Strength in who you are.

I’ve been out of commission since Friday. Nothing tragic. Just a minor setback. The Dr. suggested keeping clear of the squat until Thursday. Okay. Okay. I said.


The forced semi-retirement has been good. You know you’ve heard the term, overtraining, and you think, that’s impossible. Overtraining takes a lot of motivation. But, I was pushing so hard with the overhead stuff, wanting it so badly, getting frustrated by the relentless plateau, that this respite might be well timed. Perhaps I was over-obsessing. Is that even possible? Seems accurate enough. Either way, I’m welcoming the break.

I did get in to train with Dean on Monday. Upper body only. ($%#!*#%!@)

It was a great session, and sadly my last with him. Even so he continued to teach. Revelations like how I am not that far from an actual pull-up. That I can go deeper and closer to parallel on the ring push up. He even pushed me to the heaviest kettle bell yet, 88 lbs. Was I just talking about a plateau? Yes, in the overhead. That’s right. We’re taking a few rest days from that.

In my last WOD with Dean, it was 5 Rounds. 10 ring push ups, with heels to the wall, 8 jumping pull-ups, first standing from the 25lbs. bumper, then 10lbs. then the floor. And 10 kettle bell swings, first with the 75lbs., then the 88lbs.

Oh the joy in asking your body to be capable, and it more than surpasses your expectations.

I was sad that it was the last of our training sessions. He taught me much: Resistance training with chains and bands, corrected my deadlift form to where I pushed through that plateau and PR’d twice in the following two weeks, rounding out at 245lbs. Did I mention the PR box jump at 27″? That was a surprise.

At the end of class I asked him for a hug. A big hug. It was a lot to ask. I was sweaty. He stood on the giant Strongman tire and reached down and hugged me tight. You’re a good person, he said.

So are you, I said.

In the end, past the technical stuff, Dean taught me that I am strong. Stronger than I know. He also taught me to have confidence in my strength.

I think for a very long time I was embarrassed by my strength. Tried to hide it. I’m pretty tall. Especially tall for a girl. Strength in a girl is not generally celebrated. People say they like tall women, but I have plenty of awkward teen and college years to prove otherwise. The 20’s are a whole other train wreck. In summation, there have been more than a few very difficult moments. And it would always make me feel better when people would say, You’re a big girl. …. ***….

Never call a girl big. Just don’t do it.

I was embarrassed by my size. I was certain those around me were embarrassed for me too. What I really wanted to do was just disappear. And often tried.

This is not just another accolade to Crossfit. But rather an opening in the way I see things. A softening in how I see myself. A gentle confidence growing. This is a song to something I see as a result of showing up, and getting used to being uncomfortable. This is a welcomed change in how I see myself in the world, something I like. Crossfit, in all its complexity (and there is a lot under that umbrella), has brought this out in me.

It’s okay to be strong. It’s okay to be who you are.

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