Thursday, May 29, 2014

More than Just a Gym

May 29, 2014

I have sat down to write this blog 4 times over the last week... I have started, deleted, started again, re-worded and deleted yet again. Not quite sure why the words in my head have not been able to make their way out to the screen...

Yesterday I heard of the passing of one of the most remarkable, inspirational, talented women in history, Dr. Maya Angelou. Her inspirational words from her books, poetry and movies are shared widely and used by many to get through tough times and hardship. I have read quite of bit of her work and of course have seen many of her inspirational quotes. One in particular came to mind so when I sat down to try blog and yet again... I was inspired.

I honestly had no idea 2 years and 9 months ago (August 6, 2011) when Hubs and I walked up to the garage, the former home of CrossFit Wachusett, that my life was going to change forever. I thought I was going to start a new fitness regimen, maybe change my eating habits, perhaps loose a few pounds... I did that, but with that came so much more.

Some people in my life might say that I let CrossFit "take over" my life. I have to disagree. I have 100% control over my life. I made a choice. I made the choice to invest some serious time and effort into becoming the best CrossFit athlete I can be. This is not something I have to do, this is something I want to do. This is not something that every CrossFit athlete does, and its certainly not something that makes one better than anyone else. I personally, got a taste of a competition back at the start and threw myself in with all my heart. Go big or go home. With that comes highs and lows... but when its all said and done I am a better person because of it.

Due to my investment in CrossFit, something as “simple” a going to the gym on a daily basis began to mold my thoughts from being constantly negative to always trying to find the positive (ok so maybe not “always” but more often than before). It brought back the rush that use to stream through my veins when I was faced with a physical challenge. It has in some cases forced me to push myself to a mental place that I didnt even know existed. I have developed friendships and a support system that will last a lifetime. It brought out the athlete… the competitor… that had been hibernating for years. Yes, the food I eat, the decision to not stay out all night and get wasted, the motivation to not miss a workout... those decisions might make one think that CrossFit has "taken over" my life, but no, I am in complete control. I make those choices with a clear mind. I love the way I feel on the inside, I love the affect that my choices have had on my mind. I am stronger not only on the outside, but on the inside as well.

The 2014 competition season has been a whirl wind for me. It has been exciting, challenging and totally motivational. The community at CrossFit Wachusett has been amazing and inspiring. Who wouldnt want to surround themselves with that on a daily basis?!

The Open came to a close with CrossFit Wachusett sitting in 13th place in the North East Region. After the individual athletes confirmed or declined their invitation, the dust settled and Team CFW found our spot as #10 in the North East. Pretty amazing. We, as a whole, every person whether they competed in the Open or not, all played a roll in securing the spot to compete at the 2014 North East Regional in their own way. I was selected as one of the 4 women from CFW to forge on, side by side with the 4 men, to "team train" for following 6 weeks for the "big show." The intensity was amped up and we were all ready to go and fight for our spot to represent CFW strong and proud at the Reebok World Headquarters in Canton MA.

As the workouts for individuals were announced one by one, that feeling of "holy shit" sank in. At the end of that week, the team workouts were released. These movements were/are no joke, it was time to step up, dig even deeper and get er done. The dreaded feelings of fear and failure began to creep in. I pushed each one of them to the back of my head and continued to do everything I could to work on refining skills I already have, develop new skills, and learn to walk on my damn hands! I had some extreme moments of weakness as I sat in front of the wall completely spent from trying to "master" a strict handstand pushup, tears welling in my eyes. All the while, I had not only my coaches and the 5 other members of the "team" encouraging me on... but my family at CFW as well. It was enough to get back up, flip up against that wall and give it another go.

When it was all said and done, 5 weeks of training were complete, all the workouts had been tested with the 8 members on the team, it became clear to me that I was not the best fit to compete at the Regional this year. The decision had to be made, as only 3 men and 3 women from each team compete on the field on Game Day... I fought until the very end and with a heavy heart (and quite a few tears) I accepted the fact that no matter how bad I wanted it, it was not in the cards for me this year. I completely and 100% agree with the choice that M, K and the rest of the Team had to make and have zero hard feelings for anyone. Each and every one of us put our lives on hold pretty much, took the bull by the horns and went HAM all day every day. Wouldn't expect anything less.

It goes without saying that I went through a period of self disappointment. I was defeated. It hurt. My eyes burned, my chest was heavy and my thoughts were swimming all over the place. I had just spent the last few months spending any moment I could at the gym. My hands, a mess, my "everything" sore, and for crying out loud, I have never spent so much time upside down... how could I let this happen?

The fact is. I didnt just "let it happen." I fought like hell. I gave it my 110%. I worked hard and even though I didnt reach my final goal of walking out onto the floor at the NE Regional to compete, I trained with the team to the very end. I am a part of the team to the very end. I know what my contribution was to CFW's "Road to Regionals." I know that this weekend I will stand on the side lines wearing my black and red and support, cheer, yell and scream for the 6 kick ass athletes that represent all the hard work that went into the last year of training. I know they will kill it. I know I will be proud.   

I'll tell you what. I would do it all again in a second. I love that my hands are a mess and my everything is sore. I love that I was challenged to do things I had not had the skill set to do and would probably never work on unless "forced" to do so. I love that I got my first muscle up. I love that I went to the gym tired and beat up only to push myself to complete a 2nd workout of the day. I love that I became closer with my friends, my team... and even more than anything, I love what I learned from myself. Thats it is ok. That I am ok. That even though I have "encountered a defeat, I am not defeated." So a millions times, YES, even if I knew the outcome was going to be the same... the answer is still yes. I would do it again, and I wouldnt change a thing.

I want to thank everyone for their support and motivation through all of this. Some days were for sure a struggle both before and after I found out I wasn't going. It really means a lot to me that my friends care so much. All of the inspirational words have made my heart swell up. I am super excited to get back into the swing of things and see what is next to come in my CrossFit career and in my life. I am going to take what I learned through this entire process and apply it... use it as fuel both in the gym and out of the gym. I have a few things in my life that need taking care of, that have been on the back burner for too long. It is time to buck up and stop being so scared. I will not be defeated. 

In closing... Matt, you are an amazing coach. I have learned more from you than I thought possible. Thank you for pushing me, yelling at me and making me better. A team isn't a team without a captain we are lucky to have one of the best. Kelsey, thank you for the kick in the ass when I need it. You are a strong competitor with much determination and focus. You know when and how to turn it on. Do it! Choma, you are a machine. So humble and so damn strong. Go get some! Josh, confidence and focus are key, you have what it takes. Push through the pain and dominate. Will, I hope all the donuts paid off. You have completely transformed in the last year and it shows, speed, agility and positive energy. Mike, even with the most crazy personal life of anyone I know, you continue to attack each workout day after day. Thanks for being a dedicated team mate through all the things life throws at you. Sue... seriously, I love you! You inspire me to keep moving forward. You show so much focus, power and drive. I am so ridiculously proud of you. I am so ridiculously proud of all of you.

Crush It!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah! My name is Cameron Von St. James and I had a quick question for you & was wondering if you could please email me when you have a free moment. Thanks! I really hope to hear from you soon and appreciate you taking the time. ☺ cvonstjames AT gmail DOT com