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February 1, 2013

Working Past Fear

Since October, Ben and I have been going to Crossfit.  We both love know that we need to enjoy working out and we love that it’s something we get to do together.  One of the things that drew us to Crossfit was that it was structured and each time we went, we’d essentially have a personal trainer there to help us.  Granted, it’s not one-on-one training, but with class sizes usually being around 10 or so people, it was a good ratio.  The class times were also a big draw to us. You know how it is… you join a gym, you go “whenever you want” and slowly but surely, you either stop going all-together or you go very sporadically.  Our gym had started to offer classes so spinning became our thing for a long while and we realized a lot of that was because it was something that was scheduled!  So, we’ve been better about working out since the fall simply because of having scheduled classes… who knew??

Finally, Crossfit has pushed us.  Not in a “Jillian Michaels screaming in your face” kind of way, but in a way that is encouraging and helpful (not that Jillian isn’t helpful, but people tend to think about her and screaming when you mention that a trainer is “pushing you”).  The things I’ve done with weights and workouts over the past several months kind of blows my mind.  I NEVER thought I’d be squatting anything… much less with a dumbbell and weights in my hands.  I haven’t lifted or squatted more than I weigh… yet.  But, I’ve gotten stronger and that’s really exciting!

There have been several classes where things happened that I never imagined would.  A couple of months ago I had a “Biggest Loser breakdown” moment.  You know what I’m talking about… that moment when you seem to have hit your limit and tears start streaming down your face.  And of all embarrassing things, you CAN’T. STOP. CRYING!  Ugh.  It was awful.  But, there are some pretty amazing people there and a girl named Melissa talked me down from my ledge and helped bring me back from my reality show moment :-)  I just had a mental block and couldn’t flip the barbell in my hand to do a certain lift so, I do what I do when I get frustrated with myself.  I cry.  It’s awful.  But, there haven’t been many times that I’ve done that and people have been amazingly supportive and understanding.  So, to all of you out there that have had to endure my tears over the years… thank you!

Speaking of The Biggest Loser, several seasons ago there was a contestant that couldn’t mentally get past doing box jumps.  There are different box heights that you jump onto, then jump off of (or step down), then jump again.  Sometimes there’s a certain number of jumps you’re going for and sometimes you’re trying to do as many as you can in the time allotted.  We were still at our other gym at the time of that season and there were some boxes there so I gave it a shot.  And I did it!  I was so excited!  But, when we began to do them at Crossfit, I just couldn’t get my mind over the matter of what I was trying to do.  I could NOT bring my legs off the ground and onto the box.  And I’m not really sure what it was that I was afraid of.  I’d already done it before so I knew I could do it!  Maybe I was scared of hitting my shin on the way up.  Or tripping somehow and ending up in the emergency room.  Or worse, falling on my face in front of everyone there….  who knows!  But, I’d done so much already, I wanted to get past this!

So I took baby steps.  I stepped up and then back down and repeated that for a while.  Then, with Ben standing next to me, I held onto his shoulder with one hand and put much of my weight into him while I jumped.  And it helped!  With him still standing there, I slowly used less and less pressure on his shoulder and finally, when he stepped away, I did it all on my own!  And I did it again!  And again!  So now, when I see we’re doing box jumps in a workout, I look forward to it.

And then it happened.  One of my fears came true this past Tuesday… we were doing box jumps (as many as possible in 4 minutes) and around the one minute mark, one of my legs didn’t make it all the way up and I slammed my shin into the side of the wooden box.  Um, ouch.  I looked at my shin expecting to see blood, but it was just blue.  And there was a small hill growing on my leg.  I tried my best to shake it off because I had a goal in my head and I needed to finish these box jumps!  So, after about 30 seconds or so, I tried to jump.  It took me a few seconds to find my courage, but it was there.  And I tried again.  And again.  And I kept going until the 4 minutes was up.  I still managed to get about 50 jumps in, but if I had let fear win, I wouldn’t have made it. Yes, my leg hurt.  I still kinda does (and it’s all blue and purple and yellow right now too!).  But facing fear head on and going for that goal was what got me through.

I know it might seem like a silly lesson, but it’s a practical one that I can go back to to keep pushing myself regardless of what I might be afraid of.  And really, it might just take some baby steps to get over that hump.

So… what’s your box?  What are you having a hard time jumping onto?  What are some baby steps you could take to work yourself there?


  1. Arica says:

    Girl…three words…steps in Atlanta. Every single time we do box jumps at boot camp, my mind goes there. :-) I’m so much better now than I was, but those are one of my biggest challenges. Who am I kidding, boot camp as a whole is a huge challenge, but I love it. :-) Thanks for sharing!!!

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