Today I have a special treat for you. Instead of reading my ramblings, I’m sharing this platform with one of our members who writes about the evolutions of their CrossFit habit. You can find Rachel at Catacombs at various times of day and you can find more of her writing at rachelwhatif.com.
In Rachel’s words:
I broke up with running. We weren’t getting along. We were together for twenty years, so it was hard to let go, but it was for the best. It wasn’t running, it was me.
I was madly in love with running. Entering the most hard core, yet realistic, races I could find locally. The most challenging being the Imogene pass run. My best time (out of 4 attempts) hovered around 4 excruciating, exhilarating hours. However, the fourth time, I grudgingly dragged my ill-trained body over Imogene’s unforgiving terrain. The only thing I can remember involves whimpering on the grass at the finish, wondering where the nearest hospital was, and why I was stupid enough to believe that I was ready for this race, just because I had done it a few times.
That day marked the beginning of the end of my relationship with running. I have participated in hundreds of races over the last 15 years…rom 5ks to half marathons, marathons, the Ragnar series, and several obstacle course races.
So what happened? I came to the realization that I was an abuser. I was asking too much from my relationship with running. Having a bad day? Go for a run. Ate a lot of brownies? Go for a run. Want to listen to a podcast? Go for a run. Need to get the dog out? You might as well run. Need to build muscle, look great in swimsuits? More running.
Ultimately, I realized my extremely high expectations of running were not being met. I wasn’t winning any of these races I was paying to enter. I would run miles and miles, and still it wanted more. It was never enough, never finished. Although, I loved all the fun we had together, and feeling like a part of something bigger, a culture to ascribe to, and of course getting outside. If nothing else, we always had the endorphins. Still, it was lonely. I needed a new fitness program and a friend encouraged me to try CrossFit.
Probably the most attractive part of joining CrossFit, as a beginner, was the possibility of doing pull-ups. Pull-ups are the impossible task I have held in high esteem forever. Irresistible and charming, it was love at first sight. Having been in a long term relationship, that left me burned out and confused, I knew to be cautious. This time would be different. I would take it slow, and listen to my coaches. I would spend time with other things like double unders, wall balls, and handstands to get to know myself better.
Normally, I would consider myself a monogamous girl. Having more than one thing to think about just seems like a lot of extra work. What draws me to the gym is not necessarily the tasks I will be completing that day, but who I will be when I leave. Coaches are carefully introducing me to myself every day, and surprisingly, I am building the most important relationship of all. I am falling in love with me. Essentially, this does leave me focusing on just one thing: me.
Pull ups and I are casually seeing each other, like 2 times a week, unless the WOD includes them already. I recently went out with rope climbs and was surprised to find out I could go all the way to the top because of my admiration for pull-ups. I’m working on double unders, and I’m not sure wall balls and I will ever get along, but we are making it work.
I’m also happy to report that running and I are back on good terms. I am super cautious about signing up for races, but when I do, I can usually knock out a PR for my 5K or 10K. Most of all, running is fun again. I think we have a new respect for each other.
Codependence has no place in any relationship. It leads to a lack of trust in yourself and low self esteem. If you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, I strongly recommend a visit with the devoted and no nonsense coaches at Catacombs. The connections I have made at Catacombs have supported me on this path to a healthier and happier life. I will never again rely on only one method of exercise for the complex and beautiful person that I am becoming!