Friday 3.14.13



Rolling on 20s
3 Rounds
20 Front Squat (135,95)
20 Burpees
20 T2B

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Haiku Contest. Subject...bumper plates. Go.

Haiku Contest. Subject…bumper plates. Go.

From the Members…

This Christmas my 17-year-old daughter gave me a poster of Wonder Woman.  I opened my present in genuine surprise! Blue-black hair flying behind her, well-developed muscles flexed and lasso gripped readily, Wonder Woman smiles at her unseen foe. My daughter looks at me and said, “That’s you, Mom!” I laughed – I never thought of myself that way before.  I suppose one’s identity is a fluid thing, always being defined and redefined by one’s self and others.

After reading the article in The CrossFit Journal, “Define Yourself,” by John Doole, one of the CrossFit New England (CFNE) coaches, about defining oneself through CrossFit, I began to reflect on my own CrossFit experience. For me, CrossFit is a way of life. The challenge is not only physical but mental and spiritual as well. Every day I want to be on top of my game.

Every morning I get up at 5:30am and go to CFNE to engage in some of the most arduous, gut-wrenching workouts designed by owner and coach Ben Bergeron. I push myself as hard as I possibly can. I know I have the support of everyone there. The coaches watch my form to make sure I’m doing the moves correctly (and they are excellent coaches). My fellow athletes cheer me on and congratulate when I’m done. Every day I improve a little bit more.

In my job as a crises counselor, I work with people who struggle with drug addictions, thoughts of suicide, depression, trauma, bullying, psychosis, alcoholism, homelessness, abandonment, and despair. I help them to problem solve and get to a place where they can heal. I accompany them for a little while in their struggle and provide support, empathy, assistance, and care.

In my volunteer work as a prison minister I work with men who are often struggling with addictions and their lack of self-worth. Contrary to common belief, not every person in prison is bad, but all of them are broken human beings.  Every once in a while I give the homily on Sunday morning and on one Sunday the Gospel reading was about preparing for Judgment. I borrowed a paragraph from Ben’s article, “Your Biography Is Not Your Destiny” from the CFNE website. In it he says:

“You are not your past. You are better than that. Don’t let yesterday’s events or today’s fears keep you from being the person you know you can be. Your biography is not your destiny. Most of society believes that we are our past. They believe who we are, and who we will become, has already been decided by our past. The truth is your past does not dictate your future. As human beings we have been given the ultimate power…The power of decision and choice. You control who you are and who you will become, by the DECISIONS and ACTIONS you take TODAY. You can be anything you choose to be, but you must believe in your decisions, and act upon those decisions with conviction. Don’t fall into the trap of the many, that your past failures will predict future faults. We can be anything we decide, as long as we act. Biography is not Destiny, your Destiny is up to you.”

The audience sat in amazement, one man in tears. They applauded and later many said it was the best talk they ever heard and asked for copies of it. I’m sure they don’t get to hear words like these very often, maybe never at all. I was thankful I had these words to say to them.

These are not just CrossFit words given by a coach to motivate his athletes. These are words to live by. We all have challenges – whether they are physical, mental, or spiritual – we all struggle. CrossFit lifts me up so I can lift others up. For me there is only one principle to live my life by and that is to be a loving presence to others. To be sure, I do not always find it is an easy thing to do.

I proudly hung my picture of Wonder Woman in my office, happy to be defined by my daughter in this new way, and considered it thoughtfully. I looked at the lasso and wondered if the artist should redraw it as a jump rope and maybe add a 30lb. kettle bell in her other hand. Hmmm…Wonder Woman 2.0 – CrossFit Trained. I really like this new me!

Rita V.