I love my gym. I belong to a Crossfit gym down town, on the wrong side of the railroad tracks next to the steel fabrication plant and a recycling plant The pavement is heaved and cracked, potholes are the rule and a steady parade of dumptrucks and semis pass our open garage door. When it rains, which is often, the rain drips through the corregated tin warehouse roof and washes off the chalky hashmarks that track our AMRAPs. 5:00am finds it full of sweaty, straining, stinking bodies united in support of their own and everyone else's personal best and dying for their first cup of coffee.
I have belonged to Crossfit gyms before, but each one is different and I love this one. It's been dubbed The Boneyard and I am comfortable there. As comfortable as you can be doing Air Squats, Box Jumps, and finding your Max Dead Lift...It is the place that I have chosen to rehab myself after a cascade of injuries this last year. I am gettiing stronger and shedding pounds slowly, but more importantly I am regaining my chutzpah.
So far they have managed to keep me from injuring myself, not an easy task as I am a pusher. I allow them to choose my weights for me, as I would reach just a little farther than is prudent during this slow comeback. How hard I work within their parameters is entirely my own decision, and I wring every bit of effort from myself. Why would I do less than everyone else there? It would be embarrassing.
Women are the minority, but they are not looked down upon or subjected to condescencion, it simply would not be allowed as one of the owners is a woman and she would kick their ass. Everyone knows everyone else, newbies are welcomed by the whole. Help is ever present, encouragement is abundant. Nirvana. Leave your ego at the door and push yourself 'till you drop.
I told the female partner Jennie about my diagnosis and how I am determined to make Crossfit a partner in my recovery. We teared up, discreetly, 'cause we don't want the guys to think we are crybabies. I think we both realized that I was making an important decision to be, not just a survivor, but a conquerer. The day I return from my surgery I might just plink an exercise band while everyone else plays Wall Ball, but it will be an important day on the road to recovery. Chemo will be another thing entirely, but I will still come even if it's just to row and stretch.
The next day I received an email asking me if I would mind that the Boneyard will be walking in the local Joy to Life breast cancer walk in my honor. I was more than surprised, unexpectedly I felt PROUD. Very soon after I started receiving emails offering support and prayers. I really feel their support behind me, solidly. I know they won't accept less than everything I've got and they'll be there to add a little of their own strength to help me pull through. There will be no retreat and no surrender. It would be embarrassing.