Earlier this year, I made a promise to myself to at least try all of the things I'd wanted to try but had been too scared/intimidated/nervous about trying before. For too long, I had let the "I can't" in my mind rule me and had sequestered myself away in my room. So, I got a tattoo (more on that later). I went to electronic music concerts and danced my little heart out. I went ice skating twice and didn't fall either time. I tried to make new female friends (why is this always difficult?) and made it a point to be more social. I started a style blog. I decided to take a summer class. I also started doing CrossFit with a local group 4-5 times a week.
CrossFit has been a great thing for me physically. I have done things that I never thought I'd be able to do and met people who challenge and inspire me on a daily basis. I feel healthier and know that I will continue to grow in strength, skill, and ability as time wears on. But...I still fight myself on a daily basis. I am often beating up on myself mentally for the things I cannot do well or cannot do at full strength yet. As inspiring as my friends are, it is hard for me to watch them lift heavier things than me at a faster pace. I am embarrassed and often frustrated that I am not faster/stronger/more agile/able to endure more.
But hold on....isn't doing this regularly going to improve all of those things? Yes, absolutely. It would sure be a hell of a lot easier to improve if I wasn't constantly criticizing myself, though. So what if I can't do a strict pull-up yet? I will eventually, and for now I should be proud of my ability to do those that I can. So what if I'm lifting 30-40 pounds less than women of similar size? I'll get there in my own time and now is the time to focus on proper form and technique. So what if I run slower than someone else? At least I am showing up and putting in the work.
I need to show up to my morning workout with a smile on my face, grateful that I am healthy and capable of taking this on. I need to keep going even when I think I can't. I need to tell the "I can't/you're too slow/you're too weak" voice to shove it and get on with what I'm doing.
Annie Thorisdottir just won the women's competition of the CrossFit Games for the second consecutive year. As impressive as her strength and endurance are, what impresses me most about her is that she smiles ALL.THE.TIME. During the workouts? Yep. Once she's completed a WOD and perhaps not placed first? Yep. She has an amazing attitude about all of it.
I'm hoping that something like that can be learned, even after 28 years of being hard on myself.
"Let me think about the
people I care about the most and how when they fail or disappoint me, I
still love them, I still give them chances, and I still see the best in
them. Let me extend that generosity to myself." - Frank Ze