What gets you through a WOD?


Some of you know that I am a Born-Again Christian.  My faith in Christ dictates all things in my life: where I will live, where I will work, who I was to marry, etc.  I came to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior when I was 24. I am now 33.  

Let me start from the very beginning of my CrossFit journey.  I started CrossFit in October 2010.  Before CrossFit I had a different life (as I think we all did).  

On Sunday August 29th 2010 at around 10:30pm, the Lord called my Grampy home to Heaven.  He was 90 years old.  He was my best friend in the whole world & a second father to me.  He was my confidant, my breakfast buddy, my grocery pal, & my rummy partner.  We were inseparable.  Everyone in Rockland knew my Grampy and they all called him Grampy Al, like he was their Grampy too.  In May of 2000 Gramps received his High School diploma with me at my graduation ceremony at Rockland Memorial Stadium.  He had been drafted to WW II right before he finished high school so he never received his diploma.  So in 2000 the town had decided to honor all the vets who never received their diplomas.  When the students were notified of this, they petitioned to have my Grampy be able to receive his diploma with his only granddaughter who “just happened” to be graduating that year.  So together we celebrated graduating high school.  Fast forward 8 years and my Gramps, who was 88 at the time, was on my right, walking me down the aisle with my father on my left.

I was holding my Grampy’s hand when I got married, then again 2 years later when he took his last breath and left me to be with our Lord.  I crawled into the bed next to him at the nursing home and jut held onto him for about an hour before the coroner had to take his body.  I wanted to die with him.  I felt like I would not be able to go on without him.  Even though I had my faith and I loved the Lord with all my heart, I just wanted Him to call me home to Heaven too so I could be with my Grampy again.  

The week went by like a blur…the wake, the funeral, the burial, the celebration, the end.  I gave the eulogy and I helped carry his casket in and out of the church, to the cemetery, and to the side of the grave.  I was stoic and was still OK because I had him next to me still, even though I knew where he REALLY was.  When he went into the ground, then I was alone.  

I tell you all of this because my CrossFit journey didn’t begin until October, a little more than a month after I lost my best friend.  

I was working at Reebok and they had just started a partnership with this “new” workout called CrossFit.  I had a friend who I would see in the gym in the morning when I would go to do my 30 min. of cardio and bi’s/tri’s or shoulders/back or legs, whatever. I was having a hard time adjusting to the loss of my Grampy so when I saw my friend at work, who happens to be a Christian as well, he said to me, you need to try this CrossFit out.  He said it’s a great workout, it’s hard but it will help you.  I didn’t truly understand what he meant until much later.  I was scared but I said OK, what do I have to lose?  Let me know when class is and I’ll go with you.  So later that week, October something in 2010, I tried my first CrossFit class.  I was hooked.  It was tough, it was mental, and it was DIFFERENT than anything else I knew.  It challenged me, and it made me look outside myself for strength.  It was a place I could put my sadness & turn it into strength.  So I began attending class 4-5 days a week.  My faith grew stonger, my sadness grew weaker, & a year later I went for my L1.  The year after that I was training with the regional team at Reebok and was preparing to grow as an athlete.  Along the way I began to meet more and more Christians in the sport.  Some of the members of the regional team were Christians so we began to pray before we worked out.  That same year, Rich Froning Jr., a vocal Christian athlete won the games to be crowned as the Fittest Man on Earth.  He credited his faith in Christ for his strength and abilities (he went on to win it the next 2 years as well and then won with his team this year).  The ball kept rolling.  More Christian CrossFit athletes began speaking up-Ben Smith (2015 Fittest Man on Earth), Dan Bailey, Andrea Ager, etc.  Not only that but faith based CrossFit organizations started appearing: Faith Rx’d (Becky Conzelman), Faith+Hustle (Graham Holmberg), 90+ (in the UK), ActivPrayer, and many more.  They all credit their work ethic, their strength, and their ability to their faith in the Lord.  And He is the one who gets me through MY workouts.  When I want to quit, when I want to give in, when I just don’t feel like it anymore, I look to the cross.  I look at what pain HE went through to save me & my Grampy.  I know NOTHING I endure will ever compare to the cross.  

For you maybe faith isn’t a part of the equation.  Maybe you just fight on your own to get through a WOD.  Maybe you use your classmates to get you through, or a different faith system.  Whatever it is, it’s a mental fight.  CrossFit is SO mental and if you don’t have SOMETHING or SOMEONE to help you get through, then you will quit.  You will fail.  

Gramps never got to see me crush any WODs or coach the greatest athletes I know, but I know that he is proud of me and will tell me that when I see him someday standing in front of my Lord.  In the meantime, I pray that you can find someone or something outside of yourself to help you grow and get through not just the WOD but life in general.  Whatever that may be, hold onto it and use it to make you better, inside and outside of the box.

God bless ☺- Nicci

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