“I can’t do it! ARGGHHUMPPH!” my four-year old yells and histrionically throws herself to the floor, scattering her puzzle pieces around. It’s a 30-piece big girl puzzle she wanted.
“Yes you can,” I tell her. “You gave up too easily. Keep trying. If you keep trying you can do anything.”
Often she will go back to the task that was frustrating her, and keep trying. She doesn’t usually want my help – my independence streak running deep in her blood – so I wait patiently. I wait to see if she can work it out or when she is ready for me to ask to help.
She’ll furrow her brow in concentration and may have one more fit of dramatic rage, but usually, she will go back and finish the task. Some days, she gives up.
“Charlotte, it’s okay to ask for help if you need it. It’s also okay to get upset at something that’s frustrating you. But it’s never okay to give up. You can have whatever you want if you work hard enough.”
“Okay, Momma. I will try really SUPERDUPER hard.”
This morning at Crossfit, I broke a new Personal Record (PR) of a push jerk (here’s what that is) and did 95 pounds. There were three of us women sharing the rack (heh, I said rack. Yes, I’m apparently still 12) and to find your max, you start out small and add on weight until you can’t press anymore. We took turns cheering for each other, commenting on form.
“Push your head through!”
“You got this!”
And that was only the skill work, not the actual WOD (workout of the day). This consisted of five rounds of five push jerks (at 80% of max weight), five Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (basically lifting the bar from floor to clavicle, elbows high), and 30 jumprope reps.
The other two ladies I was working with were done by the 6 minute mark. As it was nearing 10:00 – the cap time – I was still a whole round away from finishing.
I sat down.
“You got five seconds. Then get up and do this. Let’s go!” a voice boomed over me. It wasn’t my trainer. It was one of the women.
I stood up, grabbed the bar.
“C’mon, jerk it up. You got this.”
And I did.
I stopped after two.
“Don’t you stop. You have three more. Five, four…” she was counting down the time I had to rest. “Go!”
I did the three more push jerks. I looked at the clock. It was past 10:00.
“No resting! Go right into the sumos!”
“I ran out of time. I can’t do it. I’m done.”
“You are NOT done. You CAN do this. You have three left. FINISH.”
I lifted the bar four times and dropped it with a loud clang.
“Don’t you give up. It’s just one. ONE. You can do this.”
Sweat was dripping off my face, my arms were shaking.
“Do it, now!”
I lifted it with an inhuman grunt.
“You’re not done. Finish the jumps.”
I was panting and my chest hurt and I wanted to cry and throw up and pass out all at once. But I finished my 30 jump ropes to complete the five rounds close to 11 minutes, more than double every one else, almost a full minute past the cap time. But I did it.
If it wasn’t for her, I would have given up. Maybe before the 10-minute cap. I sure as shit wanted to.
Later as I was
panting and wishing I was dead recovering, she came over and high-fived me.
“You did awesome! Way to finish!”
“Thanks for pushing me,” I replied through deep breaths. “I needed it today. I wouldn’t have pushed myself.”
“No problem. That’s what we’re all here for. You got my back next.”
That is why I love Crossfit. Because whether we’re 4 or 30, sometimes having someone believe in you is all it takes to push yourself a little further and reach a goal that seemed unattainable.
Sometimes, the voice inside you chanting “just give up,” needs to be silenced by someone else’s “YOU CAN DO IT.”
Because, dudes, you totally can.