Today’s the first day this week that I haven’t been in pain. Not from the horrible cold I have or the allergies that wreak havoc in Texas each spring. I’m sure those aren’t helping, but this is a CrossFit sore. If you’ve ever tried CrossFit, you know what I mean.
Due to a wrist injury, I haven’t been going to the Box (CrossFit’s gym) but I’ve continued to lift and run; so, when my daughter decided to put on a competition for a class project I figured I was still in good enough shape to give it a try. She had a ton of help from some amazing people at our Box and they all decided to make this a partner competition. My husband is really enjoying the whole competitive side of CrossFit but I really hate it. I don’t want to mislead you. I am competitive. Too much so sometimes. But it’s usually in my own brain. Actually participating in a competition that is judged makes me really nervous and uncomfortable but Steve has been asking me to do one for a while and this seemed like a good opportunity. So we signed up.
Turns out, doing three WODS in one day isn’t the smartest thing to do when you haven’t even been doing one a day. By the way, WOD is another CrossFit word for “Workout of the Day”. (Why can’t they just use regular words?) Anyway, it was brutal!! We had a great time supporting our daughter, raising money for a good cause, hanging out with friends and challenging our bodies to do more than we thought they could; but, (in case you didn’t hear me the first time) IT WAS BRUTAL!
As I looked through the pictures of the day, one in particular caught my eye. Our precious friends, Jessica and Levi, were doing a partner dead lift and their faces stopped me in my tracks. I just stared at the picture for a minute or two and this thought hit me.
“Life can be BRUTAL! But when you partner with someone else, the pain and the burden is easier to carry.”
Maybe it’s because I know their story and that this past year has been pretty brutal for them. Maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about spiritual warfare and fighting hard for people I love that are being pummeled by life. I don’t know what it was, but I knew that the intensity in their faces needed to be the type of intensity that I have when I’m walking through difficulties of life – whether they are my own difficulties or those someone else is having to carry. We’re created for community and we need one another. That’s one of the best parts about CrossFit and that truth was physically expressed on Saturday as we lifted and ran and pushed one another through some tough workouts.
Friends are a blessing and a necessity in life, but this thought is more deeply felt in marriage. You can’t be married any length of time and not have struggles and you can’t stay married if you aren’t fighting for the same thing. We were doing some premarital counseling the other day when Steve told the couple that we have had 17 happy years of marriage. The other 8 were, what we affectionately call, the years from hell. It’s true. They were hell. But on this side of that hell is a marriage that I wouldn’t trade for the world. We wouldn’t have made it if, at any given time, one of us hadn’t had this kind of intensity to fight for our marriage. I don’t know that we ever had it at the same time but God is good to have breathed that determination into one of us at each difficult point in life. We took turns I guess. We partnered in pain like we partnered in this competition. When one was broken and had nothing to give, the other picked up the charge and kept going….and I’m grateful.
No one teaches young people about determination and perseverance in the face of adversity anymore. When things get tough, our society has taught them to cut their losses and run. We do it in relationships, in fitness, in nutrition, in work, in school – you name it. It’s as if we think we’re to good for anything that causes sacrifice, pain or struggle. The reality is that we don’t become our best until we learn to sacrifice for something, endure pain and struggle for something better than what we already have. I just want to shake people until they understand that anything worth having doesn’t come easy. It’s worth the fight. It really is.
I set out to write a post about CrossFit for the fitness section of this blog. Looks like things always go back to faith. It usually does. But I can tell you this. You need to train your body. Do something. Start moving. Get stronger. Don’t let inactivity still your joy in living. It’s a struggle and it’s brutal sometimes, but it’s worth it on this side of what may feel like hell. Get your game face on. Be intentional and don’t give up. But as you do… in the middle of a long run when you want to quit….or when your muscles just can’t take it anymore….or after you puke but still have more to do….think about your relationships. Your marriage. Your friendships. Your relationship with God. Think about what could be. The freedom. The love. The intimacy. The joy. And throw everything you have into fighting for it. It’s worth it. It really is.
(If you want a hilarious description of our competition, read Jessica’s blog at SmallTownPaleo.blogspot.com)