Friday, July 23, 2010

Oozing love for Crossfit!

I must preface this post with a statement about the Radical Hateloss take on exercise.

Exercise should be an expression of self love, rather than an activity motivated by a belief that your body needs to look different than it does. When exercise is an expression of self love, it is actually…..wait for it….FUN! I wouldn’t have believed that it could be fun a year ago. But now I know in every cell of my body how rewarding movement can be. When you come from a place of self-love rather than self-criticism, you will be guided to movement (aka exercise) than can bring you the most joy. I believe that when I began my Radical Hateloss journey it was my transformation to self-love that guided me to find my best expression of joy. It’s different for everyone, but for me it’s without a doubt, it’s CrossFit.

This past weekend was the CrossFit Games, in Carson, Ca. Athletes from all over the world competed. I would have loved to be in Ca, but I was happy to be at my husband’s family reunion in Charlotte, North Carolina. Between Vincent family festivities I was able to watch the live feed of the games and visit 2 local Crossfit boxes for a triplet of WODS. The combination of watching the spectacle of the games & spending time WODing with the wider Crossfit Community has me OOZING with LOVE for my sport…yes MY SPORT…CrossFit.

My passion dominates my facebook status updates and often times my conversations. I dream about pull-ups and deadlifts. I can’t wait for the next work out. So what is it about CrossFit that I love so much? Let me count the ways…

I know that I am intense. And if you know me, you probably know that too. But it wasn’t until I started CrossFitting that I realized I my intensity translated into my body (other than in the more intimate type activities ;-) I like to get my ass kicked by a workout. The workouts I enjoy the most are the ones that are the most difficult to survive. Give me your 300 , your filthy 50, your hero WODS. I’m still scared but I’m game.

If I can survive through 100 reps or lift almost 300lbs, I can DO ANYTHING. The progress I have seen with my physical abilities has proved to me that little steps really do cause big results. I have confidence that can accomplish things I never thought were possible, taking one step at a time.

In the heart of each WOD lies stillness, a place where my mind quiets and I am in the bliss of the moment, focused on the rep in front of me only. Like meditation, CrossFitting is practice for the rest of my life, where I wish to be present as possible in each moment.

I have to accept that I cannot yet jump onto the 21 inch box, so that I can but 110% into my effort to jump 50 times onto the 17 inch box. Push-ups are hard, sometimes my arms hurt so bad I want to cry. But I just keep going, accept the pain….and guess what? I get through. Acceptance makes the hard stuff bearable. Acceptance in the gym validates the importance of acceptance in life. Just like the push-ups will eventually be history, so will that difficult situation that may currently be a part of my life. Accepting what is makes SUCK bearable. Non-resistance (aka acceptance) of SUCK is what moves us through it quicker.

I want to do a pull-up, a push-up, a double under and a bunch of other things I can’t currently do. My worth and satisfaction doesn’t depend on these abilities. If they never happen, it doesn’t matter. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have goals. They are not why I Crossfit, but they motivate me to become the best that I can be. CrossFit has given me the DESIRE to be my very best.

You could say, I have started from SCRATCH. The almost 30 years of my life were spent in neglect of my body. I have never been able to move with ease…until now. Each new accomplishment I have with my bodies physical abilities is completely new. I’m not trying to get back to my previous body, I am working towards a body I have never known. Because of CrossFit I know all things are possible. One day I will get my chin over the bar unassisted and accomplish a full push-up (when I wrote this on Wed I couldn't see below). Even things so far out of my reach….the illusive muscle up…might eventually be possible.

CrossFit isn’t just a workout. It’s a community. At boxes all over the world CrossFitters of all abilities, beginner through elite SWEAT AND SURVIVE through their WODS. For the same reason natural disasters bring people together, so does crossfit. When we share in the knowledge that we have survived the same pain, there is an understanding only we can truly know. To me community is always a beautiful thing…and the fact it’s part of the CrossFit package sweetens the deal.

I consciously choose to put this last. The physical results I have received from crossfit are honestly last on my list of reasons why I love it. The results are a bi-product of the rest. However I enjoy my bicepts muscles popping up from beneath my extra arm skin, my defined waist, my ability to throw around heavy things with ease, run up the steps and not have to ask my husband to open jars anymore. I like being strong…a lot.

There is so much I am receiving from my CrossFit experience. Had I not finally accepted my self, so that I could love myself fully it’s doubtful that I would have found CrossFit or had the courage to try it. I want all women to know the joy that can be theirs through moving your body. It could be Crossfit, but it could be so many other things. Go out and try something new, something you think would be fun! Maybe the treadmill or elliptical brings someone great joy, but chances are there is much more fun to be had. Throw fear to the wind and give it a go, whether it is biking, hiking, swimming, volleyball, zumba, yoga or dare I say...Crossfit!

Happy Moving Ladies!


“CrossFit, done right, is like taking drugs. Your brain gets scrambled and your hands shake, but you feel flippin’ FANTASTIC. Yet your health improves and you look better. The fact that it costs less than drugs and you get to keep all your teeth is just a bonus.”



I was fortunate enough to meet the coaches of a small and mighty box in Charlotte, NC, CrossFit Voltage. I did two WODS there. The first, my self and my husband did coached by Tony DiBitetto. I loved Tony because he complimented my form, my husband loved him tremendously because he helped him have a breakthrough in getting his body to understand how the “clean” should feel. Tony’s knowledge of form and the body in general was impressive. WOD two I flew solo with with Donny Forbis. Donny is spot on an amazing coach, motivating, knowledgeable and fiercly passionate about crossfit. These guys and gal (Ashley Burke) have created a box that exemplifies crossfit at it’s highest. They don’t do it for the cash, but I have know doubt they will build a successful business! Check out the photo's of me at their box!

Also as of yesterday I accomplished one of my goals for the end of the summer....1 real push-up! I realize my form needs some work (note the ass up) and it's Just one...but less than a year ago I could barely even do one on my knees.


AshleyCFV said...

Thanks for the shout out. You did awesome Stef and you are welcome at our box anytime! We can't wait to see the progress you make by the next time we see you.


Mel_Joulwan said...

That is a badass pushup! I LOVE how you fought for it... and the smile of victory at the end. Gorgeous!

KCLAnderson (Karen) said...

Love this post!! The way you feel about cross fit is how I feel about kettlebells. Oh, and the video!! My kettlebell trainer finally got me to do a "real" pushup...his best tip for me was making sure my shoulders were "pulled down" towards my hips. I had never been able to do one before!

Anonymous said...

Someone near to me who hasn't worked out since high school asked me to go with him to look at gyms. I took him to a crossfit facility, in part because I thought it would be a perfect fit for him (build confidence and provide a sense of community, in addition to a great workout), and partially because I have never tried crossfit (there isn't anywhere to do it where i live) and because I wanted to give it a try. It was a tough sell, he was a bit intimidated at first, but soon realized what a great sport and how supportive every one was. You post expresses the reasons he's hooked after only a few weeks. I never though he would be this motivated to continue with something that would make such a positive impact on his health. Its truly amazing.