In my last post I told you about Crossfit and some of the great things about it. Now I want to share a story with you about something that happened to me a few weeks ago so you can really understand why I love it so much.
One Saturday morning 3 weeks ago, I was driving to my Crossfit box for the morning workout. It had been a while since I had been there so I was just praying all the way there that it would be a strength based workout. I love those. Lifting heavy weights makes me feel strong, and even though it’s hard, I’m much more capable at those than other things. Like running. Or burpees.
If you don’t know what a burpee is, watch this. It looks easy, doesn’t it? Go ahead and try one. Better yet, try 5 in a row. Not as easy as it looks, especially when combined with other exercises.
I arrived at the box, took a look at the workout board and saw that God had answered my prayer with a big “NO”. Obviously, he wanted me to grow mentally that day. He wanted me outside of my comfort zone. He wanted me to have to depend on HIM to get me through.
The WOD (workout of the day) was a long run (long for me anyway – it was really only 2 miles, but I’ve never run that far before), and along the way we had to stop several times and do burpees. Seriously? I got sick to my stomach just seeing that. I STINK at running. And at burpees. But it got worse.
Then the trainer tells us that we will be doing this in teams. I take a look around and as I look at who is there, I know that whoever my teammate is – I will be slowing them down. I got paired up with a girl who is great at running. That made me feel guilty before we even started. I felt like a child all over again and no one wants to be THAT kid that loses the game for everyone.
I was literally in tears before we even started. I won’t lie, I was having some anxiety about the whole thing.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)
At this point, my sweet friend who introduced me to this place came over and joined my team. She volunteered to run just so she could come along and encourage me. Who does that? She’ll never know how great that made me feel.
So, we head out on our run and sure enough, our group was in the back of the pack. But you know what I found? No one cared. No one cared WHERE we were. After all, it wasn’t a race and there was no prize for being first. Instead, they only cared that we finish. They cared that I didn’t quit. They slowed their pace to match mine and talked to me the entire time. They even let me rest at one of the burpee stops and did my part of the burpees for me. I was running and crying at the same time – partially from sheer exhaustion and partially from being so humbled and in awe at this level of encouragement.
As we neared the end and the gym was in sight, the groups that had finished first came out and ran the last bit with our team. They had already done their workout, but they came out to run MORE in order to cheer us on to the finish. I get goosebumps and feel the tears welling up just typing this. I was in awe.
At first I was so embarrassed. I didn’t want the attention from being last. I just wanted to do this workout on my own – not as a team. I didn’t want anyone to see me fail. Just let me do it myself. But that’s the difference. See, if I had done that workout on my own – if I had run alone, and came in last after everyone else was back – I would have felt like a failure. I would have focused on the fact that I was the slowest one there.
Instead, because we did it as a group and I came in with other people – I felt like I accomplished something. When those people came back to run with me I felt like I was worth something. When my friend congratulated me for not quitting, and when the trainer said I worked hard – I felt like a winner.
And I should feel like a winner! I ran 2 miles and did burpees along the way! I’d never done that before. Each of those people running with me had to start somewhere too. A few people told me stories about their first runs and how hard it was for them. That gives me hope that one day I will walk in to the box, see a run listed on the board as part of the workout, and NOT feel like I want to turn around and go home.
THAT is why I love Crossfit, and my box in particular. You won’t find that type of encouragement and support just anywhere.
“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
No wonder Paul uses running in so many of his examples in the Bible. Faith and running have a lot in common – they both require endurance and keeping our focus on the Lord!
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Hebrews 12:1b-2a)