Tom Hanks told us in A League of their Own there’s no crying in baseball. The saying holds true for crossfit, there is no crying in crossfit. However I don’t care what the rules are I’ll cry if I want to! Anyone that knows anything about crossfit or even hears the word crossfit will automatically say, “Oh I’ve heard of that crossfit stuff, it seems hard.” That’s because it is hard. Mark my words, crossfit is tough, eventually it will break you down enough to make you cry and if it hasn’t then you’re made of steel or are some kind of robot. I mean wouldn’t anyone want to cry if someone said, “Ok, you’re going to do 30 burpees and 30 kettlebell swings for 5 rounds,” and then said “p.s you have you do it as fast as you can.” That makes me want to cry just typing that! At some point you will cry in your crossfit journey, and then laugh that you cried and then I’ll blog about it.
Personally I have never cried during a workout, I have however, fought back tears with all my might and cried in my car (there is a difference). Two times I can specifically remember thinking, “don’t cry, don’t cry, you’re ok and then being like, there’s no crying in crossfit so man up!” First was when I was learning double unders. I whipped myself so hard on the back of the legs my eyes welled up with tears and some sort of squeaky sound came out of my mouth in replace of tears (so attractive, don’t worry I already know). The second time was when I had to learn how to climb a rope for the Battle of the Barracks competition. Heights scare me to my very core, and the fact there is nothing between you, the rope and the ground is a slightly alarming. I can recall the conversation between Curtis and me; it went something like this,
Me: what happens if I fall off the rope? (Insert panic voice)
Curtis: Are you planning on letting go of the rope?
Me: hopefully not
Curtis: well, don’t let go of the rope, and you won’t fall.
Me: ok thanks! (The voice in my head, “I think I’m going to die.”).
But amidst the pure terror of learning how to rope climb there is perseverance. Especially since the rope climb in the competition was 3 feet shorter than CFAA’s ropes. Once I found out the ropes in competition were only 15 feet compared to CFAA’s 18-foot rope I only trained to climb 15 feet (this is what we call beating the system… am I right?!) So I actually have not been up to the top of CFAA’s rope. But don’t ask me to climb it, because I’d probably cry…
My favorite story about crying in crossfit comes from my dear friend Stephanie Williams. Stephanie had been coming to CFAA for only short while, referred by Ashley Horton, she was determined to become great at crossfit. It was during a workout which involved kettlebell swings that Stephanie began to experience pain in her lower back. After telling Curtis the discomfort she felt he told her to stop and try something else or just to stop all together. Hell-bent on doing the workout, Stephanie expressed she wasn’t going to stop, nor was she going to stop doing kettlebell swings, “I just want to know how to not make my back hurt!” Curtis, being a safe and concerned coach, looked at Stephanie and said, “if you don’t stop what you’re doing, you’re going to get hurt, and if you want to get hurt well then you might as well just leave.” Stunned at the fact Curtis had told her to leave tears immediately built up, and while trying to choke them back the flood gates inevitably opened… (insert the voice you make when you’re trying to talk but you can’t because of how hard you’re crying) “All I want to do is get through the workout and just do something else that doesn’t hurt my back! I am not leaving!”
The way Stephanie, hilariously, describes Curtis’s reaction is that he cautiously steps back from her and tells her in a very soft and supportive voice, “why don’t you take a deep breath and put the kettlebell down.” The look a man gets when a girl, no matter how long or how well he knows her, starts to cry is the same. It’s as if his face just drops, the world starts spinning and immediately starts to sweat. Watching a man deal with a crying woman and seeing the shear discomfort he is feeling will forever entertain me. Needless to say, Stephanie didn’t leave and continues to kick ass in workouts with no back pain!
I love hearing stories of peoples meltdowns because meltdowns create turning points and inevitable triumph. I remember watching Stephanie on her third or fourth workout hardly being able to lift the bar to now being able to split jerk over 100lbs. I feel like that wouldn’t have happened without a quick cry session in between. Because we are all human, we all feel things, we are bound to cry at some point.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”- Martin Luther King, Jr.