Sunday, June 29, 2014

You Can Do Hard Things...And Other Lessons My Kids Learn From Crossfit

 "When you thought I wasn't looking"
When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed that there was a God to talk to.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt,
but it's alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I saw that you cared,
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn't looking,
I looked....
and I wanted to say thanks for all the things
I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.
Author: Mary Rita Schilke Korazan

When I first embarked on my journey towards a healthier me, in January of 2014, I began creating signs to display, in different rooms of my home, that would serve to encourage me. My favorite of the signs is one, painted on canvas, which has become my mantra.  It reads "You Can Do Hard Things."
I forget this, and need to be reminded of its truth,  I CAN do hard things.  The evidence of which, I had seen, in the last six months of 2013, when I challenged many of my fears, by taking an improv class, completing
our local Citizens Fire Academy-
scaling ladders, including a 100+ foot doozy, though I am terrified of heights, and swimming in open water, in the Carribbean, with 10-15 foot reef sharks (yes, they have big teeth and yes, they could have eaten me for lunch). 

Believe it or not, Crossfit is harder for me than all of those things, and fear swells inside of me, every time I enter the box.  But I do it anyway.  Yesterday morning, I awoke with dread- knowing that I had a challenge to complete, and I was really behind.  On Tuesday, those of us involved in the "ninety day challenge" were instructed to supplement our WODs with 90 double unders, every day, until Saturday at 1:00.  And if you could not yet do a double under, you must substitute 250 singles.  That's 1500 singles total, for me, and, friends, that is no joke.  It ended up being a busy week, getting home from vacation on Sunday, and hosting a college friend and her family until Thursday morning...So by yesterday, I had only completed 480 of the required singles-and I knew I was in trouble.  At 11:05, I sauntered into 427 Washington Road, along with my hubby and two of my four children...feeling less than enthusiastic about the jumps.  So I did the only thing I know how to do- with such a task- what I've learned, from the coaches and my colleagues at the box: I broke the 1,120 singles down into sets of 25 reps.  And slowly, but surely, after warming up on the rower, I began to chip away at the goal. 

About half way through, I started to smile...
not only because it seemed that I just might endure, but because I had become
acutely aware that my children were getting a most invaluable lesson,
through all of this.  Though they were busy completing challenges that they had set for themselves,
I knew that they were absorbing all of the other magic taking place in the room, as well.  Silently, they were seeing their parents, who are overweight and out of shape, struggle to overcome the insurmountable task in front of them- no complaining-no apologies.
  They saw their parents determined to better themselves, without consciousness of how they looked or how simple their feats were compared to other, more elite athletes in the room.  They witnessed the power of not giving up....the joy of finishing that which seemed impossible just an hour before.  And I thought about the poem, which a friend had copied for me when my oldest child was just a baby.  And I thought how I'd rewrite it for this occasion:


When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw how crossfit athletes come in all shapes and sizes, but are all very powerful
And I knew that strength was better than body type.
When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw members of a box, young & old, black & white & in between, cheering one another on

And I knew that humanity is kind, and caring, and together is so much better than alone
When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw how you struggled to keep jumping
And I knew that if you could do it, so could I.

When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw how you stopped to catch your breath, and you wanted to give up
And I knew that you can always start again

When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw how you could have gone home, but you persevered
And I knew that you only fail if you quit.

When you thought I wasn't looking
I saw a Mom and Dad who are trying very hard to overcome difficult habits
And I knew that its never too late to pick yourself up and be better than you were before

Eventually I finished the goal, dripping sweat, but feeling fantastic.  It was a difficult morning, but, my kids getting these kind of lessons?  Totally worth 1,120 singles. 

No comments:

Post a Comment