My lovely, athletic, stupidly good looking, non-crossfitting (so far) gal pal asked me about a month ago, “So how do you like your new gym?”
There are probably ways to answer that question with an appropriate amount of enthusiasm and give a clear answer. I went a different route. I can’t even begin to remember my exact words but, I bubbled over with accolades and my speech became faster and louder with each word. By the end of my reply we were both holding hands jumping up and down slightly and I may have been yelling. We looked like two high school chicks in any cliché teen movie. People saw us, it was awkward. I know I answered the question though because she could see how much I loved what I was doing and how excited I was to share it with her. She said “wow, you make me want to join so bad!!” I believe she will, just a matter of time.
Recalling that conversation made me think to myself, “self, why do you love this so much?”
Your about to get a brief history of me…yes try to contain your excitement.
I, like a lot of you I’m sure, always enjoyed sports and fitness. When I was a teenager I would lift weights with my brother and his boys and I really liked it. When I was somewhere around sixteen one of the guys I hung out with told me “you would be cute, if you didn’t lift weights like a dude.” I definitely didn’t think that it bothered me that he said that. He wasn’t super bright…at all. But maybe it did, because I spent probably the next 8 years working against my natural build and preferred type of exercise to be a skinny girl. Not unhealthy, just generally thinner than I was and less muscular. A goal that I could never attain because I would get bored at the gym and go back to the free weight section and start lifting, and because my body is just NOT built like Heidi Klum’s. I realized this about 2 years ago (that I had an unrealistic goal…not that I’m not built like Heidi Klum… I had an inkling of that quite some time ago) and so gave up on that goal to do what I enjoyed at the gym….And I got bigger. This was fine, I liked seeing results. I did however feel pretty different from the rest of the girls that seemed to be into fitness. They looked different from me, and enjoyed doing different exercises then I did. I was always the only girl working out in the free weight section which made me feel like a spectacle.
“One of these things is not like the others, One of these things just doesn’t belong” (sang to the tune of that sesame street song)
One day a dude randomly told me “you have overdeveloped quads.” Punk. He had an overdeveloped mouth.
Enter Southington Crossfit. Oh, man. I was so excited to see other chicks with “overdeveloped” quads. And they were working out hard….and throwing around more weight than me…and doing pull-ups…and were quite comfortable with their broader shoulders and muscular arms. This is where I belong….I fit in here, were my first two thoughts. By the end of my first WOD I realized a couple more things. It wasn’t just girls like me that had a place here, the tall slim girls and the former athletes turned moms and wives and beginners on their fitness journey and the average Joe working class dudes and the rather elite looking athletes all had a place here.
I tried to figure out what the common quality is that drew all this variety. I think it may be work ethic. Every single person in that gym came to work hard. People that love hard work seem to also have other great qualities, strong character. When you observe a class you see it.
The work and struggling, the concern and genuine support for each other, and the joy found in witnessing others accomplish great things. That’s my answer to why I love it here. That’s the clear answer with an appropriate amount of enthusiasm…and no giddy school girl jumping.