27 Apr

In high school we enter as young, eager individuals excited to learn new things knowing that in four years we will graduate and move on.

In college we enter as young, eager individuals excited to learn new things, knowing that in four (or maybe five years) we will graduate and move on.

Through those experiences we meet new people, form bonds, deal with whatever comes our way, and at the end of the journey we hope that the next stage in life will come just as easy at the past experiences before us.

My next experience after college was deciding to join CrossFit.

When joining CrossFit we enter as young (mentally and/or physically), eager individuals excited to learn new things without really knowing the expiration date to all of this. There is no, “Oh, I will give this four years and then move on.”

I joined the CrossFit world in January 2013 scared shitless, not knowing how I would be able to keep up with the athletes. I felt like a freshman joining a team full of seniors. After two or so months of CrossFit I met this sweet, blonde shorty at a happy hour and we hit it off immediately. I wanted to know everything about her and knew we would become the best of friends although we disagreed in music choices- and I only knew this because she had to leave the happy hour early to go to a country concert.

If you want to fit in, you do some crazy stuff. After only three months of CrossFit I signed up for the 2013 CrossFit Games Open. I have blogged about this experience, but this event, this five-week event, brought me closer to everyone in that gym than anything I had ever experienced. I felt like I belonged. I felt appreciated, welcomed, and valued.

By 2015 that sweet, blonde shorty who I met at the happy hour had become my best friend. We were inseparable until she got new job orders that moved her to Washington DC. Because of CrossFit, we met. I give CrossFit that credit for sure. We are still best friends and even when CrossFit is out of our lives we will still be best friends… forever, and CrossFit Girlfriends.

From 2015 to now, I have done some pretty amazing things in the CrossFit community. It only took time for me to grow my wings. I helped build my home gym’s social media, I coordinated an amazing holiday party, I brought people together when a member of our gym was in a horrible snowboarding accident, and I helped plan and coordinate a competition that has grown in popularity every year that inspires women to be better, stronger, and if they podium get some awesome shit that I personally take the time to put together.

But none of that matters. What matters is community. Over the past two years a special group of people have some how finagled their way into my heart. This group, or should I say, these #BadassBitches have completed my puzzle. Our puzzle is complete because each one of us is so different in our own special ways, but each piece fits perfectly. There is the one piece of the puzzle that has bigger dreams and aspirations than anyone I have ever met whose hair is so curly and her legs are so strong that she squats double what I can. This puzzle piece would most definitely have a piece of pizza on it. The other piece of this puzzle is this bootylicious, muscle queen who has a heart of gold that without CrossFit I have no idea if our paths would have ever crossed, but hell I am so glad that they did because she brings a whole new side of the world to mine. The other part of this 5-piece puzzle set is a piece that is bright and shiny but came from a much older, more wise box. This piece is young and eager to take on the world and she is wise beyond her years. Such a smart chick who can load you with a ton of scientific data, is a great listener, and has the best pain face I have ever seen. Finally, the last piece that fits into our puzzle is the piece that would include so many objects and small details that as a group, she brings unity. By this, what I mean is that she has experienced so many things that we have yet to experience, or never will. She has been married the longest, is a military wife, started CrossFit before all of us, and is one of the most motherly, loving, and stubborn people I have ever met. This no mustard, “you’re wearing that?,” hair flipping, brutally honest beauty completes this puzzle.

As a current CrossFit athlete, to me CrossFit is family. Over the past four, almost five years I have made the best set of friends. You sweat together, you cry together, you laugh together and even if you are at the gym for two hours and never pick up a piece of workout equipment, CrossFit is good for the soul and everyone is fully vested in becoming better not only as an athlete, but simply a better person.

To wrap this up, the time has come for me to graduate and to explore a new level. I am continuing CrossFit, but at a new location. This new location is scary, there are a lot of unknowns and I am now a freshman again. But this new location and opportunity has already made me feel appreciated, welcomed, and valued which I feel was stripped away recently from my gym that I called my second home for so long. Bring on the new, the unexpected and the exciting. And through trial I know that the community I have formed and the close bonds I have with people will continue to prosper even if we aren’t under the same roof.

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