There are certain inevitabilities out there; life, love, food, U2 being self-righteous, death and the byproduct of a Crossfit workout being an incessant need to talk about the workout. I respect those inevitabilities just as I understand the reader's need to avoid dealing with those inevitabilities by searching out strange blogs on the internet, but this blog post will be about Crossfit.
A few years ago I wasn't all that happy with me. My health wasn't the best and my physical well being was at what I honestly think of as the beginning of a long downhill slide. I'm not sure how long it was going to take, but I definitely had fears of a long physical decline and an even lonelier home stretch before death. I knew I had to change. After a little experimentation with DDPYoga and some running I found Crossfit. I don't know why, but the combination of Olympic lifting, aerobic exercise and a great community surrounding my home gym really hooked me. I've been there for two years. This isn't the story about how I began Crossfit, instead this is the story of how I returned to it.
Last October I got hurt. Not at the gym, but at home. A perfect storm of stress, illness and an attempt at a 375 lb deadlift left me with external hemorrhoids. Disgusting, I know. Painful, indeed. A few days of pain and one day of rather heavy bleeding later I was in surgery. My doctor drew a picture to explain what was happening. I still don't understand what she did exactly, but it's worth sharing.
Either way, I was injured, I was down, I was hurt. My surgeon gave me a timetable to be pain-free and able to resume physical activity around December first. A month. An entire month.
For those of you who don't understand, a week off is a long time in Crossfit. I live in fear of that sort of break in time. Your body forgets about the repetition of movements and your lungs forget what to do after learning how to take in the oxygen needed while your heart is beating fast. It's painful to resume after a break, and I avoid it when possible. That's a week off, and now I'm hearing a month off. I didn't know what to do.
The month wore on. I spent it trying to return to work, dealing with other stress and learning how to cope with post-surgery pain. Some days I was normal, others I spent in a Percocet haze. By the time December rolled through I was ready to reclaim my routine.
It didn't exactly work out that way.
I grew frustrated with how much strength I'd lost, how bad my already-shameful cardio had become, and I had fallen back into living and eating rather unhealthily. December came and went with me barely going back to the gym.
January arrived and I began to recommit myself to a healthy schedule. I've only just begun getting back to my pre-surgery ways. For the longest time I came to the gym and didn't know what was holding me back, but I knew something was. Then one day, I realized that a combination of fear and lack of accomplishments had conspired to slow me up and dissuade me from committing to my health and fitness again.
Then, the deadlift happened.
Ignore the bad music. Ignore the Christmas tree that is still up for some reason. Ignore the yellow shorts. Ignore the headband. Ignore my tongue sticking out. Concentrate instead on the 385 lb deadlift I pulled there. It's so sweet that I forget how obscene my gut looks in that white t-shirt.
The romantic in me sees that video and sees the accomplishment in it and smiles. The romantic sees me walk away at the end after dropping the weight and knows that I'm not walking away from the bar. Instead I'm walking away from the pain, the stress, the surgery, the recovery, the sitting in a shell on my couch, the bad tv, the fear, the isolation and all of the other stuff that my injury gave me. What am I walking towards? Maybe more accomplishments, maybe being stronger, maybe a flatter stomach.
Let's hope I'm headed towards nicer shorts at least.
This concludes the Crossfit entry of the blog for now.