Thing 8: Hit the weight room like a total bro, bro.

I love CrossFit. It’s as simple and Kool-Aid covered as that. I love the people. I love the confidence. I love the mild case of PTSD that follows a good workout. I love what it does for my mind and my body.

Rafe started CrossFit in the Spring of 2013. He kept telling me how much I would love it. I told him he was dumb, that he didn’t understand.

“Girl are mean,” I tried to explain. “The guys may all love working out together, but the girls there are all going to be competing against each other and judging each other. I don’t need that.”

I was wrong.

CrossFit quickly became a huge part of my life over the next three years. I was at our gym 5-6 times a week. I watched CrossFit videos and read CrossFit articles. My social media feeds were filled with CrossFit athletes and organizations. It became such a huge part of my life that suddenly when the baby was born, it felt like there wasn’t room for it anymore. I cried when I missed events. I felt resentment towards my son for ruining this amazing part of my life. I felt guilty for missing my favorite 5am class with my friends. Rafe and I got in too many fights at 4:30 in the morning about who was going and not going because we both wanted to go, but the baby was up late and didn’t sleep well (as if fighting with your spouse isn’t awful enough, try doing it mostly asleep with an alarm clock buzzing and the fear of waking up an infant). My love for CrossFit started working against me and became unhealthy. It seemed the best thing to do was to take a step back and refocus.

I miss it everyday. But I knew I wanted to continue weight lifting. So I hit the weight room.

I’m comfortable with the rules and etiquette and people at CrossFit. The weight room is unknown and terrifying.

It took three separate days for me to actually step up to the squat rack in our new weight room. It looked different than I was used to. There were too many people there. I was just plain chicken. But yesterday, I did it.

I reminded myself that I knew what to do and that I could fake confidence and that Rafe had promised no one would talk to me. He was wrong.

I did one warm up set and heard people laughing. Like a crazy person, I assumed it was at me, so I put in my ear buds and tried to block it out for the second set. The cord got tangled on the bar and my phone dropped out of my waistband. I laughed at me then ditched my music. Then two old guys (the only other people working out) came over. One of them asked if I used to run track. I almost spit out my protein shake.

“I bet you would have been a great sprinter,” he said. “You have a lot of power in your legs.” I didn’t tell him that I have run a sub-ten minute mile three times in my life, and two of those times ended with me vomiting in a parking lot. It didn’t even occur to me to be creeped out by these guys. They just genuinely seemed interested in my athletic background. I had clearly disappointed them.

I finished up my last set red-faced, either because it’d been months since I had felt the weight of a barbell on my shoulders or because I was blushing. I snapped a quick selfie in the mirror for documentation and also because as far as I can tell, that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re in a weight room.

Did I do it right?

I can’t tell you how ridiculous I felt taking this picture. I tried to make it look like I was just messing with music. (that’s my new old man friend in the background)

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