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12 Minutes

For 12 minutes, I pushed myself harder than I ever have. At the end of those 12 minutes, I was on my hands and knees, trying to refocus my world.

I tried to make sense of the fact that I had failed; despite pushing myself to a physical brink that I didn't know possible the day before, I was still a failure. I had let my team and my family down. I had let me down. So, I kept my head down, trying to catch my breath and trying to not let everyone see me cry. I was having a terrific perfectionist pity party.

However, I soon felt the weight of familiar hands on my back. My husband and daughter, my biggest supporters, cheerleaders and fans, were pulling me up.

My daughter hugged me and told me that there was no reason for me to be sad and that I shouldn't be upset with myself because I had tried my hardest and she was "super proud" of me. My husband told me that he had just watched something very impressive.

One of my friends had been my judge. She "no repped" me several times (I had to redo several moves because I had done them incorrectly). Her job was not an easy one, but it was one that I have immense respect for because I am a rule follower and she followed the rules. One of the main reason I like and respect her so damn much is because she is so incredibly lovely, but she takes no bullshit (and, trust me I will give you some bullshit if I think you will take it).

As soon as I was upright, I wanted to leave; retreat to a safe, quiet corner and lick my wounds. I didn't want to hear the polite platitudes; I didn't want to hear that I should be proud of myself - because that was ridiculous. I wanted to give myself the severe mental beating that I deserved.

However, I didn't leave. I stayed and cheered on others. And, I found that I was truly happy for their successes. This was a foreign feeling for me, but I liked it. I realized that my body was not the only thing that had improved since I started CrossFit Jane in October.

When I finally left, I headed over to one of my best friend's house to spend the night. My friend is going through an unimaginably hard time. As we sat together, I realized how ridiculously self-absorbed I was being. I was sitting with one of the people I love most in the world, a person whose very real pain was nearly palpable, while I was upset over exercising.

And, just like that my pity party was over. I was proud of myself. I was proud of myself for stepping up and trying. I was proud of myself for setting a good example for my daughter and when I learned that she had gone squat for squat right behind me, I cried for completely different reasons. I was proud of myself for deciding to change my life.

I'm going to try it again tomorrow. It won't count for my team. My family won't be there to watch me and I very well may not finish again, but at the end of those 12 minutes, there is one thing I'll know for sure, I'm not a failure.

Thank you to BAW Photography for capturing the first two images. Thanks to Shannan Quigg Schaffer for the third pic! Thanks to Sara Hoffmann Joyfor being an incredible coach and for believing in me when I didn't. Thanks to Tracy and Charlie Edmondson and the rest of Team Red for being so supportive. And, thanks to Jaime Pollard-Smith for being the best take-no-bullshit judge (and people) around!

(For those who care: I attempted RX in 18.2 and got through the 10 squats).

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