Monday, June 12, 2023

Challenges Test Bravery and Reveal Strength

When I moved at the end of last year, I was worried about meeting people in a new place.  I’m very shy, and I have an easier time talking to people when we’re doing something together.  Walking up to someone and starting a conversation just wouldn’t work for me, it’s not in my nature.  This is one of the many reasons I love riding horses.  Not only does it help me connect with animals, it helps me connect with people.

It took a few months, but by December I finally felt brave enough to join the CrossFit gym down the block.  I didn’t know anything about CrossFit other than that there were group classes every day.  I like exercise, so I thought maybe that could be the activity that helps me meet people in my new community.

From the start, CrossFit has challenged me.  Every class made me want to throw up in the beginning, and not because of the high intensity exercise.  Being in a room full of twenty people who I didn’t know and who all seemed to know each other was my nightmare, but I made myself go.  It got easier (and I got less nauseous) every time until eventually I got over it.  I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but I know people now.  I look forward to seeing them at the gym, and I’m excited when run into them at the grocery store.

I thought the hard part was over, but the challenges kept coming.  Once I got over my social woes, I realized that I was actually doing an intense sport that could make me very strong.  It could also get me very hurt.  In CrossFit, you lift heavy weights at high speeds.  If you’ve ever seen me, I am built like a piece of angel hair pasta.  I didn’t think I’d ever be able to lift a bar with weights over my head, and at first I couldn’t – not because I wasn’t strong enough, but because I was too scared.  Now I do it about three times a week.

I’m pleasantly surprised with myself.  Challenging myself once got me through the door.  Challenging myself to go back every week presented me with more challenges.  Now I look forward to them because each challenge shows me that I’m capable of more than I ever thought.