It has been said before. In life you need to learn how to embrace the suck. A phrase coined originally by the military for completing tasks that are often not considered ideal, has made its way onto the CrossFit scene. There is a lot that a person can learn about themselves in round 15 of “Fran” or the last mile of “Murph”. Learning to push through in a CrossFit workout is a skill that transfers to life very well. The clock is counting down, the person to your left and right are finished and yelling in your face to keep moving and the only thing running through your head is “What’s the point? I have already lost.”
Having the ability to push through that very moment, the moment when all you want to do is quit is something that I hold dear. Standing in at 5’3” and 165 pounds, naturally I have had my troubles in sports, whether it was high school football or competing in CrossFit. I don’t think I will ever forget the last event of the 2013 CrossFit Games Mid-Atlantic Regional. I had battled all weekend to make the last heat of the last event. I took the last lane in the last heat, something I am proud of, very fucking proud of. Just before I walked out, I looked around. I stood near Ben Smith, Nate Schrader, Steve Pinkerton, Shawn Butler and Gary Helmick, all people I have to completely “cock” my neck back to have an eye to eye conversation with. It was then I realized I couldn’t fail. I’m an underdog by nature and to be honest, I love it.
I get the opportunity every time I step foot into a gym to do something unexpected, against status quo. Every time I load a heavy barbell, people stare and give me the look as, “How the shit is this idiot, dressed in all neon going to lift that 400+ lb. barbell.” Luckily, I usually get to see the satisfaction of proving them wrong.
However, it doesn’t always work that way. In the last heat of the last event at the Mid-Atlantic Regional I took last. Not only did I take last in the heat, I took last out of everyone. On top of that, I’m pretty sure I finished close to last out of ALL of the regions. That’s fine with me. I am okay with failing, but I am not okay with quitting. I pushed through a dislocated wrist in the second round of the WOD and a torn labrum (that I didn’t know about). However, I worked until the point I couldn’t work anymore. I failed clean singles at a weight I have the ability of going touch and go for sets of 5 with no warm-up. I was spent. I’ve learned a lot about not only the athlete I am becoming, but also the person I have always been. This is a sport that if you can continually keep “Embracing the Suck”, eventually you will be victorious.
Here I am, standing up a clean with just seconds left on the clock (I failed about ten seconds before this). I finished last with the fellow competitors and spectators cheering me on. Adrenaline.