Today. Ohhhhh, today. I don’t know why we call them Manic Monday’s, it should really be Terrible Tuesday. I think that Mondays find us all comatose from the weekend and not really in the mood to do business. So then that brings Tuesday, when we all go ‘oh shit, I didn’t do anything yesterday, I better get on it today’. And that’s what brings you Terrible Tuesday.
Thank sweet baby Jesus for CrossFit.
It really has become my outlet. When I’m stressed, there’s CrossFit. When I’m pissed, there’s CrossFit. When Lumberjack Lookin’ Dude is driving me insane, there’s CrossFit. It makes me super awesome to be killing what my coaches serve up for me.
Today though, I did not kill it. I didn’t even come close to killing it. I finished last.
I know a lot of people are afraid to start because they think they’ll be terrible at it, and everyone will make fun of them, they’ll embarrass themselves amongst all the hard bodied athletes that adorn the box mats. What if I can’t do it? What if I come in last, and everyone is staring at me, and I look like an idiot?
I’ll tell you what happens.
First, let me tell you about my recent CrossFit promotion. Our box practices OPT training, which (to save you the long story) just means that we are broken into different groups (read more about OPT training here) that do different exercises. It’s meant to help us master movements and techniques, and then start moving you up to harder things to make you stronger, faster, better. Last week, I got moved up from Fitness (the starter level) to Being (the mid level). This is pretty terrifying because I was getting comfortable in Fitness. I felt like I had so much more to work to do and master before I ever even considered getting moved up to Being. Remember, I was the 217 lb chick trying desperately to keep up, jumping rope with an imaginary rope just 6 months ago. I didn’t think I was ready. My coaches, however, thought differently.
So here I am in Being, terrified to now be in a group of the people that I stared at, like a creeper, with my mouth open in amazement. They’re good y’all. Like G-O-O-D. So now a whole new level of insecurity rises because I can’t yet do toes-to-bar, rope climbs and pull-ups- all things that this group does on the reg.
Fast forward to today’s WOD that involved lots of running, bear crawls and burpee pull-ups. Yeah, you heard me right- burpees with PULL-UPS. Um, shit? Shitty shit shit. First, I know I’m going to run behind because I am the world’s slowest runner. No joke, I showed our friends how I run this weekend and they thought I was kidding. Granted, they’re marathon runners, but still. I may have also been slightly (or a lotly) inebriated when I was demonstrating, but the principle is the same: I’m slow. Bear crawls I can do, but how the hell was I going to do burpees that ended in a pull-up when I CAN’T DO A FREAKING PULL-UP? I have to use a band in order to get this bodacious bod up over that bar- how the hell was this going to work?
This is where scaling comes in. I think before, when I was in Fitness, I would have scaled down to do ring rows. They’re not child’s play- ring rows are no joke and man do they work a ton of muscles. But your goal is to get to strict pull-ups. So I figured I would easily scale it down to a burpee and a ring row (see, there are options!)
Coach Sam wasn’t having it. She wanted me to push myself, and even though my time was going to suck major nuts, she wanted me to get the pull-ups with a band in. Here comes the mental tantrum- Whhhhaaaat? Whhyyy???? Noooooooooooooo. Dammit, dammit, dammit! I hoped she would cave after looking at my overly dramatic faces of exasperation, but she just shook her head and depleted my soul. Just kidding, she didn’t really deplete my soul, but I turned with my puppy dog eyes, to get set up for my WOD thinking of how I could fall and make it look like I slipped and sprained my ankle on ‘accident’.
Oh man- This WOD sucked. My time, did in fact, suck. It was Hoover bad. No, no…it was DYSON bad. Yeah. Yeah. Things just got serious when I go busting out a Dyson. I have a hard time getting my unbendy hips to get my foot up in the band, so every time I did a burpee, I had to struggle like a little baby turtle trying to turn over to get my foot up and do a pull-up. I was leaving for my last run when the group was coming back in for theirs. I knew I was going to be last and started to mildly panic with the pace of my feet on the pavement. Everyone is going to be watching. Everyone is going to see me struggle. I ran back in, with everyone wrapping up their rep and turning to face me. I dropped down to a bear crawl and I had cheers all around. I dragged myself off the ground to do my remaining burpees and I had a whole group of people around me. Not one person was laughing at me. Or looking at me like I sucked. Or that I didn’t belong. My coaches were there, my fellow 4:30ers were there, my other box mates were there, counting down my burpees and to salvation- the end of this effing WOD. When I finally hit that last- HALLELUJAAAHHHHHHH- pull-up I had fist bumps all around. I had compliments about my consistent pace, my sexy bear crawl, and the fact that I did my pull-ups with a smaller resistance band than I ever have before.
Today I was last. Tomorrow it will be someone else. The day after that, it could be me again. Regardless of who finishes last or who puts up the least reps, the outcome is still the same- a community of support that makes you feel like a rockstar even when you were the triangle player at the back of the band. So please, don’t be afraid to be the last to finish. It actually makes you feel the best about yourself.