I Bought Shorts Today…Posted: February 2, 2013
I bought shorts today…
In order to understand why this is such a huge milestone, I’ll back up a little bit.
I have always been an “active” person. I have always loved being outside. I have always been what many would consider athletic.
However, I have always had a thing about my legs. Specifically, a thing about my legs in shorts. My thighs have eaten many pairs of shorts alive. Running in shorts has never been a graceful, model-esque experience. Instead, it’s a slow, painful thigh wedge-y filled endeavor. I am vertically challenged and that will never change. Despite my wishes, I will never have long, dancer legs.
But recently, I’ve learned that I can certainly have strong legs. Legs that can carry me through box jumps, prowler pushes, and 400 meter sprints.
My fitness journey has been years in the making. I stepped foot into a gym for the first time a little over two years ago. I was skeptical, but made it my goal to try every class. From Zumba, to UJam, to spin, to body pump…I did it all at least once. I discovered my favorites and quickly fell in love with the boot camp class. The camaraderie, shared suffering, and familiar faces soon became the highlight of my Tuesdays. And then, the gym cancelled the class. All the while, I was still training for half marathons, but the loneliness of running was getting old. I had lost the joy in running. I loved the company of quick gym friends and the accountability the familiarity brought.
The gym had become my escape. With a husband who works a ton, it was a place I could bring the kids and “escape” for two hours. It had become my happy place. Unfortunately, an incident with kid care forced me to re-evaluate my current gym membership and I chose not to renew. I found myself at a gym membership crossroads but looked forward to the opportunity to try something new.
Crossfit entered the picture. I’ll admit I was intimidated. If you Google Crossfit, images of mad crazy muscular people come up. Along with images of said mad crazy muscular people lifting crazy heavy weights.
I convinced a friend to join me and we both signed up for the initial intro classes, diving in head first having no clue what we were getting ourselves into. Four weeks later, here I am. Hooked. More than seeing results, I am FEELING them. I am doing things I never thought I could. I am doing things I never knew existed. I am feeling things I never thought I would. A year ago, I would have looked at this picture and picked it apart. Now, I look and see a strong, driven, motivated mama…
Last week I walked into the gym and saw the WOD on the board:
As we began, fatigue and doubt started to creep in. I happened to look over my shoulder and caught a glimpse of my youngest son watching me. A smile on his face. He was in awe at the tire work and weight lifting going on all around. And it was no longer about being tired or sore. I would finish. I had to. I had to show Jake that one day when I tell him that we don’t quit or give up, I mean it. I live it. One of the greatest gifts brought to me after canceling my prior gym membership is the ability for my boys to now SEE what I am doing. As they watch, I can teach them about strong women, perseverance, and hard work.
Before walking into my local Crossfit, I had talked to many different people who had tried it. Not one had anything negative to say. I get that it is definitely something you either love or hate. It is not for everyone. For me, it has been everything I loved about my old boot camp but more. The pain and suffering of an extraordinarily hard workout is lessened when done alongside others. The first two weeks, I was often the last one done, but instead of leaving, people would grab their water bottles and cheer me on.
The numbers on a piece of clothing or on the scale no longer haunt me. Instead, I now search for the numbers that truly matter: the time on the clock, the number of reps, the weight on the bar. Hours after the above workout, I was outside playing with my boys and my oldest happened to snap a picture of me…
For years, I hid from the camera. I have never loved being in front of it. But this day, this moment, I smiled and I am grateful that I got to see a glimpse of myself through their eyes. Working out, running, crossfit…have all brought me to where I am right at this moment. I am often happiest after a butt kicking, hard workout. Conquering a WOD, leaves me thinking I can conquer just about anything. A little time for me: happy mama, happy wife = happy life. Starting over and rebuilding a decent running base mileage is humbling, but running is joyful again. Often painful and slow and ugly, but joyful.
I am stronger now in so many ways than I was a month ago…
And I bought shorts today.