Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Day Crossfit Made Me Cry...Damn You Cancer

I walked slowly towards my car, my thighs quivering so badly that I found myself silently directing each foot, “step and plant”.  As the car door closed around me, it was as if the sound of the door connecting with the car uncorked a champagne bottle of tears that had been slamming against the inside of my eyes for the last hour. I sobbed “it’s not fair” with ugly, body wracking tears, my head against the steering wheel until the cold seeped in enough to remind me to start the car.

I am the girl that loves running, I love sit-up and squats and burpees, oh my.   I really love crossfit, except today I hate it. 

 I need exercise, not just to be healthy (blah, blah, blah) but because my sanity depends upon it.  I am the girl that makes time for an extra gym session when work gets stressful.  When I spend 3 hours sniping and picking arguments with my husband for not knowing that when he asked where I wanted to eat and did not realize that when I said “I don’t care” I meant “the Bluebird Inn”, I lace up my sneakers and hit the pavement in search of clarity.  Somewhere along the way, on a back country road, my soul typically jumps out of a corn field and slaps my face, making me realize that if I would have simply said “ I would like to go to the Bluebird Inn,  please” instead of shrugging out a muttered “I don’t care”,  I could have saved myself a whole lot of hassle.  You would think I could come up with that on my own, but that is not how I work.  

I need my heart to be beating fast, I need sweat pouring down over my eyes.  It is then that I see clearly and feel deeply, it is my therapy and I freaking need therapy (or so says my last overpriced shrink who got traded in for an overpriced pair of sneakers with arch support.)

From the day I was diagnosed with cancer till the day I found out I beat it, I counted the days until I could get my life back.  I came up with a plan and my plan included getting my butt back in shape…literally. 

This weekend I hit the gym for a jaunt on my favorite treadmill…it was dreadful…but running is always dreadful after too long of a break… so I pouted for a minute and forgot about it.

Today was different, today I hate everything. Today my soul is broken.  Today,  I got a clear picture of just how much of a climb it will be to get back to where I was,  not back to where I want to be, but just back to where I was and IT IS NOT FAIR (she says in an angry pout as she stomps her foot).

Today, I sat down for a 500M row, to warm up before class started.  Less than three minutes later, I stood slowly, my quads shaking as my eyes darted around for a way to sneak out without anyone noticing. With no fire alarms to pull in sight, I realized I was in it till the end.  The warm-up winded me (although truth be told the warm-up typically winds me)…this was pretty much expected.
The rest of the class was an ugly look in the mirror as I realized what the last 7 months have done to my body. 

 I generally do exactly what crossfit coaches say not to do and I look at the days workout and if it’s a good one I go and if it’s a mean one…well,  I get stuck in traffic or called into a late meeting.  So when todays’ workout posted, I knew it was a good one to return to.  Ab Tabata followed by a WOD of DB snatches/jumping squats and pull-ups…Woot woot!  I can do ab work all day every day.  

Except that now for the first time ever…I can’t.  It took all I had to hold back the tears as I realized how weak my core had become. When we worked on split squats my legs shook uncontrollably after the first round.  I held back tears for the entire class as I convinced myself over and over again, to not walk out in the middle. 

I realize things could be worse, I do BUT right now, I don’t care.  Right now I am sad and I am angry and I want to give up.  Instead, I am going to limp through the next few days (quite literally) and try desperately to cut myself some slack and I am going to pout and probably cry again.  I handled cancer with a stiff upper lip but this, well this sucks, it sucks way more than I expected and that is something I just was not prepared for. 


  1. It's a tough pill to swallow when the you that you once were (before cancer, trauma, or whatever the case may be) may not return. But, I have hope that you will end up loving the new you! If you are anything like me, once you get through what you are supposed to get through, you start to feel/cry/process all that you just survived. Thinking of you! Thanks again for sharing.

  2. Thank You Heather! I think I have had a harder time mentally since I beat cancer than I did at any point during the fight. Thankfully I have the most amazing group of support that remind me daily to cut myself some slack. Thanks again, I cannot tell you how much your kind words meant or how many times I went back to reread them!

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