Hey, faithful fitness fans! I hope everyone’s had a great week with some awesome workouts woven in!
As I mentioned Sunday night, I spent last weekend in hot, hot Houston cheering on two of Premier Fitness’s CrossFit coaches and athletes, Josh Hill and Amanda Schwartz, at the South Central Regionals competition.
I can honestly say I’ve never been so in awe of the human body, and I don’t just mean aesthetically, although everyone was in fantastic shape. I mean I was unabashedly agape watching petite, 110-pound women hold sixty-five pounds high over their heads while squatting a hundred times, resting only when absolutely necessary. Athletes of every shape and size went head to head displaying the greatest feats of strength and endurance I’ve ever witnessed or heard of, outside of Greek myths. Seriously, I half-expected Achilles to storm past the check-in table on his chariot, pick up a kettlebell and start a’swingin’ alongside the other demigods…just before rupturing his Achilles tendon, of course ;-). Other athletes reminded me of “Mortal Kombat” characters, like Johnny Cage, i.e., the smug showoff in shades, and Mileena – really, there was a tan, buff brunette sporting a bright purple outfit. Pretty cool!
Super-human characteristics aside, these mere mortals gave it their all throughout those three days. On a 108-degree court, they ran, pushed, pulled, swung, jumped, lunged, and lifted their way toward new goals, records, and thresholds, never once complaining (from what I could tell), and never once surrendering to the burn of a hundred repetitions, the pain of 305-pound deadlifts, or the unmerciful heat and humidity of the Houstonian air that exhausted we, the spoiled spectators, who did nothing but stand on the sidelines, preferably tree-lined sidelines. The only exceptions to this remarkable level of perseverance were made kicking and screaming in the face of debilitating injuries, such as Amanda’s torn and burned hands. (Would show a pic, but it may upset a few tummies– she still got 12th place!)
I am brand new to CrossFit, and I’m learning more about it every day, thanks in large part to my superhero boyfriend, Ben, who just happens to be a passionate CrossFitter and coach as well! I can’t help myself; here’s a pic of him landing a “box jump” on a park picnic table Friday night.
He actually programmed a CrossFit workout for he and two of our friends to do that evening, utilizing a running trail, dilapidated pull-up bar, and park benches. This simply proves that you can get a great workout in just about anywhere! (By the way, ask him and he’ll attribute every one of his muscles to the wonders of CrossFit ;-). )
I knew after my first introductory class that CrossFit was an incredible training method that truly helps you grow into and become the very best version of yourself, your own brand of superhero, if you will. But this weekend helped solidify the reality of what’s most attractive about CrossFit, besides the killer physiques – it’s the community surrounding it. I’ve never been into football (a crying shame for a Longhorn!), but I feel I can now sufficiently relate to the frenzy fans indulge in inside college stadiums on Saturday nights.
Being part of a group of people so devoted to fitness, cheering each other on, encouraging each other through every grueling workout, was absolutely thrilling! I found myself chanting the names of athletes I’d never met nor knew anything about, besides the fact that they were pouring every ounce of sweat and passion they had into their personal races to the finish line. It’s all you can do not to get fired up when you see the love of fitness, of breaking away from breaking points, of pushing past limits, of demonstrating the pay-off of months defined by unyielding discipline playing out on a sweltering court in the middle of a Texan farm in June.
Thank God for community, for friends and strangers alike who help carry us over barriers, through quicksand, muck, and miry clay, who shout out our names, spurring us to continue the course set before us, who wash our dirty feet and mend our wounds. Whether in an athletic competition or on a spiritual battlefield, we should always be thankful for friends and fans cheering and praying in our corner.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! -Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di