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Saturday, July 6, 2013

We All Need Someone Walking Beside of Us, Ready to Pass the Ball To


On the 4th of July, before BBQ's and fireworks, I went to meet my peeps at Crossfit Uncompromised. I must admit, I was a little scared. Holiday WODs (workouts) tend to be intense. That might seem redundant for anyone who does Crossfit, but there are workouts and there are WORKOUTS. But I decided to push it. And it pushed back. The workout was a "partner" one where you split the movements with someone. The work? An 800 meter run carrying a heavy medicine ball. 50 wall-balls. 400 meters of walking lunges. 50 sit-ups with the medicine ball. 200 meters of burpees. 50 pull-ups.

I asked the amazing, beautiful Karen King to partner with me. Looking at the board, every ounce of me said, "I got this." But during the burpee phase, Karen carried me. During the walking lunge phase, Karen did more than half. And during the wall balls, the owner, Tricia, picked up my slack. She allowed me to rest until the final stretch of the workout--carrying the medicine ball during a run. I took the ball from Tricia determined to finish for Karen. For me.

When Karen passed the 12 pound medicine ball to me, she said, "I'll take it at the turn." But when I made that turn, with 100 meters to go, I made a decision. I was angry that my body had let me down only a few minutes before. It had betrayed me in making me think that I couldn't lift my arms one more time. So with Karen shouting, "Do you want to give it to me?" I couldn't answer. I saw her looking back as she ran ahead, checking on me to see if I needed to give her the weight. I heard my Crossfit family cheer to my right, "Come on, Lesa!" And I began to chant--first under my breath, but then aloud--"I got this. I got this."

When I dropped that medicine ball at the finish line, it was over. But I wasn't simply dropping a medicine ball on a gym floor. I was finishing something. Only a moment before, I sat shaking my head at having given up after hitting a physical wall. Angry that I'd asked my friend, Tricia, to help me finish. But the breath she allowed me gave me a chance to pull it together and finish.

We often try to fight our way through things that we simply cannot do on our own. We think we can. We push to the point of physical, mental or emotional exhaustion. To failure. To the point where we simply must pass the medicine ball because we can no longer carry it. That is friendship. That is family. That is life.

Becoming stronger requires weathering things by having someone walk beside us. Ready to carry the ball.

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