Showing Up is the First 90 Percent, Carrie Baker
It’s officially been five weeks since I was last at the gym. Usually I’m not one to sit in front of the calendar dwelling on how much I didn’t exercise during the holiday season, but this year really surprised me. I’m not sure when I thought I was going to get there, between two LONG car drives to visit family, two dramatic (but not tremendously damaging) illnesses in my little family, three holidays, an almost full time job, and the death of my grandfather. Somehow an hour or two of fitness each week just took a back seat. Hmm. Time to remedy that! So last Tuesday I went back, fully expecting to go into some sort of exercise-induced shock by merely walking through the door.
The good news: I got through the door without going into a catatonic state. Yeah for me! Better yet, the workout at my local CrossFit gym was totally manageable. Let me explain.
I’m 27 weeks pregnant with my second baby. I’ve been doing CrossFit for about a year and a half and have kept going to about two workouts a week since I found out I was pregnant again. Really, it helped immensely with the morning sickness, so I had no excuse to stop. In the past few months I’ve gotten savvy about discerning which workouts are pretty manageable to do while pregnant, and which workouts provide more of a “logistical” challenge (hint: those usually involve burpees and double-unders). This one involved kettle bells (yeah!) and a bunch of variations of squats – both totally scalable to accommodate a belly and my ever-shrinking lung capacity. After the brief warm-up, it was off to the races.
Now, being pregnant, I take some elongated breathing breaks, use lower-than-recommended weight, and make sure to station myself in the coldest part of the room – so I got a great view of the rest of the class from the back corner. Every week I’m totally inspired by the folks that show up for these classes. They’re younger than me, they’re older than me; they’re stronger, or getting stronger everyday; they are unbelievable power-houses, or they’re able to believe they will be soon. That night, every single person in that room reminded me why I was there and why I love this form of exercise so much – it’s fitness for everyone and it truly makes you stronger, which is an amazing process to be able to watch happen to someone over the weeks and months.
After the workout was done, a woman walked up to me and said, “wow, I can’t believe you’re doing this, I’m so impressed.” All I could do was thank her and laugh a little. There I was, swinging one of the lightest kettle bells they make, taking breaks so I could get enough oxygen, and that impressed someone? But then I thought about it – I guess I know what she means – the adage is true: 90% is just showing up.
And I’ll be showing, at least for another 12 weeks or so.