i realize i haven't given birth yet, but...

crossfit. oh crossfit. sometimes people use the phrase "blood, sweat, and tears" for dramatic hyperbole about something they have done or experienced. like wrapping christmas presents.

or finishing their history final.

or... fill in the blank.

well, i can tell you that i have LITERALLY bled sweated (like a BEAST) and now cried

because of crossfit.

my dearest darling husband first introduced me to this insane sport, because he was a trainer for a few years. yes. he is my husband. he is a beast. he is taken. amen.

i never was much of a fitness buff, and honestly, my motivation usually came from wanting my body to look different. i initially approached crossfit the same way, because those people seriously look amazing. but since starting it a couple months ago, it's become something much different than that, and i've realized how broken my previous way of looking at exercise was. it should make me stronger and more capable, and whatever happens externally to my body is an extraneous side effect. it should never be the goal. i've found it's a lot more satisfying to set personal records for lifting or time than change your weight or waistline. those are nice, they're just not all that lifechanging (unless you're losing 100 pounds or something).

so back to blood, sweat, and tears.

blood and sweat are easy - after the first few classes, i already had callouses on my hands from the weight bar (soooo feminine, i know. wait. it gets better). then they started ripping off and bleeding, at which point i had to wrap my hands like a boxer to keep going. dave said weight gloves are for pansies, but i'm a girl, so i don't really give much heed to that point.

sweat, duh. never sweated more in my life. and dave still somehow thinks i'm cute in the middle of that. what?!?

and finally, yes, i literally cried the other day in a workout. not wept, just cried, just a little. i probably made a pretty pathetic face, too. i can't even remember what we did. something awful with 400m sprints, overhead lifts and squats (if you want to get technical, i think it was a snatch balance), and some other element like burpees. which i hate.

but i FINISHED it. and after i did, i lay on the floor panting, grit and sweat coating my whole body, surrounded by teammates in the same position.

and i felt like a champion.

flooded with endorphins and sweet relief, i finished something that halfway through, i really didn't believe i could complete. i had felt like quitting. but i finished.

i've had extra motivation lately from the olympics, and watching these incredible humans do unbelievable things. did you SEE those gymnasts? and the sprinters? golly gee whiz. dave is also ridiculous motivation, because not only is he the most encouraging person i know, but probably the strongest and most determined. his resolve and focus astound me. so anytime i'm in class with him, all i have to do is watch him and know that i can finish strong too.

the other night, i was the last in the class to finish our workout of the day (WOD), and was finishing my last 400m run. at the halfway mark, i turned the corner and saw dave standing far at the end, cheering me on. he ran the rest of the way with me, despite the fact that he had just completed a grueling workout of his own. i love him so very much.

it took a lot of cajoling from dave to get me to join him in this fitness exploit, but i finally jumped in, and i'm so glad i did. i've already noticed a difference - no more back pain, and little movements, little lifts, little feats of endurance are easier to me. it's changed my quality of life, and that makes me want to keep going.

there are all these maxims in crossfit culture (and it is very much a culture), and one that resonates with me is "every day better." it's not really about competing with the others in the class (because i'm tooooootally not there yet), but against yourself, and your own limits. i love that - it takes the pressure off and challenges me to healthy growth.

i wish i had pictures of our crossfit times, but we're too busy doing pullups and deadlifts and making prehistoric noises to be taking pictures. but i will someday.

so i leave you with this: we are leaving for vacation tonight, and i have a feeling i'll look something like this when we come back to our next crossfit class: