Tag Archives: love

How CrossFit Ruined My Love Life

'I loved you--until I saw your kettlebell!'

‘I loved you–until I saw your kettlebell!’

CrossFit ruined my marriage.

At least, that’s what my estranged husband might say.

Before CrossFit, I was mild, docile, and never wanted to cause trouble.

But CrossFit changed more than my lats.

It gave me the courage to do things that were hard. After all, CrossFit, like great sex, is mostly in your mind. When you apply pressure to a person through a challenging WOD, their real nature comes out–for better or worse. Quite often, how a person reacts to a WOD is how they will react in everyday situations.

There are enough blog posts on why you should date a CrossFitter, and most have to do with the body and sex and so on. But what makes a person great is the mind and soul and character.

So, what do you see at CrossFit?

  • Faithfulness: Do you want to roll your eyes when someone tells you that [INSERT ANY EXERCISE PROGRAM HERE] is just as good as CrossFit?
  • Dedication: When you miss a WOD, or go to a different class, do your friends worry about you?
  • Endurance: Do you walk through the door, having quit already? Or do you give it your all until the clock runs out?
  • Social Skills: Do you talk to the people around you? Or do you sit in the corner, hoping nobody sees you?
  • Personal Responsibility: When you screw up do you admit it or blame it on your shoes/calluses/ponytail/big blue stupid kettelbell…
  • Healthy pride: It’s okay to yell or fist bump or collapse to the floor smiling when you PR.
  • Humility: Actions make a person great–not words.
  • Attitude: It doesn’t matter how fast or strong you are; or if others are faster or stronger–but what kind of a person are you, really? How do you attack your WOD? That’s the proof of your character. That shows how you live life.
  • Strength of character is the most attractive quality a person can have–and CrossFit can help develop it.

Now that I’m discovering who I am and who I WANT to be, I think a lot about these (and other) attributes. Life should be a steady work-in-progress, where we are always striving to improve some area of our lives. Whether it’s to relax more, to have fun, to pay more attention to detail, to be bolder–whatever it is for you, these things play out daily in the box. There is a body/mind connection, nearly indescribable, that shapes our character. Nobody’s perfect, but at least in CrossFit, we’re working towards something better.

And this is why CrossFit has ruined my love life–past, present, and future.

The past, because it gave me the strength to capsize the boat.

The present, because I’m currently in a new boat, and it’s a lot smaller (like…only room for me).

The future, because I’m convinced only another CrossFitter could eventually help me paddle upstream.

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Love Like a Barbell

barbells

Sometimes I wish love were more like a barbell: something you could wrap your hands around and make it do whatever you want. It could be heavy and slow, or light and fast.

You could hold it to your chest or feel the cold weight bruising your bare shoulders; you could throw your entire body under it, and if you have the strength, it wouldn’t crush you.

If you drop it, you can pick it back up and try again. With steel, you inherently understand that the more you work with it, the higher you can go. Your technique and strength improve with practice.

The barbell cannot be destroyed and is unlikely to be taken away from you while you’re holding it. Nothing anyone says can make it vanish. It’s never hidden or cloaked or suppressed or masked. It cannot die or dwindle or be extinguished.

The barbell is predictable. It does not change. It is always there for the taking. If you get hurt, it’s never the barbell’s fault.

But love is  a different beast.

Unless you’re clinically narcissistic, love involves another living, breathing human being. And human beings, as we all know, tend to make messes wherever they go. But that’s what makes love, love.

Its unpredictability thrills you or breaks you. You never know which it will be.

The interplay of mind, body and emotion is far more complicated than the sleek, sturdy silhouettes of iron.

That’s probably what draws me to the iron. Whether it’s the barbells or the kettle bells, the heart races, the blood flows, chemicals are released in the brain that make you feel good, elated even. And isn’t that what love is supposed to do?

The barbell is simpler.

Cold, yes. Unfeeling, yes. But simpler. And sometimes we need a break from the emotion, the drama, the heartache, the uncertainty of love.

Sometimes we just need to lift heavy shit.

For all the differences, however, there is one way in which love IS like a barbell: if you are lucky enough to have it in your hands, you can hold on tightly and do something great with it. 


Love and Bullets and Happy Holidays

Gun club

I once had a dream when I was pregnant that someone tried to harm my child, so I bludgeoned him to death with a club.

My pregnancy dreams were notoriously violent.

As the holidays approach, I tend to think about the people I love, those I can hold tightly and those I’ve had to let go–and ponder this nebulous feeling/idea/emotion: love.

We need more words for ‘love’ in the English language because one pitiful monosyllabic word cannot possibly encompass all aspects of it.

It is ferocious and wise; unwavering and temperamental; it is boisterous and quiet; fragile and strong; ferocious and gentle; it is rapturous and painful.

In my life lately, love seems to be mostly painful.

However, I’ve learned a valuable lesson because of it: to truly love a person, you need to love them exactly as they are.

If you can look at a person packaged in all their ‘faults’ (or things you perceive as faults) and not only take a bullet for them, but also grab the gun and beat the perp until he can’t stand up, then you are loving someone unconditionally.

But what happens if someone you love wouldn’t take a bullet for you–and you both know it? Or worse yet, what if YOU get tired of taking bullets?

I wish I had an answer for this.

Love CAN be the thing that makes you walk on air. I understand this intellectually, but currently, I can’t envision it.

The only thing I can do is to put on the kevlar and go out and keep loving and being loved where I can.

No matter what.

My kids love me fiercely; and I can’t think of tougher friends than the ones I’ve made at Crossfit–not just physically (though they WOULD be handy in a fistfight or zombie apocalypse) but it also takes that certain mindset, which motivates you to stand up when the weight is so heavy it bruises your shoulders. These kinds of friends love the real, honest me–and they never ask for what I can’t give. Now that’s unconditional love.

If you are blessed enough to be with people this holiday season who would take bullets for you and/or beat someone to death for you, wrap yourself up in it until the painful, achey kind of love subsides.

I wish you a happy holiday. 

Joy.

Love.

Peace (if applicable).

And friends who kick ass.