Just for your entertainment, I would suggest listening to this while reading: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhsTmiK7Q2M
If there is one absolute statement I can make about Crossfit, it is that it pushes you to your limits.
It has been an interesting experience to learn what that feels like. I have definitely had experiences before that have pushed me, but I am, for the first time, experiencing the feeling of pushing my own limits. Does that make sense?
Last night our workout was an 800m (1/2 mile) run, followed by 8 sets of 8 kettlebell swings and 8 burpee-pullups (or, since I can’t do a pull-up, I was doing knees-to-elbows while dangling from the bar… by the end of the workout it just looked a lot like a burpee-dangle) and then capped off with another 800 m run. This was after a 400m run, some stretching, and 40 push-ups, sit-ups, and squats for the warm-up.
About 2/3 of the way through my 8 sets of kettlebell swings and burpee-dangles, I found myself face-down on the floor, gasping for air mid-burpee, with a massive Viking (everyone literally calls him Thor. I’m not sure that’s his real name, but I wouldn’t be surprised) to my right, sputtering through his own burpees 2 sets ahead of me. The Boyfriend was shirtless a few feet in front of me (this would have probably been distracting if I hadn’t been in so much anguish), miraculously pacing Thor, red-faced and trying to find a sweaty grip on the pull-up bar.
Lying in a growing puddle of my own sweat (and probably just a little bit of Thor’s, too), wondering how I am ever going to get up again let alone get up and do it 15 more times, is about the time where I would traditionally decide to quit. Thinking: Not worth it, who’s idea was this, I am not this type of person who needs to workout so hard that I am brought to the point of near-tears and sudden intense self-examination mid-workout. Who does this to themselves.
Last night was not the first time I felt pushed to my limits by Crossfit. And I don’t think it’s the first time in my 3 short weeks of this sport that I have plowed through those limits only to keep lifting and running while working so hard I can’t tell if I’m crying or just sweating out of my eyeballs. But it was the first time where I really stopped and thought to myself, THIS is my limit. I am at my limit. I do not want to get up, and I do not HAVE to get up. But I got back up anyway. This happened again in the next set, where I reached a place where I thought, there is no way I can do this anymore. And yet, I finished the entire WOD, and I didn’t even finish last. This is what I mean by pushing my own limits. Consciously challenging myself to reconsider what my limits actually are, and finding that I have a lot more in me than I expected.
Limits are a funny thing. How often in the past have I come up to a challenge and thought, Nope, can’t do it, and then just walked away? How did I know that I couldn’t do it? I think the quote at the top of this post is a pretty good way of putting it. I might also add, “And then keep going past them.”