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Pull Up

Criles convinced me to try CrossFit in late August. The intro WOD made me hate everything to do with balls, but my first legit WOD, Fran, hooked me. I hurtled into the warm-ups, flooded Google with skill searches, and stacked the icebox with produce. CrossFit dominated my life from day 1 and I rode the adrenaline of starting something new. The boosts in self-esteem were incredible; finishing a WOD was awesome, finishing them well was epic. I cried after WODing out of sheer joy and the euphoria from buzzing endorphins. This year, I struggled through some painful baggage in difficult counseling and CrossFit gave me a sense of self-worth and accomplishment outside of my church family. It was easy to get into and fun.

Then life hit again. If you’ve ever battled depression due to abuse, you know how it goes; it comes and goes without warning and knocks you over. I struggle mentally in the WODs now, the euphoria of “something new” gone, and the reality sets in. CrossFit really is like life; it ebbs and flows, you have good days and bad but there are a few constants, always – hard work, dedication, and suffering well. The last one might seem odd, but seriously. I waste so much time and energy complaining about heavy weights, long runs, sore muscles – no wonder I fail to finish WODs strong. I strangle my body and spirit with negative thoughts. 

Suffering well means it’s going to hurt, it’s going to suck and IT WILL BE HARD – but if you ask for guidance, push through the pain and shut the negativity down, you will get stronger. You will get faster, and you will reach goals you thought impossible! Then, you learn to apply the same strategy to life. 

Life is hard, sometimes it kicks you when you’re down – it’s not always “fair” but it tempers and molds our character to be more like our Maker and less weak.

I did my first unassisted, kipping pull-ups tonight. This is so timely because for the last month, I’ve been battling this rut of depression, frustration in CrossFit and with life in general. But after asking for help and with some encouragement… I grabbed the bar, kept my core tight, and pulled up. 

Thanks CrossFit Strong for all the coaching, wall-balls and pushups – it is a privilege and a joy to workout with such an encouraging community. 

Viewing 1 - 16 out of 16 Comments

  • CourtneyR 11/07/2010 17:30:46

    This is an awesome post!  You're inspiring!
  • KatherineM 11/03/2010 22:45:34

    Wow, thanks for all the encouragement everyone! I love my CrossFit Strong Family!!!
  • SarahH 10/28/2010 13:27:34

    Hey, Katherine - thanks so much for your blog and your honesty.  Sounds like you've had a nice "ah ha" moment, and, believe me, if you take the time to look back regularly, you'll have several more!  I agree that CrossFit teaches (or exposes) so much about ourselves.  And I also agree that it is cleansing, in a way.  It's the trial by fire!  The mental fortitude will ebb and flow, like you said.  But you have very real victories at the box that you can relate to your life.  The more "activities" or opportunities that we have to fail or get stronger or both, the better we get at reacting to it.  We can't change what will happen in life, but we can always better control our reactions.

    All the best, Katherine - you're doing great :)
  • SharlaG 10/27/2010 08:11:08

    WOW!!  Katherine, I remember the first day I met you at the box and how encouraging you were with that great smile on your face!  Would have never guessed all the rest!  Just goes to show that all of us have some battles going on in our lives most of the time!  That's why this is SUCH a great place!  Thanks so much for your awesome blog!  It's an inspiration to us all!  CONGRATS on the pull ups!  I hope I make it there some day but this certainly encourages me to work harder for sure!!
  • LindsayM 10/26/2010 15:48:43

    Not much left to say here but, stay strong and I am happy to have you at the box.  Great stuff on your kipping pull up- only took me 6 months!!!
  • cat 10/26/2010 13:37:24

    Hey Kat - great words!  I am inspired by your fresh approach and perspective!   I saw those first unassisted pull-ups....and I knew those wouldn't be the last!   You always come in the door with a smile on your face...thank you for that!  

    I found that after I started Xfitting and conquering a few wods (simply meaning personal success by getting out of my comfort zone) that I felt stronger mentally to handle those mental battles that we face everyday at home, work, in our relationships, etc.  

    Keep up the fighting spirit!
  • LeonaG 10/26/2010 11:46:18

    Wow!  Just as other have said, I can completely relate.  Congrats on the PUs.  I know that very first one is a huge accomplishment and a milestone to say the least!
  • TomW 10/26/2010 10:54:16

    Great, wonderful, inspiring words Katherine!  So glad you are a part of CFS!  It's hard to focus on life's difficulties when you have Fran, Chelsea and Helen being bitches all up in your face!  You pretty much have to focus every fiber of yourself on kicking their asses!  It's sooo therapeutic.
  • NydiaS 10/26/2010 10:09:38

    Best. Blog. Ever.

    Thank you so much for sharing such an intimate part of you! It's inspiring to read your words and get a glimpse of your spirit. CrossFit has certainly had an enormous impact on my life and I just love reading how it impacts others as well.

    Anyways, congrats on your pull up, but really congrats on this whole philosophy! Again, thank you so much for sharing!
  • PaShunD 10/26/2010 09:13:47

    Thank you Katherine for this blog! I understand what you're going through, until i found CF I had to take alot of medication for depression. God has lead us all here for reason and I thank him everyday for the blessing of having all of you in my life! You keep up the good fight and remember we are all fighting right here beside you!
  • DeveneyW 10/26/2010 09:02:41

    Wow, what a great blog Katherine!  I appreciate you sharing and we are glad to have you a part of our family.  Your blog def hit home for me and I too feel so much of what you said.  Great words and writing lady!! 
  • jgrantham 10/25/2010 21:31:51

    Sorry to hear about your troubles and it is true - everyone needs an outlet in life or you will go bonkers.  Crossfit is good outlet to have, and I'm glad you have found something that works for you.  Its funny when the hardest part of your day becomes a 20 (or if your me 30) minute window of exercise... Tends to puts other things in perspective pretty radically.  Congrats on the pull up - and stick with the program and I hope youll find solidarity and strength to overcome whatever life throws at you or some mighty guns to punch it in the face.  As far as working out and lifestyle, don't beat yourself up if your not perfect everytime - its easy to do but doesn't really help anything.  It's important to step back and realize how hard the program is and be proud that you can even do some of the stuff in a WOD.  Most people can't, and you can...  Feels pretty good eh?
  • RosaP 10/25/2010 15:47:16

    I just want to say thank you for sharing.  That is so courageous and inspiring!  I've been struggling myself - missing my old Denver CF peeps, struggling with nutrition and overall feeling a little out of place.  This was such an encouragement to know that I'm not alone - we all struggle.  Thanks again and congrats on the kipping pull up - that is something that I aspire to do.

  • CoachYocom 10/25/2010 15:10:47

    Kath-er-ine! What a great testimony! This is why I ended up starting this business. Fitness was always a goal, but as you can see on the white board (from the intro). Mental Wellness is so important to me and the number one reason. I saw changes in my friends from not only sweating together but battling through WOD's together.  So many mental traits that became better.If anyone is reading this, RULE #1.  It is more than just a rule!  We are all like minded invidivuals coming together for one reason or another.

    KM - I am glad you are here and if I can do anything for you, just let me know.
  • StephanieS 10/23/2010 11:44:30

    Congrats girl!  Welcome to the family.  I too struggled in the beginning with crossfit as I am always at the top of my game and when I came to crossfit last year in Florida I was with elite athletes who were kicking my butt.  In the beginnin I was letting it bring me down, but then I realized that I just needed to work harder.  I now have some of the greatest friendships!!  Actually what I consider my family and it broke my heart when I had to leave Florida but glad I found another family!! 

    I learned about 3 years ago to get rid of all the negative people in my life and surround myself with positive people and people I wanted to be like.  What a blessing that has been.  God truly has blessed me in so many ways. 

    I will admit I put alot of pressure on myself and I too have issues with depression related to some events in my life and statistics say that it takes 5 to 7 years to get over those.
    Let me know if you need anything even if it is simply to talk

  • JohnM 10/23/2010 05:49:03

    WOW!  You hit it out of the park!

    As someone who has also battled depression I completely understand the ebbs and flows and how hard it can be in an "ebb" and how it colors everything you do day to day.  One thing for sure though you must celebrate your successes and in doing so more successes come your way.  Congratulations on the milestone and I wish you many more successes on your journey to physical and mental health ...

    So again,  Congratulations!!  


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