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My excessive energy, extreme narcissism, and intense love of neon-colored spandex is both managed and fueled by my addiction to fitness. I push myself to extremes and I push other people's buttons. Obviously I needed my own blog.

Friday, June 22, 2018

5 Year CrossFit Anniversary Post 4

In honor of my 5 year CrossFit anniversary, this week I am sharing five things that have changed since I started. The fourth is how I face my fears and tackle the unknown.

When I started CrossFit in 2013, I was dealing with some serious imposter syndrome. I felt like I was pretending to be successful at work (I was actually succeeding at work and worked really hard) and pretending to have my shit together personally (I was actually really struggling to keep it together). Feeling inadequate is still something I struggle with on a regular basis. My biggest fear, besides home invaders, is that people will figure out that I don't have it all together and that I'm a hot mess and decide that I can't do my job or take care of my dogs and take everything that I've worked for away. I am actually quite good at my job and I manage a team of 4 people, who regularly give me positive reviews as a boss. I am a fantastic and responsible dog mom. I know these things rationally but don't always believe them. I still wrestle with self-doubt but it used to be closer to self-loathing. I was just waiting for someone to realize that I was a terrible person who sucked at everything and for that someone to announce it to the world.

I've always been someone who has been uncomfortable with not being good at things. I used to hate to go to ice skating lessons because I didn't know how to do the cool or fancy things that other kids could do. I would try to distract the instructors with my charming conversation skills (I was 4) to avoid having to skate at all. I eventually quit. Years later, I decided I wanted to play ice hockey and the same feelings of inadequacy came flooding back. I eventually quit that too. I developed a tendency of intentionally avoiding new things because I was afraid I'd be bad at them.

That's a big reason I flip flopped on leaving Equinox and joining a CrossFit box. I was intrigued by CrossFit, but also scared of it. I wasn't afraid of getting hurt. I was afraid of not being good and being judged.

Tons of shit at CrossFit is scary. It was scary to walk into the gym for the first time, feeling overweight and out of shape. It was scary to be the newbie in a room full of strangers who could do so many things that I couldn't (yet). It was scary to try to climb a rope for the first time since elementary school. It was scary to take off my shirt at a place where many people have visible abs because what if they thought I looked gross. It was scary to be vulnerable and admit that I didn't know what to do and that I needed help. CrossFit was scary because it was filled with daily opportunities to face a fear and the unknown.

Honestly, the best thing I have ever done was just show up to the gym each day. I did what was asked of me. I trusted my coaches. I did things that scared the crap out of me because I wanted to be a part of CrossFit. That first year, I got really used to being uncomfortable.

Screenshot from a 2014 video of me climbing a rope at CFID

CrossFit forces you to get out of your comfort zone. That's why it's life changing. Climbing a rope was a big deal to me because it felt impossible for a long time. I'm not a big fan of heights and there's been some moments where I'm worried about falling, but I was most afraid of failing. In my head, I'm often still a fat kid who thinks she shouldn't be able to hold her own bodyweight up while dangling in the air. But I've learned to climb the 16 foot rope and I can do it several times in a workout. Sometimes, when I'm reaching up to touch the tape at the top of the rope, I almost can't believe that just 5 years ago I couldn't do this. CrossFit provides me with tangible proof that I am capable.

Screenshot from a 2014 video of me climbing a rope at CFID

The gym is the space where I can try new things and fail at them while I'm learning. There are things I'm really good at (doubleunders) and things I really suck at (handstand push-ups), but I had to let go of ego and put the work in to get good at those doubleunders. Sometimes I feel like a strong badass and totally have my ass handed to me during the same class.

CrossFit gives me the opportunity to build my confidence and be vulnerable every single day. It keeps me humble, it keeps me hungry. It let's me prove to myself that I am enough.

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