So, yesterday, I was talking some awesome ladies from the gym; at one point, we were discussing some of our favorite things about CrossFit, and it dawned on me... one of my favorite things about the sport of CrossFit is hitting a wall. Going off of my last post about the Spartan race, this got me thinking. Fear is a wall.
Even just walking into the gym for the first time was intimidating. It's not because the gym wasn't full of incredible and welcoming people (because it certainly was and still is), but it was because everything was so new, and so different from what I had become accustomed to. Looking back, joining the gym was probably my greatest moment of fear and doubt, yet it turned out to be, unquestionably, my best life decision ever. Because, really, now I'm finally living.
There have been a number of instances, over the past two years, where I've been scared to try something new. I can think of many times I hit a wall... of fear. Or, you know, in the case below, an actual wall. There's something so powerful about being afraid and conquering anyway.
The picture above was from my first ever CrossFit competition, the Bridge City Beat Down in 2011. At this point, I had been doing CrossFit for just over 5 months. This was certainly not the first time I tried something outside of my comfort zone at CrossFit, but it's one I recall as a benchmark victory of mine, after joining the gym. The week before the competition we were given the hint about the wall, and my heart nearly stopped. I was never one to jump fences, and I honestly didn't know if I could clear it. We weren't allowed to try it out (to keep things fair for competitors from other gyms) until the actual day of the competition, so my nerves were running rampant. I was afraid, but I jumped... and surprise, surprise, I got over that wall. Then I did it five more times. That fear turned into a great victory. Had I not challenged myself to actually face the wall, I very likely would have always wondered what if.
Yet, recalling other similar moments of fear, and the victory that came from it, I have been able to face and conquer new challenges. This little mental reminder challenges me to run headfirst to the next wall, and hurdle myself over it. I know I may not always be victorious right away, but I'm no longer willing to avoid something because it makes me uneasy. The evidence of facing fears leading to victory is too much to ignore, I think.
Just for example, I can think of numerous examples in the past couple years of things that have scared me and turned into victories. Such as...
1) Climbing a rope. I'll probably always be afraid of heights, so this was a hard one. It took trusting my new found strength enough to allow myself to get safely to the top, and back to the ground.
2) Getting on the bar to even try pull-ups. In my fast-track, I had so many bands attached to my feet, I may as well have been on a trampoline. Yet, I was still totally freaking out about having to hang on the bar. It took me quite a while of doing ring rows until I told that fear to go away and tried out some pull-ups with bands. Another victory despite fear
3) Running. Oddly enough, taking my shoes to the pavement was probably the thing that scared me the most. With some work, and some awesome CrossFit programming, my endurance has picked up significantly. While I am certainly not what I would consider to be a real runner, I do run sometimes just for fun. I count this as a huge victory.
There are so many things I can think of, and instances within CrossFit where I've been challenged to step outside of my comfort zone. I have learned that a comfort zone breeds mediocrity. While I am not the picture of perfection, and have been, at times (recently), frustratingly busy with life (involving school and work and sleeping and eating), I am learning to embrace the feeling of hitting that wall of fear. Fear, when conquered, means new victory. I love this about CrossFit. This does not mean I will be immediately successful at something that scares me, but it does mean, with perseverance... one day, I might be.
When that next wall comes, may we all have the courage to face it, and jump.