Archive for March, 2014

365 Days at Mission CrossFit San Antonio

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Tomorrow marks my one year anniversary at Mission CrossFit San Antonio.
I have completed close to 200 workouts. I have changed a lot in the past 365 days.
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Most days at CrossFit have been full of hard, unimpressive work.
I say yes to showing up, to trying new things, to working on old things, to breathing hard, to lifting heavy weights, and to slinging my body around.

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A few days have been full of frustration, discouragement and tears.

Some days, I have enjoyed sweet and unexpected success.
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Every day, I get to see my friends.
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These people make CrossFit fun. These people make me work harder and do better.
These people make my day.
These friendships are “weight-ier” than any goal that I have reached at CrossFit.

Gratitude fills these past 365 days.
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Rebekah, thank you for your cheerful attitude. Thank you for starting class on time and keeping us organized! I have benefited from your specific tips and observations as you have watched me. Your words are often in my head as I do burpees, pull ups, and snatches. Thank you for letting me get to know you better in this setting. What you are doing is important. I appreciate you.

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Nick, thank you for being an amazing teacher. All of your athletes have benefitted greatly from the way you communicate and the way you demonstrate how to move well. Even more than that, we are so thankful for your kindness. You start every day with a smile and a warm welcome. You work hard and consistently day in and day out. You care about the people in your classes. You genuinely want everyone to grow and improve—whether it is the mom in her 40s who is just beginning or the former division I NCAA athlete. Thanks for creating an environment where we can laugh, try things we never have before, learn, and fail. . .and try again. Thank you for earning our trust. Thank you for drawing out more in me. Thank you for encouraging Greg well. What you are doing is important. I appreciate you.

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Amy, thank you for getting me started on this journey. Thank you for making this potentially intimidating place more accessible from day one. You are a technician, a hardworker, and a wonderful teacher. I appreciate how you are able to put into words and systematize what you want me to do. Thank you for challenging me to be fearless and take risks. Thank you for loving my kids. Thank you for being a friend to Greg and getting him started in CrossFit. Thank you for moving our furniture. Thank you for helping us set up our garage sale. Thank you for sitting at my kitchen counter and letting me get to know you. Thank you for long conversations at Local Coffee. Thank you for enjoying lemon shortbread cookies and hummus with me. Thank you for listening especially when I have had a hard day. Thank you for sharing Jon and Bri with us. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for dreaming for me. (I can’t say how much that last thing means to me.) It is such a gift to have a wonderfully intense friend who gets me and who tempers her intensity with such kindness. What you are doing is important. I appreciate you.

Thank you to Julianne, Ed, and Beth.
Thank you, Drew, for starting this community. I realize that you work hard in ways that we don’t always fully see or appreciate as you deal with the business side of MCFSA.

Here are some days that I don’t want to forget:
4.1.13:
My first day. Met Amy.

6.24.13:
Greg’s first day. Wonderful to start to share this experience with him.

7.11.13
Completed my first CrossFit total. Learned to trust coach Nick as he spotted me backsquatting.

7.21.13
Got my first pull up. I have never been able to do a pull up in my life—even as a kid.

8.19.13
Cleaned 100 lbs. for the first time. Surprised and half scared myself.

8.24.13
Got my first HSPU. Surprised at how easily it came. Thought it was going to take much longer.

9.13.13
Worked up to a one rep max clean after a very hard work out. One of the few times my brain has shut off at CrossFit (in a good way), and I’ve allowed myself to go to a fearless place.

9.17.13
Finished a workout and coaches surprised us with one last task—holding onto your barbell for as long as possible. If you dropped your bar first, you had to do 27 burpees. If you dropped your bar second, you had to do 24 burpees, etc. If you were the last person standing, you didn’t have to do any burpees. I was the last person left standing—holding onto my bar for dear life. I then cleaned the bar which got everyone else out of their burpee penalty. So much joy. Helped my friends. And made my coaches happy. Saw that my coaches genuinely cared about me and found joy in our success.

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10.22.13
Karen Russell, my photography teacher turned friend, came in town and visited CrossFit. Privilege for her to tell the story of CrossFit for me through photos. She took the black and white photos of me in this blog.

12.6.13
Celebrated Bri’s 200# back squat and her college graduation right before she moved.

12.2.13
Coaches modified all of my workouts b/c of back pain. Within a week, I was back to normal.

12.10.13
Endured a workout combining two of the things that I am the worst at, namely double unders and pull ups. It was a day of failure. It was also a day of great importance as I realized that I can fail here. It is totally o.k. to struggle and suck. My coaches still care about me. I get to come back the next day. My worth doesn’t hinge on my score on the whiteboard. Hard to sum up but big things went on in my head that day.

12.19.13
Met a wounded warrior who had lost parts of three limbs (if I remember correctly). Had the privilege of working out alongside him. Saw him take on and off various prosthetics and modify the workouts to fit his abilities. Thought about how hard he and his wife have battled to get to this point in life. Saw his prosthetic arm with a hook leave divots in the floor as he did burpees. Realized I should never complain about burpees again. Made me realize that even though there are lots of things that I can’t do physically, there is SO MUCH to be thankful for in terms of what I can do with my body.

12.30.13
Celebrated my birthday with friends.

2.1.14
Despite great fear, competed in my first CrossFit competition with my friend, Jennifer.

2.14.14
Did the workout Karen for first time in 7:58. Greg paced me through it and cheered me on.

2.18.14
Got my first pistols.

The Next 365 Days
There is still a lot of work to be done. For example, I’m not very good at snatching. I want to lift heavier and more efficiently. Building strength is always going to be a struggle for me compared to others. I still need to use a band in workouts with lots of pullups. I am frustrated that I can’t string together double unders—even after a year. I know I have a long way to go until I get that first muscle up. But I am in it for the long haul. I have a long term perspective. I am willing to keep working hard. I want to be surprised about what I will be able to do in the next year. I want to get to know this group of people better.

Ford.

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Meet our friend, Ford.
Greg says he moves like a “quiet tank”. He is the tough little brother of our friend, Gunnar. He is an Aggie fan. And he likes to hang out with Carter during baseball games. This little guy is starting to open up more and more. So glad we know him and his family.

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I said I would never do this. . .(an update on the CrossFit competition)

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

Last month, I competed in a women’s only CrossFit partner competition called A League of Their Own. I already blogged about the competition before it happened HERE. And now it is time for an update.

I still get emotional thinking about that day. It just touches some place that feels really raw for me.

Here are things that I know:
1. On February 1, 2014, I was exactly where God wanted me. Despite how uncomfortable I felt, it was a huge victory for me to just show up. My friend’s mom, Anne, summarized it when she said that I was saying “yes” to God by participating in this competition. This was not a day about “following my heart” because my heart and my feelings would have told me to RUN from this competition. It was a day of walking by faith.

It was time to put my money where my mouth is: My identity, worth, value, life, etc. come from Christ. My identity, worth, value, life, etc. do not come from my own performance or from what other people think about me.

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2. On February 1, 2014, I saw so clearly that I am loved.

I am NOT loved in the feel good, empty self-esteem sort of way but in the God-in- hot-pursuit sort of way.

The day did not feel easy. The day wasn’t full of amazing personal records.

But God met me in small moments.

Despite the anxiety that I felt, God showed up for me. For example, He answered my prayer for a good night’s sleep the night before. He answered my prayer for a sense of hopefulness when I woke up before sunrise the day of the competition. He met me in my husband’s friendship as Greg spent time with me while eating breakfast.

He met me in countless other ways like when:
a.) Heather and George Card rearranged their day to cheer me on.
b.) Jonathan Card drove by with a Jeep full of smiling kids who waved at me right before I began the strength ladder.
c.) My kids showed up with posters.

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d.) So many people prayed for me; sent me notes of encouragement; texted me; emailed me; related to my story; and told me that they supported me. It was overwhelming to see how friends had even written text messages and sent them strategically right before each of the three workouts.
e.) Greg was able to arrange his work schedule to stop by twice on a very busy day.
f.) Jonathan Hicks gave me hugs that almost crushed me.
g.) God surrounded me with so many of my friends who helped run the event and watch us compete. Because this event was so well planned and so well run, it put my mind at ease. He gave me judges that were encouraging, motivating, and knowledgeable.
h.) Amy, Jonathan, and Michelle checked in with me at the end of the day and even brought some shrimp and brussel sprouts for my dinner. I finished the day just enjoying their friendship and time with my family. Their kindness amazed me.

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3. I had the best partner I could ask for. I knew this going into the competition, but it became even clearer to me. Jennifer has her priorities straight. The competition was important to her but wasn’t where she was placing her identity. She supported me by warming up with me, talking to me…just being with me. She worked hard. I even had the privilege of having a “ring side seat” to her own victorious battle with her fears. I have a lot of respect for her. She tries stuff out of her comfort zone. She always has a consistently good attitude. She always works hard. And she does not give up.

. . . Oh and she can put the hammer down on some burpees.

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4. I want to get better at CrossFit. I want to be stronger and faster. I want to move more efficiently. I want to pursue excellence at CrossFit with joy and hope. I don’t want to pursue CrossFit by constantly comparing myself to other people or by worrying about what other people think of me. I want to dream and work hard and be grateful for any gains that God gives me. I want to work in the context of my life–within the framework of my calling and the body that God has given me. I know that in order to pursue CrossFit out of this motivation, I need God. I naturally tend to compare and to get discouraged. I am impatient. I tend to tie my identity over and over to my successes and failures. I am tempted to stop dreaming because I don’t want to feel the bitterness of disappointment. Yes, CrossFit is physically hard. But my inward battle with my desires and thoughts is harder.

5. Even though I’ve blogged about this in list form, these themes aren’t easily categorized. My life meanders, and my heart wanders. I have a feeling that God will be working out these themes in my heart for the rest of my life. It is hard to summarize things that can’t be neaty tied up in bows.

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Thank you, Chelsea, for taking this picture. It means a lot to me.
And thank you, Jeremy for taking some photos.
Thank you, Rachel, for watching my kids that day.
Thank you, Amy, for putting together this competition.