Did I mention we’ve joined a new CrossFit gym? It’s called the Black Hive, so now I’m a member of the Hive. #badassish
Hot Firefighter Husband and I are the oldest people working out there by about a hundred years, which is sort of awesome because people look at us like DA-AMN, I hope I’m like that when I’m old. Which we are not. But you know how silly those young hipsters can be. Also, there’s some sort of unwritten rule at the Hive requiring ripped guys to work out shirtless.
#eyecandy It’s very motivating.
So. CrossFit has a series of workouts called Hero WODs (WOD means Workout of the Day), which are named after contemporary American military and fire/rescue heroes who have died in the line of duty. Last Saturday at the Hive, we did the Hot Shots 19 WOD, in honor of the 19 firefighters who perished last year fighting an Arizona wildfire. Cool, right? Especially if you do the workout with a partner, which in my opinion is extremely reasonable. The Hot Shots 19 consists of 30 squats, 19 cleans (A weightlifting movement in which a weighted barbell is pulled from the floor and hoisted to a front squat position with the barbell resting on the hoister’s shoulders), seven pull-ups, and a 400 meter run. Do all that times six. Or half that times six, if you’re working out with a partner. But upon our arrival, CrossFit Brent said we would each be doing the workout solo. Initially I was all WHAT?! WHERE IS THE NEAREST ZUMBA CLASS? But then I calmed down and decided I would just go slow and be deliberate and enjoy myself. HAHAHAHA! All true except the enjoyment part, which doesn’t happen until it’s over and I’m napping. Here’s an abbreviated catalogue of my thoughts during the workout:
1st round: Not so bad! Totes doable.
2nd round: Maybe four rounds is respectable enough.
3rd round: CROSSFIT MAKES ME BLEED. *Tore my palm callous open doing pull-ups.*
4th round: FUUU-UUUUCK.
But something happened in the fifth round. As I left the shaded sauna-like heat of the box to do my 400-meter run in the accursed sun, I started thinking about those 19 firefighters. I forced myself to imagine them lying in their protective survival tents, literally burning alive, hoping against reality that they’d live another day, even another hour. I thought about the decision they’d made to become firefighters – to dedicate their lives to serving the public good in return for lackluster pay and maximum personal risk.
I’m not going to get all sentimental about dead heroes here. I’m not even going to talk about Hot Firefighter Husband possibly becoming one of them and leaving me alone with three kids and two dogs and no one to make me coffee in the morning. But listen – the process of doing this workout in honor of people who made a supreme sacrifice made me focus anew about why I believe it’s so important to be and stay strong. It’s a citizen responsibility of sorts, in my mind – a sensible need to be ready for whatever life throws at you, whether it’s yanking a child from a busy street or fighting back during the zombie apocalypse (which is totally coming, people).
I also starting thinking about the strength it takes for most of the world’s population to simply exist. Sometimes – often! – I think life is hard. But for nearly everyone else on earth, it’s harder.
We are animals, and we weren’t meant to sit around and atrophy. I can’t count on everyone else to be strong for me – I need to be strong myself, if for no other reason than to feel like a survivor – and be a survivor when obstacles block my path.
All those Deep Thoughts got me through the fifth round, and by then I only had one to go, so I just gritted my teeth and persevered. My Pterodactyl had tagged along that day, and he joined me for the final 50 meters of the last run. I watched him pump his arms and smile up at me with little boy sweat plastering back his hair, and it simultaneously surged my motivation and broke my heart. Holy Hercules, I bitch about this boy. His aversion to change brings me to the brink of sanity. His anxieties, which have ruined more family outings than I want to remember, make me long for retirement. And yet, there he was, a child so afraid of life’s unexpectedness that he dreads going to bed at night, running alongside me with abandon, having no idea where he was going or what was next, trusting me to be strong for us both. So I kept going.