Yesterday I woke up, got out of bed, dressed for the days events and brushed my teeth. All the usual activities of an average human’s life. But what separated me from the normal is that when I woke up I was officially done with day one of my crazy, CrossFitting, CouchSurfing adventure. For the first time in my life, I didn’t have a set place to come home to, a steady structure for when plans go astray and life kicks me in my ass. It’s an exhilarating feeling knowing that you now have complete and total control over your own life. The freedom is beyond a breath of fresh air. It’s comparable to the buzz of the clock announcing that another grueling WOD has reached its end. Undeniably though, it’s also as terrifying as listening to your coach announce the WOD in the first place. From my understanding, people who travel religiously will frequently get asked the question how they got the courage to start in the first place. Now that I have begun an adventure of my own, I think my input to this query would prove to be of some value. Personally, it wasn’t courage that propelled my first steps into this new life, it was pure bewilderment. I had a lack of knowledge that needed filled. The knowledge of travel, movement, and the unfamiliar. And today got me one step further on my quest towards filling this void.
Our first task of the morning, was to make the trek back to our trusty steed of a mini van, in order to ease our minds that it had not been trifled with during the night or towed that morning out of some freak accident of terrible luck. To our satisfaction, there she stood. Not a scratch in sight. After we ousted our packs of any and all irrelevant items for the day, we then armed them with the few items that any loyal CrossFitter would deem imperative. Jump ropes, food, Nanos, light meals, stretch bands, snacks. Not to mention the leftover chicken from the previous nights dinner.
The fitness destination for the day was CrossFit Naptown. Zach and I were the first to arrive for yesterdays 11:00 open gym, and also the last to leave. Being that it was an open gym, we wanted to take full advantage of the equipment provided to us. CF Naptown definitely delivered. With two separate spaces, the box was stacked with C2 rowers, barbells, plates, and plenty of rig space. It was like walking into the CrossFit equivalent of a well refurbished home. But instead of an outdated house, it was a run down warehouse. And instead of brand new furniture and fresh paint, there were black rubber mats and wooden gymnastics rings. It short, it was a beautiful sight. We shook hands with a couple of the coaches and introduced ourselves and our adventure. Following suit with the first gym we dropped in at, the Naptown coaches were just as excited and willing to make a mark in our road trip.
After discussing workout possibilities, Zach and i decided on a deceiving couplet that we found on Naptown’s whiteboard from earlier in the week. Five rounds for time of 15 wall balls (20/14) and 10 clean and jerks (95/65). Wall balls have always been a strength of mine, given that I have some height for a girl, and the clean and jerk weight seemed pretty manageable. Needless to say, after the first round I quickly changed my mind about busting through this workout and fell short of Zach’s finish time by over two minutes (granted, I accidentally used 75 pounds instead of the prescribed 65, oops!). However, the finishing time was by no means the focal point of the day for me. Being that it was open gym, Zach and I were left to complete this workout on our own. No music, no coaches, just the sound of our own exhausted breathing. However, by the third round a voice broke through that silence and caught me off guard in the middle of my wall balls. “Come on Lex! Don’t drop that ball unless you’re done with the round, lets go guys!” The owner of the gym was standing at the far end of the rig, cheering Zach and I on as we struggled through the movements.
After I finished my last rep of clean and jerks, I dropped the weight and looked up towards the guy that was yelling at me to keep my hands wrapped around the bar. I didn’t need to say anything, nor did I feel obligated to return any favors. But in that moment, my belief in the CrossFit community was solidified. This is not some trend that people will learn, obsess over, and then move past. CrossFit truly is changing the game of fitness, the face of sports, and most importantly the lives of people. Peter Brasovan’s cheers were not motivated by money or glory. He simply demonstrated his love for fitness and coaching when he went out of his way to push Zach and myself towards our highest limits. We weren’t performing a Games or regional status workout and there were no cameras or bright flashes to capture his act of kindness. The only motivation he had was his love for CrossFit and the people that make up this beautiful community. I never had the chance to tell him how much I appreciated the few words of encouragement he yelled, but I truly believe my gratitude would not be a prominent factor in his decision to pass that kindness on again to future drop ins. It’s just something he does. It’s just something WE believe in.
When an individual believes that they can accomplish greatness, they are well on their way to doing so. When a group shares that belief, they are one step ahead of any individual. But when a community comes together to support a lifestyle, then history is being made right before our eyes. CrossFit is a lifestyle that I have chosen, that Zach has chosen, my family and friends, and coaches like Peter Brasovan have all chosen. It is not simply a means to fitness and better appearances. It changes something within. From the way I think and view situations, to the way I handle daily interactions. I have been changed for the better. And when people act out in kindness and encouragement just as Peter did for Zach and myself, it shows me that I am not alone in this change.