Know Your Own Strength and Beauty

Remember when I decided to get into shape and start crossfit? Well it’s been almost two months since my epiphany and let me tell you, crossfit is hard. And exhilarating. And tiring. And exciting. Did I mention hard?

Each time I leave class and am drinking my protein shake, I’m amazed at what my body can do. Last week I flipped a 225 lb. tire multiple times, did dozens and dozens of pull-ups and hundreds of squats (with weights!) and tons of other equally intense exercises. How is this even possible?! It’s crazy to me what our class will do in just an hour! And during each class, I get glimpses of the feats my future self will accomplish and I’m so motivated to push myself.

Then I’m struck with the realization of how underutilized my body has always been; how underutilized we as a society use our bodies. I’ve spent most of my adult life in the gym, but that’s not the same as working the fields all day. Our bodies truly are capable of so much, and that’s a beautiful thing! I can’t wait to see what I can do next!

Yet even with sweet feelings of accomplishment, I can get discouraged so easily when I look around the gym at the others in my class. There have been days when I’ve finished our exercises dead last. Let me repeat that. Dead. Last. Like when others are done with final stretching and heading out the door and I’m still working out, dead last. And maybe that wouldn’t bother you, but I grew up in a house of competitive brothers and a competitive father. Heck, even my sweet little mom is a closet competitor. I do not brush off last place easily.

One day, I was frustrated at my running ability (lack of ability to be precise) and one of my trainers said, “There’s no pride in this place. We all do what we can do and improve over time.” That hit home with me! If I focus on my own improvement and not let my pride get in the way, then I’m happy with my accomplishments! I’m actually really excited with the progress that I’ve made. My box jumps are higher, I can lift nearly 50lbs more weight since joining, and even my running has improved (a bit). Why do I take away my own joy by comparing myself to others?

So now my focus is on the excitement of pushing myself and reaching my goals. I can’t believe what I’ve been capable of so far and I want to see what else I can do! Because I agree with Socrates, “It’s a shame for a woman to grow old without ever seeing the strength and beauty of which her body is capable.”