I am not Samantha Briggs (Women winner of the 2013 CrossFit Games). Hell, I’m not even Sharon Lapkoff (Masters Women [60+] winner of the 2013 CrossFit Games). In fact, I have RX’d exactly ONE CrossFit WOD since I started and that was because it was row for a bazillion meters and I didn’t quit rowing.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, an elite athlete.

I am so conflicted about my status as an athlete. I do shit most people don’t. Not just in my age bracket, but across the board – most people. When we take into consideration my age and gender, I’m way out in front on the athlete status thing.

Therein likes my problem. I recently got a PR. I have a boo-boo and squatting isn’t all that easy for me, but I got a full clean PR. I rang the bell. I was thrilled with this achievement. The rest of the 6 AM class was thrilled along with me. It was way cool.

I wouldn’t write it on the PR board.

My number was pitifully low. It was laughable. Hell, newborn infants can probably manage the weight. How embarrassing that after more than a year and damn half I’m still only able to move a weight that is less than my age. How could I advertise that on the PR board? It is humiliating.

Except that it isn’t. And no one is telling me that. The entire conversation took place inside my head. Coach Kim even said to make sure I put it on the board.

But I couldn’t. It was such a small number.

It was bigger than the first deadlift I managed. It was bigger than the first picture of me lifting that teeny tiny deadlift.

I went from not being able to do squat – literally – to managing to have weights on my weight as I did a full clean, squat included. Why am I ashamed of this?

On Wednesday, Chris managed a deadlift of 505#. I managed one a little lower. But it was more than my bodyweight. I lifted up more than I weigh! And I’m old enough to be Chris’s mother although I might not quite make old enough to be his grandmother. Why am I comparing myself to a young man who has spent his entire youth and young adulthood lifting weights?

I don’t even have an answer for all this nonsense. I talk myself out of my wins.

New people come in. They are younger than me and in no time at all zip past me as they continue to accomplish many things. Or they quit.

I have not quit. I have accomplished many things. I’m embarrassed by my slow progress. Very slow progress. Snails whiz past me, toss a few plates on a larger bar and knock out a 21-15-9 rep scheme. Me? I pant a lot. My heart rate goes too high. I’m unable to ever do anything as written.

I do so much more than I could a couple years ago. I am my competition and I’m kicking my ass. I have come so far, so slow. And … I vacillate between proud and chagrined.

I don’t want to go the CrossFit Games. That’s a job in itself and those who arrive have worked far harder and longer than me. It isn’t my goal. Most of the time, I don’t even expect to ever RX any WOD we have. They are simply beyond me. But sometimes I pretend I’m strong and capable and fit and an athlete. I hate to have to face the reality of being weak and an old coot.

All this CrossFit stuff is harder than it looks. Not because the lifts are hard or the WODs are ridiculous. It is harder than it looks because I have talked myself into the penalty box far more times than I have committed an infraction.

Maybe someday, I’ll get brave – and strong.