Let the Crossfit Games Begin: Deadlifting My Anxiety and Other Fake-It-Til-You-Make-It Courage
I was the consummate bruiser.
Big, tough, loyal.
A need for approval the size of Greenland.
Metric volumes of unprocessed anger.
Whenever the coach needed a check on an especially bushy-tailed athlete on the visiting team, I'd be given the go ahead:
"Get in her socks, Lagana."
Nodding I'd maneuver on the field, evoking the intensity of Mike Tyson with the speed of, of -
hmmm, pick a slower but tireless athlete -
all at the tender age of 14.
Unfortunately as much as I had a daunting physicality, I was an emotional wreck of a player. Losing was personal and tragic. Winning just felt numb. I remember one especially poignant match where I decided that the team loss was a despairing reflection on my work ethic, my competency, and overall value as a human being.
That night I left on my uniform and shin guards, wallowing brilliantly until I slept. Waking in the morning to a distinct throbbing from the pressure of the protective gear on my tender skin. Removing the equipment I stared at my marked calves in disdain. My body had let me down.
The pain of my dented skin paled in comparison to the reservoir of grief inside me.
Thankfully in the intervening years I've explored that physicality in broader ways. With less shame and grief. But the politics of our bodies, much like the politics of our hair, is an intense thing. It's always there. Subtitling our actions. At times weighing down or sabotaging our dreams.
To a point I continued my keen love for intense exercise - weight lifting, running, hiking. Anything and everything that had a Navy Seal BUD/S like quality to it. Requiring me to be completely in my body and get into what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has termed "the flow state."
But a convergence of variables in my personal and professional lives have led to a distinct decline in my health. I've been slowly and sustainably editing my life to make room for my priorities. And I'm joining a Crossfit gym tomorrow. I'm nervous. Antsy. Going in eyes wide open, having met the staff and experienced the community in the early spring.
And I've made the emotional commitment. And I have such stern stuff driving me. But it still feels like jumping off that zipline tower. Well then... Let's go ahead and get this out of the way.
You'll never be ready, Starhearts.
Just keep breathing.
Look for your allies.
And find a way to say yes to you, the highest version of yourself, every day.
With Love and Light from Mythical HQ,
P.S. Send me your good thoughts ok?