time I was also watching my life pass me by.
Now I actively choose the stairs rather than the free ride down the escalator, yes even on the days when I wince with every step down them.  I don’t dread the fire drills at work when I have to walk down countless flights of stairs. I know if I need to I can run at least 5k to get somewhere if I don’t have other options. I know I can pick up someone who has fallen down and help them.  My body is no longer weak & hiding me from myself. It is out there living life. Waiting for the next challenge.

Whenever I was invited to try something new or out of my comfort zone I would usually find a way to avoid it. I mean, why be uncomfortable right? CrossFit has taught me that I actually like to be uncomfortable. That in itself is a good thing because CrossFit makes me feel uncomfortable every single day.  There is not one day I have walked into that box and felt comfortable with the workout.  The day I do that is the day I know I’ve stopped trying hard enough. Watching the CrossFit Games coverage there was a comment from one of the athletes, Patrick Burke, that stuck with me, something along the lines of ‘I like the ‘suck’, the hard stuff, and I can hang out there for a while’. I agreed with it, that even when it hurts, and the workout sucks, I can keep going and hang out in that space, not immediately thinking this is too hard and stop.  I like the hurt & yes I like the ‘suck’. 
I like being challenged, trying new things that people say maybe I can’t do. I like trying. And I now view failure as learning not as a reason to quit. Big deal I couldn’t do Turkish Get Up with weight last night when everyone else was, because I know I’ll keep working on it until I do! And I will get there. Sure the ole ego took a hit at the time, but that’s part of the process of growing.
The last 5mths have seen me embark and tackle head on the things that scare me and that I have avoided. I started to run again, and I am improving. I actually went and asked for help with it, which is something I would never have done in the past. My motivation & reasons for wanting to improve were because of CrossFit. But the results have impacted positively on so many other areas of my life.  It is one of the rare times I am doing something because I WANT to. I have chosen it. Not because someone tells me I should or because it’s what everyone else is doing. It’s for me, for my goals. I have the most amazing support when it has come to my running, with my coach and I feel like for the first time it’s ok to be me. I’m safe in that space to do what I need to do. No pressure to be fast, or competitive or good, just to be me. I give it my very best effort and that’s all I can do.
I’ve put myself out there and entered CrossFit events. It’s always nerve wracking and a scary experience but each time I come away learning something new about myself. Something new I can apply to my life & my training. And new piece of the puzzle that is me is formed. I feel stronger and richer for having tested myself and performed.  Again for me it’s not about being the best or about winning, it’s simply about doing something I previously never would have been capable of.  It’s about finding a limit and then stretching it some.
It’s no secret I’ve taken some big hits this year. Many have been brutal and forced me to question a lot about the sort of person I am, how I am perceived and what I want my life to be about. There’s been breakdowns, meltdowns, heartache and more tears than I care to count. I said in an earlier post that coming through the fires of hell that has been my year, has served to fortify & strengthen me, even when I felt my weakest. I have grown and learnt, and continue to do so. I’ve learnt very much about whom I need around me and who I don’t. I’m learning to recognise those who are genuine and who are with me for the long haul and those who are just here for the free ride.  I’ve learnt about what I am prepared to accept. I’ve also learned I don’t need to be liked by the world and I certainly don’t need their validation & approval. I know who matters to me and who I matter to. Those are the opinions and thought I rely on and am guided by.  It’s been difficult but I am getting better.
I’m learning people will always judge you and they balance it with their own perceptions within their own life. And as much as I don’t understand it at times and don’t like the outcomes, I am learning I can’t control it. Their path is completely different to mine and maybe our lives were only meant to intersect for a blink in time. People leave you and you leave them. Where my conflict happens is that I always try to leave people better than how I found them, but sometimes they don’t feel that way. However, as a very good friend said to me this week, I can’t ‘fix’ everyone. I can only fix me. I need to find what sets me free.  I have been giving that a lot of thought.
With those words ringing in my ears, this week I have embarked on decluttering my life, removing the dead wood and shutting out the noise. Removing the toxic and that which does not serve my body, mind & soul.  I don’t play the games anymore. I have no time. I am busy working on building a better me.  I have given a lot of time to thought & reflection this week on who it is I am and what it is I want. At the moment my life feels like a giant ocean of turmoil, but I am focused on riding out the waves.  I can come out the other side and I will.
My life with CrossFit is infinitely better than without it. CrossFit has brought me so much to my life; it has taught me so many things about myself. It gives me a place to find peace & solace when the rest of the world crumbles around me. It gives me a community filled with acceptance & support. It gives me space to be challenged and grow. Through all of this CrossFit has given me the best gift ever...... Me.

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