Yesterday I became a master.
If you follow my Facebook or Instagram you would be aware of this already, as when I have a competition I tend to regress to my inner toddler and shout “look at me, I’m doing it” through the medium of social media.
Sorry, but not sorry.
There is no dark handsome fella waiting at home to hear all about it, the kids are bored with CrossFit, so I turn to social instead.
I competed at Form Leeds at a Crossfit competition, and for the first time at the tender age of 39, I could play at being a Master (older person CrossFitting for those muggles among you.)
I bloody loved it!
I always feel at home in the world of CrossFit, but sometimes in a world of RX, I can feel terribly haggard at times, and way out of my league. On occasion when you turn up to a competition and the others in your heat have yet to carry a baby in their womb, or mix in training round school runs and work. When their breasts don’t require several support bras to stop droopage and the boys have less facial hair than me – well, you can feel a little out of place.
I was in a world of CrossFit where we all shared the same issues, and faced the same fears.
Did I mention I bloody loved it.
I smiled a wee smile of satisfaction when 10 minutes before a double under wod was announced the bathroom bins became overflowing with tena wrappers. I felt another competitors pain when she was heard post wod to mutter “would have smashed it if I didn’t wet myself mid way.”
I saw women complaining about back ache to pleurisy – who had still turned up to compete, to not let their team-mate down.
I saw women and men, of an age when society tells us we should slow down, when we are expected to be parents, workers, and taxi drivers for teenagers; carving out something for themselves and smashing it.
I saw some amazingly strong athletes who simply inspired me to be better, push harder, and leave stronger.
And I laughed till my sides hurt.
It was my first competition with my new box, with a new teammate who had never stepped into an arena before.
Nerves crippled us both, despite constant reassurance of the other that it didn’t matter where we came.
Within moments of arriving, she left the bathroom, sheepishly, saying…
“Sorry, yeah that, in the toilet, that was me.”
Myself and my teamie oozed class through the workouts.
Being finally allowed to play with the big boys and girls, I expected lower weights, a kinder rep scheme. I was wrong. The organisers refused (and rightly so) to accept because we were older we could lift any less. Wod one was an initiation to what was going to be a heavy but amazing day. As I swung a 24kg kettlebell round near my head, I questioned my own sanity, I sniffled back tears, I prayed for an end and my teammate got me through.
Miraculous Mel, eyeballed me through every rep, without words she pushed me to not give up when the burpees threatened to ruin me. She dragged me around a 400 metre run then smothered me with hugs when it ended.
She smothered me a lot that day.
My super strong sister in law, and my other gorgeously good friend who competed in an older category screamed at us not to give up, and when they took to the floor, we repayed the favour.
Because CrossFit is that sort of community, and yesterday I felt it even more so, in the masterclass.
Did we win?
We smashed a thruster and rowing wod – then engaged in some heavy hugging and rolling on a chalk dust floor.
We painfully dragged ourselves through a pull up one, where we didn’t scale because our pull ups are, well, shite. But we tried, really hard, and yanked through 24 of the feckers. Then we showed how you really do Gymnastics by doing the worm along the floor.
Miraculous Mel pb’ed her clean at a massive 67.5kg, and I did more double unders than I ever remember doing before.
Did we win our category?
But we gave it everything, and who can ask for more than that.
Plus we made a barrow load of new friends, ones who I imagine are sharing a similar pain in their quads today.
Sometimes I wonder why I do this sport?
One that rips my hands, leaves scars on legs and can make my muscles ache for days.
Yesterday reminded me.
I do it because it is fun like nothing else, I do it because I can exceed my own expectations time and time again. I do it because the other people who do it are inspirational, energising, down right plain lovely – and almost always have a Tena lady in their bag.
I do it because I can, because you are never too old to learn something new, lift heavy, run like you are being chased, and start to do gymnastics.
Thanks to Form Leeds for a great event, and the Ninja Monkeys look forward to seeing you soon.