learning to trust my own opinions and expertise
On Sunday afternoon I finished unpacking the groceries then locked myself in the toilet and cried. Big quiet tears of frustration, anger and embarrassment. Then I wiped my face down, went back to the kitchen and made everyone lunch with my usual smile on my face.
The day before I had taken part in my first Crossfit competition – a beginner-friendly comp that was fundraising for my Box (gym), Crossfit 4017. I was there with some old mates who have been going to Crossfit with me this year, and some fantastic new friends that I have made at the Box. Stacks of people – young, old, fat, skinny, fit, strong – were out in force to compete and have fun.
When the results came through on Sunday afternoon I found out that I had come last. It wasn’t exactly a surprise and I had been talking through exactly that scenario in my head in the days and weeks prior to the comp. But in the end it was still a bitterly disappointing moment when I read my name all the way down the bottom of the list.
I am 36 years old, 75kg, with no upper body strength, terrible aerobic fitness and really poor flexibility. I have been athletically useless pretty much all of my life – even at my peak In-The-Navy fitness I was generally terrible. Always the worst in my class or unit.
In many ways I am used to it, to the failure, to the coming last. It’s kind of OK. Because I know it’s going to happen I can just get on and give it a go anyway. I am deadened to the humiliation, so the fear of it doesn’t stop me.
But it is frustrating. My body is the same as yours. It has the same muscles, same organs. So they should be able to do the same things. And that is where I feel the greatest betrayal, that I try, but I rarely improve. My body ignores me.
This can’t really be true. I mustn’t try hard enough, or stick with things long enough. It must be what is in my heart and my head that is the problem.
The people around me tell me, Well Done. They think that because I am out there giving it a go when others are not that I am doing great. But sometimes that is not enough for me.
After lunch I checked back on the results to see how my mates went. Looking more closely at the list I realized that there were rankings for each workout as well as the overall ranking. I checked my placing again. I didn’t come last in any of the three individual components. Sure, my overall place was still last, but in each workout I wasn’t the worst. I burst into tears in front of my family, because this time I was so happy! I live to fight another day!
See you at the Box!
I know a lot of you have no idea what Crossfit is – I’m planning a follow up post detailing the day’s competition, but this is the post I wanted to write first.