I have been going to CrossFit, or Evofit mostly (the bootcamp version), for over four years now, and I have once to not be nervous before walking in the door!

The night before the class I gung-hoingly sign up for either the 9am or the noon class for the next day, after listening to doctors and nutritionists teach me about nutrition and health all afternoon on my online class, and I have mentally made myself a part of this health world that is still annoyingly foreign to me at times. I talk all night on the porch about everything I have learned for the day about food and exercise being healers and the healthcare industry not having our best interest at heart. I whine about the fact that we are not set up for success with processed food all around us and electronics to keep us off our feet.

I proudly plan for five full days at the gym every week! If I am the best of the best I have ever been in the whole entire world, I make it to all five. I have not done that yet. If I win, I make it to four.

If I sort of win, I make it to three. Two and one are the ultimate fails!

When the alarm goes off to wake up my daughter for school, one of the first things I remember about this cruel world is that I signed up for the 9am or noon class for CrossFit. Suddenly my back starts to hurt. My legs get really sore right then, almost to the point of needing to lie back down. I don’t feel very well.

The morning goes on, and the truth sets in. I feel just fine. I do not want to feel fine, though, because that means I am going to CrossFit. I cannot imagine doing those movements in this moment, sweating like that, exerting that kind of energy. I still kind of do not feel well? I’m scared. Literally scared of how hard it will be.

What if we have to run today? Can my knees handle it? What if we have to bike today? Do I have enough air saved up? What if we have lunges in the workout? What if it’s a partnered workout? She’s going to hate me! I always got picked last in elementary school because I was the brains of the operation, and dodgeball did not require brains.

Why can’t I eat what I want and not gain weight? Why do I have to go work out four times a week? Three is fine. If I don’t go, it’s not going to change anything. I’ll get in a good workout tomorrow. I’m not that fat anymore. Cutting out one workout when I’m well in the game is not going to hurt anything.

Wait. He’s going?! If he’s going, I have to go! I should! Crap! I really don’t want to. Wouldn’t it be so nice to sit on this porch all morning and write? I’ll do an at-home workout tonight right here. How about that?

I’m going. I hate it.

If I don’t, I’ll have a bad rest of my day, layered with guilt and wanting to throw in the towel after completely sucking. Forty-five minutes of torture or all afternoon of self-loathing? Fine. I’m going!

I am in denial during the entire process of getting ready to go to the gym. I grudgingly put on my spandex, find a t-shirt that does not make me look fat, though I am aware that my fat is what makes me look fat, and I get out of the house as fast as I can before “my back starts to hurt again”.

All the way to the gym I blast 2Pac mix songs from youtube that make me feel like a high schooler again. I imagine being first that day in the workout, even though I can hear the voice in me reminding me that I am always last. I turn the music up louder.

Soon, I will be in the gym, lined up in between beautiful women who go there six days a week and do an at-home workout on the seventh. I will see that the workout involves running AND biking, and somehow I know that I will feel the most dread of anyone in the class.

The biggest person in the gym actually has the hardest workout. They are carrying around the most weight usually. I have been, on some days, the biggest person in the gym. It is still hard because I am still rocking about an extra twenty-five to thirty pounds and have to drag that around with me during the workouts.

Right before every workout, the coach decides on the music. If it is nineties rap or something with a beat, I am good to go. I can just follow the beat. I’ve always been able to do that. If it’s eighties rock, I am in trouble. I used to play that on my record player, but it did not ignite any sort of fitness montage for me. Only in the movies.

The next forty-five minutes are really going to test me. I could die. No. I can do anything for forty-five minutes. No matter what, this class will be over in forty-five minutes.

Why did I do this? I could be at home right now.

The countdown. I hate the countdown. Every coach does it like the start of a race. But here it comes anyway. “Going in ten…” In ten seconds, I’m either going to make it or die trying. This makes me so nervous every time!

Four. Three. Two One.

I died.

And when I come out of it each time still alive after I am pretty sure I died, I am reborn, I tell you! Makin’ all kinds of good decisions for the rest of the day! I just did that! That was me!

An entirely different voice takes over for the rest of the day all because I went. I go back to listening to all of the modules about health and eating behaviors and coaching through limiting beliefs. I sign up for the next day’s 9am or noon class, and we do this all over again!!

It never gets easier. But I laugh at it now. I laugh at all the “pains” that randomly show up in my body at 8:30am and 11:30am on CrossFit days. I decide if I want to go push myself  for forty-five minutes or if I want to spend the day figuring out how to be okay with the fact that I did not follow through once again. Lately I have learned that the first is the way to go, at least for any kind of sustainable change.

I can do almost anything for forty-five minutes! What I cannot do is spend all of my days wondering what could have been had I shown up and followed through with my visions!

I have a CrossFit sweatshirt that says, “I hate you. I hate this place. See you tomorrow.” And today is tomorrow. I must go.