8.08.2012

What I Talk About When I Talk About CrossFit

Writers write.
Runners run.
I desire to do both.
I do neither often or well.
But still, I try.

I recently listened to Haruki Murikami's memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.  He writes novels and runs marathons.  Ah, but he makes both seem so effortless.

Pick up a pen.
Lace up your running shoes.
Get it done.

What's my excuse?

I ran today.  Had to.  It was part of my workout.

Throw a 63 pound barbell over your head 21 times.
Run 400 meters.
Throw the barbell over your head 15 more times.
Run 400 meters.
Throw that barbell up just 9 more times.
Run 400 meters.
Collapse in a heap on the floor of the gym.
Go home and write about it.

Really?  Three quarters of a mile?  Mr. Murikami runs more than 6 miles every single day.  He's probably barely warmed up by the time I'm huffing and puffing.

"Pain is inevitable.  Suffering is optional," writes Murikami.  We should paint this on the wall of the gym.

Just as Murikami has learned most of what he needs to know about writing through running every day, I'm learning what I need to know about living by working out every day.

I'm learning how to lace up my shoes and get it done, or in some cases, kick my shoes off and get it done even faster.

I'm learning to embrace my strengths, and embrace my weaknesses even tighter.  Squeeze them, work through them, overcome them, find the next one.

I'm learning that I can accomplish what I put my mind to, even if it's something I don't want to do or think I can't do.

I'm learning that it takes hard work to make things appear effortless.

Today, when I stepped up to the barbell and felt the cool metal against my shins, the last thing I wanted to do was squat down, pick it up, and throw it over my head.  Repeatedly.  But what I wanted even less  was to fail by not trying.  As the timer counted down to start time, I stopped thinking and started doing.  This might be the most important thing I'm learning at CrossFit.

crossfit

"It doesn't matter how old I get, but as long as I continue to live I'll always discover something new about myself." Haruki Murikami

17 comments:

  1. I was just on my library's website, trying to check out his book, but there were 104 people on the waiting list before me. Sigh.
    I am so impressed you can throw the barbell above your head even once. Sounds like Cross Fit is making you fitter in life! Very cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh man! you must live near a lot of runners :) i just happened upon the audiobook at my library. i didn't even realize i knew who the author was until partway through the book. i just read 1Q84 earlier this summer, and now i'm looking forward to reading more of his books.

      Delete
  2. Julie KernAugust 08, 2012

    Well Molly, I can't attest to your running, but your writing is surely a fine thing that just moved me to tears.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh, julie. i'm flattered. but really, if you saw me run, you'd be moved to laughter.

      Delete
  3. wow. what Julie said.

    I've been a long-time reader, have never commented, but this one, yes, this one hits so close to home. I too am a CrossFitter, have been at it now for 18 months with pretty good results. But I've plateaued and am feeling discouraged so your post comes at the right time for me. Thank you, thank you for writing so beautifully and honestly about your paleo/crossfit journey. It is making a difference in my journey too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i fear the plateau! as with any endeavor in life, it is bound to happen. ebb and flow. like i tell my kids, not every day can be the best day ever. same with WODs i suppose. but whether good or bad, satisfactory or not, moving your body is always a positive thing.

      with 18 months of practice under your belt, i'll bet you'd blow me out of the water! i look forward to looking back on my crossfit experience after some time has passed. i'm such a newbie, just 4 months in, but i'm definitely addicted.

      Delete
  4. I am new here, and I am totally unfit I am afraid, but I am looking for inspiration and the planting of seeds of physical discipline...I am amazing at creating rock solid excuses! Thank you for this post. It's melting away my excuses list...I wrote the title of the book down and will go hunting for it. Thank you;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i understand completely. i spent years perfecting excuses for not exercising! but then i realized i spent more time thinking about exercise and avoiding exercise than actual time spent exercising.

      sometimes i think spending an hour a day at the gym is highly indulgent, but in reality, that hour spent saves me time during the rest of the day because after a workout, i'm in high gear and i'm able to plow through my work. i'm like a juggernaut until i hit the pillow at night.

      Delete
  5. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, because a) Murakami's my favorite writer and I was looking for a quote by him to frame and remember, I found one now and b) you wrote down exactly what the Paleo lifestyle has done for me: less thinking, more doing (of the good stuff I mean), getting out of my head if you know what I mean. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the less thinking, more doing is one of the best side effects of this lifestyle. i totally know what you mean about getting out of your head! one thing i've learned is this: you have to get into yourself to get out of yourself. when i go to the gym, step up to the bar, focus completely on what i want my body to do, i'm transported from a world of thought to a world of action. i savor those minutes when my mind lets go and my muscles take over.

      Delete
  6. *I* *LOVE* *THIS*
    Your writing has always been inspirational... then your food... now your attitude toward your workouts!
    I love that pic too... seeing that gym just makes me want to go lift something heavy! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. That photo is so awesome in so many ways. And Molly, I have been working out recently and regularly, and it feels radical! My body has missed this kind of challenge and enlivenment. Stop thinking and start doing are such great words for life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. abby, i'm so excited to hear that you're working out and feeling great! i'd love to hear more about it!

      Delete
  8. I love the gym you do your cross fit at...awesome! Molly, I always love your posts so much I wish you posted more often....that is a compliment in every sense of the word...I swear it...it is not a complaint...LOL! I just love how you write and how you think.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love this post too. My older sister said something to me that changed my ability to overthink working out: "Instead of mind over body, it's really body over mind." When I wake up and my mind is ready to distract me with 101 possibilities, I look to my body instead which has the habit down.

    I'd love to read more about your paleo meals for your family. Pulling an onion from our garden, based on today's post!

    ReplyDelete
  10. brilliant! I love your determination and dedication. Reading this post made my body literally ache to go for a run.

    ReplyDelete

Archive

email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
Share |