Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24-26 ~
I heart training.
Not jump ropes per say – but definitely the effects the habit of using one creates. I love the salty sweat that drips from my elbows, of all places, and how my pace determines the rate at which my blood pumps through my plump veins, forcing my heart to beat stronger. I love how it pulsates in its caged space when I’m giving it my best. Screw Jane. I want to pound that heart beating strong in my chest and claim Tarzan status as I force my body to embrace the pain that will only make it stronger, enabling it to endure more and be more.
I love the truth that a muscle must tear and heal in order for it to grow. I love the morning after a hard workout when the echoing, aching cries of those tiny divides pulse through my body, reminding me of the battle I fought the day before, demanding a day of rest, to do their thing – mending themselves, filling the gap and growing more capable.
I have acquired some of my own tools of the trade over the years, nothing fancy – but enough to assist me in this perusal of strength. I gather it in a little space in our garage and call it my gym, old closet door mirrors and all. Sometimes I feel like it’s the only space in my life that is pretty much all mine.
I long for my time there. In my own private arena I compete against no one but myself. And most days its my own perfect world.
I haven’t always been like this. In fact, I spent most of my teenage years as a chubbier version of me and not because it was in my genes. I just didn’t know any better. I skipped breakfast and dined on bowls of empty, fat-free carbohydrates like white rice doused in sugary teriyaki sauce for lunch. Then I’d grab an apple for dinner and sit on a stationary bike for an hour and call it a day. No protein. No weights. Very few nutrients. No variety. No balance and no fun. Luckily when I met my husband, Mikey, he was ten steps ahead of me in health and fitness and with his passion for it as a backbone he began to retrain my way of thinking. And then quite a few years later he was my connection to a gal I like call to Sarge, who would enlighten me even more.
Sarge, a.k.a. Misty, is my husband’s boss’s wife. She is a certified Personal Trainer and owner of Dynamic Edge NW. She does not sport camo and a thick neck while she puffs on a cigar or blows into a whistle. She’s actually one of the classiest people I know and it’s her strength and drive that inspires you to push yourself further rather than her brawn. There is a determination that courses through her being that is contagious. She has this natural way about her that just actuates that you are capable of more and because she seems to be so sure of it – you can’t help but believe it yourself. And then before you know it – you are.
My timing in meeting her was pretty perfect actually because freshly into our discovery of each other she was just finishing up her testing to be a Personal Trainer and I got to be her guinea pig. She needed to do a couple of test trials to finish up her schooling and I got to have a Personal Trainer for free, a service I likely never would have dabbled in otherwise. A year later I happily paid top dollar to have her teach me how to be strong again because the fact is, she’s pretty amazing at it and I felt pretty amazing after training with her. She had created a hunger in me that I continued to feed whenever I could find the time in my make-shift gym in the garage. It wasn’t until just a year or so ago that I started calling her Sarge and only because I got the chance to participate in a really fun Boot Camp she lead at a little park in my neck of the woods.
Every once in a while I yearn for the camaraderie I found in her training sessions and that boot camp in the park. I miss the push that a fellow trainee offers just by sweating next to you. And I miss Sarge or at least the kind of wisdom and strength she brings to the table. I miss that kind of direction and someone I respect patting me on the back and pushing me to go a little further or a little harder. Sometimes I just want more than where I am at and what I have before me.
So, when she and my husband almost simultaneously signed up for CrossFit I found myself a bit jealous. First of all, this new fad popping up all over the Northwest finds it’s home in garages all over the place. Not car garages like mine, but rather shipping and receiving ones. But, the premiss is still the same. They are full of the bare essentials, jump ropes and bars and boxes and the like. Just my kind of space. A home away from home in a way.
Secondly, they are generally run by Misty-types. Health professionals who believe in strength of the mind just as much as the body. They remind you that it runs through your veins and beats in your heart and soul just as sure as it pulses in the muscle fibers of your being. And it’s my assumption that they are jam packed with like minded soldiers ready to embrace the challenges they offer. There is definitely some comrad potential to be found there.
Some people don’t enjoy being pushed – but I thrive on it. Sarge would push me and I would find out I had more in me than I knew. These make-shift gyms in garages everywhere are fused full of that kind shoving. So, in essence – they are pretty much created for a girl like me. But, the hours don’t work with my mom-schedule so I have to sit by and just listen to how great they are.
To put my garage envy at ease I’ve been copying Mike’s daily WODs, or workouts, at home in my safe place and last Tuesday I had quite an awakening.
I started out with great enthusiasm and bounced around my little space, thrilled to be changing my pace and trying something new. I even flexed in front of my mirrors a few times as I completed the WOD in what I was sure was record time.
I was high on my own might when something caught my eye. I soon realized I may not be as ‘fit’ for CrossFit as I first thought because I had been waving a white flag, of sorts, long before I even really got started – and I didn’t even know it.
It wasn’t mine mind you, well it was MINE but I hadn’t voluntarily waved it. As I drew closer to get a better look I discerned that I still belonged in the safety of my little man-made gym in the garage because that white flag was really a white tag. I had my cute little black workout capris on inside-out. Not only were they a little damp from peeing my pants while jumping that endearing rope a little earlier but they were also screaming to the world that I actually don’t have it all together at all. Thank God my gym is a private one, and the world wasn’t listening – otherwise my ego just might have been crushed for the day.
Instead, I just got to laugh at myself. I didn’t even take them off and turn them right side out. I stopped to capture the moment on my phone and then I carried on thankful that I was where God had me rather than where I had so desperately wanted to be. Even in the silliest of moments I find His goodness. His protection. His wisdom. I want bigger and better things all the time. I want to be pushed and inspired. I want to be exceptional. But, most of the time I am where I am because that is exactly where God wants me to be and it’s usually for the better. Because there is more to training than just body and mind. There is my heart that needs attention too.
Sometimes I need my bubble popped. I need to be brought down from my lofty goals to remember what I am really created for. It is my responsibility to take good care of the vessel my soul has been placed in. God’s Spirit resides there and I only honor Him when I keep it tidy and strong. But, even a tank that fights the craziest of battles cannot function without a heart beating within it.
My heart needs to be trained just as hard, just as passionately, just as earnestly as I train my body. Because when it’s all said and done – my strong and healthy body cannot be shared but my heart can. What I do in my garage, is for me, done with joy and respect for the Creator who gave it to me. What He does in my heart is for the rest of the world, His creation. And I want to be able to contribute to that cause as well.
Some day I will be as ready for CrossFit as it is ready for me. This I know. But, for now I am really ok peeing my inside-out pants in my meek and mild make-shift gym in the garage with God as my trainer. I’ve got 24/7 access to Him and I am certain He’s the best in the business of heart training. He is teaching me something there. And I am taking what I can get all across the board. I’m priming my soul for the world while I make grand attempts at copying Sarge and Mikey’s CrossFit fun as I train my body. And it all feels so good.
There are some pretty great links hilighted above in red. They are definitely worth the click.
Sarge resides in Cali, so she could hook you up with some great garages down south. But, you can access her brillance 24/7 as well at DynamicEdgeNW.
These great, new-ish outlets are popping up all over the place. So, if you are neither here nor there just search one out in your area and you are sure to find one.
AND if you can’t afford any of them, due to money or time limitations, at least visit their sites and glean the valuable information they offer for free and then join me in your own make-shift gym – or doing whatever it is that gets your blood pumping. These vessels we’ve been given are gifts – treat them well.
Whatever you do or where ever you do it, don’t forget to train your heart just as diligently. It has a lot to offer as well:)