I am climbing the mountain of CrossFit. It has no top limit because there is always, always, always the possibility of more – more weight, more reps, less time. There is room for continual improvement. There is no limit to how far we can go.

And that’s my problem. I’m in the foothills struggling to climb an insurmountable obstacle. This mountain has no peak.

I started down in the valley, below sea level, and worked incredibly hard to get to these foothills. What I do today would have stunned me in times past. I am awesome. Maybe. See? I know I’ve come really far and achieved many things. I also know there is a whole mountain in front of me.

I recently got a one rep max on a clean and jerk and it was a whopping 73#. You can read that any way you like. It was a huge improvement over my first clean and jerk which was a poorly executed one done with a PVC pipe becaise I couldn’t get the 22# bar over my head. And I executed a good form clean and jerk with 73#.

But, the WOD weight for women on a clean and jerk is 95#. That’s not the top weight for women to do a clean and jerk, but what is expected during a WOD with repeated lifts. So perhaps the “whopping” up there has a sarcastic read to it.

Comparison is the thief of joy. But CrossFit, according to CrossFit, is all about comparison. Write your score on the board. My box has a penalty if you don’t tattle on yourself and put your score up there. This is something we would never do to our children at school. I wouldn’t have minded there. I would have had if not THE highest score, at least up there near the top. Here, I’m usually near or at the bottom.

We even have a website where we can record our scores and it posts them to a “Leader Board” where there are two leaders, one male and one female, and the rest are not the leaders. I’m not supposed to say losers here, but …

Inside my head are two competing ideas. I’m awesome for doing this crap. I’m old and feeble and have heart rate issues and I keep on with the work. I’ve come from the depths of the valley into the sunshine of the foothills. I’ve worked hard and consistently. And then there is the other side. There is this mountain in front of me. A mountain I will never climb to the top because I will not work as hard as it takes to get to the top and because I’m old and feeble and have heart rate issues.

There is only one person who has said, after I say something like I just got a one rep max clean and jerk of 73#, “Well, the WOD weight is 95#.” That person is me. No one has ever been anything more than supportive and encouraging. Except me. I’m the only one obsessed with this mountain in my face.

I have no idea how to appreciate myself. I’m terrified someone else is going to see the mountain and say, “That’s not so good, chicklette. You aren’t even up to WOD weights here. Can’t you do better?” The only person saying that is good old me.

There are blogs and videos and they all celebrate the awesome achievements of people who are way more committed to this than I am. I’m guessing the woman who at my age did a 127# thruster works a lot harder at this than I am willing to work. She probably spends a bit more than four hours a week at the gym. She probably doesn’t eat chocolate every day. She probably has a whole different attitude about the mountain and she may have never even visited the valley below, let alone wallowed there for more than a decade.

I love my workouts and how much I can accomplish. I’m thrilled with how far I’ve come. I’m terrified someone is going to point out that I’m giving myself a trophy without having earned it. I can’t even do the WOD weights.

But I didn’t die, which is a plus. I didn’t quit, which is amazing.