I have no idea what the real numbers are, but I’m going to guess that most of the world does not participate in CrossFit. I’m going to also guess that the percentage of old women around the world is even lower than simply the percentage for all people around the world. This is not a usual pursuit for old women.

I also know I’m not the only old woman who does this stuff. The CrossFit Games has a whole slew of women from my age group. I know because lately we’ve been revisiting WODs from the Opens of years past. And there were many, many women brave enough to participate and post scores for the entire world to see.

I am not that brave.

I am still brave enough to show up. I’ve been showing up for over four years now. Just today, we were talking about CrossFit memberships and the perseverance of the members. When I showed up on that hot August Saturday to try a class, I couldn’t even finish. I cried the first time I was there. Ryan said it was all scalable and as long as I showed up, they would work with me.

There were several people there that day, all doing better than I did. I’m the only one still there, still getting by as best as I can. Still showing up. I should be really proud of that. I didn’t quit. Not any of the times I’ve felt like just quitting. I always found an excuse to try again even in the face of abject failure and complete disappointment.

I began in the valley, far below sea level. I began to inch my way higher and higher. I’ve worked hard to push myself past obstacles which seemed totally insurmountable. Instead, I overcame them.

Not a single one of my one rep maxes is over the top impressive, generally speaking. They are all so much more than I had ever imagined possible for this old fart. I dreamed the impossible dream of some day finally being able to deadlift my body weight. Hell, I’m past that by almost 20%. I’m overachieving.

This week we did the workout from the 2015 Open. The last time I did 15.4 I got 40 reps. Not really two years later, but almost, I did it again. This time, doing it exactly as I did back then, I got 60 reps. I improved by 50% over the course of two years. That was freaking awesome and I’m thrilled and elated and I was ready to jump for joy except my heart rate was too high and I had to just sit and box breathe.

And yet, I’m still afraid to say anything too positive about my progress. I’ve reached the foothills. That’s all. I’ve climbed out of the valley and gotten farther than I dreamed possible. But up there, right in front of me, is still an entire mountain to be climbed and I don’t even have any hiking boots.

If I say with any conviction that I’m awesome, someone will point out that I’m just in the foothills and haven’t really done anything worthy of that tag. I’m certain they will. I even know who will be the person to say it. Me. I tell myself this all the time. I don’t know why because I certainly wouldn’t say it to anyone else. But, there I am, talking smack to myself.

I am terrified of success because it might not look like success to anyone else. But who the hell am I trying to impress? I’m the only person who needs to be happy with me. Anyone else happy with me is a bonus. I have to learn to like what I have accomplished. Especially considering how much that is.

Today’s WOD wasn’t nearly as impressive as Tuesday’s was. It wasn’t anything I could compare to an earlier time. It was one of those slog it out things and I scaled it appropriately to allow myself and my heart to get through it. I did. I was awesome. (Right?)

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So does chocolate. How many calories did 37 burpees burn? 

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