𝔚𝔥𝔞𝔱'𝔰 𝔓𝔬𝔰𝔰𝔦𝔟𝔩𝔢 ℑ𝔫 𝔞 𝔐𝔬𝔫𝔱𝔥? 𝔬𝔯 ℌ𝔬𝔴 ℑ 𝔄𝔠𝔠𝔦𝔡𝔢𝔫𝔱𝔞𝔩𝔩𝔶 𝔖𝔱𝔞𝔯𝔱𝔢𝔡 ℭ𝔯𝔬𝔰𝔰𝔉𝔦𝔱 𝔄𝔫𝔡 𝔏𝔢𝔞𝔯𝔫𝔢𝔡 𝔗𝔬 ℌ𝔞𝔫𝔤 𝔒𝔫 𝔗𝔬 𝔐𝔶 𝔏𝔲𝔫𝔠𝔥
Just over a month ago I had no idea what CrossFit was, but the coffee shop I frequent here in Playa del Carmen is next door to a gym, and there’s only so long you can sit there sipping fine beverages watching people grunt and sweat themselves into a state of euphoria before you have to join in.
I thought I’d get a personal trainer and learn how to do deadlifts or something. So I wandered in, and spoke to a gentleman with a not dissimilar mode of follical arrangement to my own - bleached on top, dark beard plus classic strong-man twirled mustachios - and he didn’t speak much English, and I spoke less Spanish, but regardless, we discovered we were both DJs, and we arranged for me to attend a CrossFit class the next day, and I’ve been going 5 days a week without fail ever since.
Like I said, I had no idea what CrossFit WAS. Turns out not actually exercise at all, but instead a live simulation of an hour long extreme fight or flight episode. And so on my first day I managed to get through maybe two thirds of it before having to run outside and stop myself from vomiting all over the place. “Well,” I thought “now I know what CrossFit is”. And I came back the next day, and paced myself a little better, and managed to make it all the way to the end without having to run outside and decorate the calle with my insides.
I’ve mentioned before that one thing that amazes is me is that, after weeks and weeks of bafflingly elaborate fight or flight simulations, our instructor Jago never seemed to repeat himself once. Each day was a new surprise, and I have remained in a state of constant shock, awe, delight and mild terror to this very day. Indeed, this very day, halfway through week 5, was the first day I think something was repeated.
Jago is away right now. So another of the gym’s instructors, friendly bearded muscle-man Alan, is having his jolly way with us, which is a little different, and often comes to a crescendo with us engaging in something quite physically extreme whilst Eric Prydz’ OPUS blasts through the gym. This is a song I am used to hearing at midnight, maybe on New Year’s Eve, perhaps in one of my own DJ sets, and whist I was used to being sweaty when I heard it previously, these days I am practically liquid, and I now thoroughly associate it with transcending my mentally-imposed physical limitations.
Today was no exception in that regard - we started with 75 sit ups, worked up to 5 sets of weight-increasing 5 rep deadlifts (which I had never done before and fucking LOVED)… and then came something I’D SEEN BEFORE. Right back at the beginning, Jago had had us do these medicine ball-lobbing squat exercises - squat, launch the ball the wall as high and hard as one can, catch the ball as one descends into another squat, repeat. 10 of those, then 10 burpees, then 20 of those, 10 burpees, 30 of those etc all the way to 50. Last time I did that, I got up to 20, then had to go outside and hang on to my lunch for dear life.
Today, I fucking smashed right through it. Grinning like a mad person the whole time. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t EASY - there was plenty of arguing with the Inner Bitch, plenty of pushing through that Governor, that 40%, to the Other Side, where all the extra energy is stashed... But I didn’t have to go outside and be sick.
I SMASHED RIGHT THROUGH IT.
And afterwards, I realized why I’d been grinning so hard.
After doing this 5 days a week for a month, showing up, not knowing what I was supposed to do, or how to do it even when I was told... but always paying attention, and doing my best...
...after showing up 5 days a week for over month, a thing that I simply COULD NOT DO…
I now could do.
That’s all it takes.
In one month, I went from nearly throwing up after 40 minutes, to smashing through the thing that had seemed utterly impossible to me.
What’s possible in another month?
What’s possible in a year?
I am awash with joy and gratitude to have the opportunity to find out.