Katie, Jill, and Shar: CrossFitting Moms working on knees-to-elbows!
This was written by Kelly Brown, who is the co-owner of CrossFit Agoge in Montrose, and was posted on the Affiliate Page at CrossFit.com. There's not much to say, it pretty much says it all. Here's to all the CrossFitting moms at Evolve and everywhere!
In the aftermath of last weekend's Sectional Qualifier, I find myself repeating the same story again and again. Frequently, with some element of emotion. And so I feel compelled to put it down in words. The story actually begins at the Rocky Mountain Regional Qualifier last year. The video crew was interviewing Kristine Reinking as she battled her way to the final heat of the competition. They asked her if she felt her age (at the time, 37) was a factor in her ability to compete with a field of women who were generally 10-15 years younger. Her response is one of the reasons I had the courage to compete this past weekend. She said (and I paraphrase) that her age likely affected her ability to recover from multiple workouts in one day, but that maturity brings a mental toughness that probably levels the playing field again.
It has been 12 years since I traveled home from what I assumed at the time to be my last foray into legitimate athletic competition. Sure, I would do some fun runs, maybe a marathon or triathlon here or there. But this would be my last opportunity to feel like a contender; like a competitive athlete versus a recreational one. It was time for me to grow up. Since then I have gotten married and had two children. I have worked, paid mortgages, and cleaned the house. I traded in two-a-days for trips to the park or a chance to finally catch up the laundry. I retired into married life and motherhood. I cannot blame my husband or my kids. Much of the mental transformation occurred long before I met John. I thought it was inevitable. Then in June of 2006, I walked into CrossFit San Diego and began the resurrection of my past self.
We live in an enlightened age when it comes to the societal expectations of women, yet still we fight against ourselves. Ask most working moms if they experience daily guilt about taking their children to daycare. Ask any mother what her goals are and see how far down the list she gets before she says something that doesn't have to do with taking care of her family. Ask most moms if they are athletes and most of them would say no. But, I think this is beginning to change.
I believe our primary objective as parents is to instill in our children a sense of responsibility to be a positive force in the world and then give them the tools to accomplish it. I believe we achieve this by showing them that we are not afraid to work hard for something; that we are not afraid to work hard for something and fail, sometimes repeatedly, before we conquer it. We will get pull-ups, muscle-ups, climb a rope, get the job, clear the debt, get the promotion, buy the house. We will succeed because we are not so paralyzed by fear of failure that we fail to try.
I was fortunate to compete alongside Kristine this past weekend. The mental toughness that she displayed was mirrored by many of the "older" women in the competition. A calm acceptance of the pain that was to come and the realization that it would not last. We are women who have learned that we are limited only by our own expectations. That we can be mothers, wives, workers, and sometimes many more things in a day without using it as an excuse to give up on ourselves. As we warmed up for that final heat, some of us talked about the value of this accomplishment for us as role models to our children; but more importantly, in that moment, the value of this accomplishment for us as women, as individuals, as athletes, and on this day, as contenders.