CrossFit Fellowship: More Than Box Jumps and Burgers

 

This past Friday night our box hosted the second WOD of the 2013 CrossFit Games Open. In case you’re curious and want to give it a go, the workout was a ten minute AMRAP of five shoulder to overheads at seventy-five pounds for females, ten deadlifts (also seventy-five pounds), and fifteen twenty-inch box jumps.[1]

Sometimes I see athletes lying flat on their backs after a tough workout and wonder if they’re not just being dramatic, perhaps reenacting a scene from their favorite war movie. Well, I can tell you that on Friday after my heat ended, I promptly jumped down from the box, and onto my back I went, looking something like a debilitated starfish, I’m sure.

Two minutes and a few Lamaze breaths later, I was feeling more alive than ever (props to endorphins)! Everybody did fantastic, and what’s more, nobody’s shins collided with a box![2]

After the WOD, we all caravanned to a nearby burger place called “Big’z” and camped out at a long picnic table on the patio.[3] As much as I enjoy watching athletes surprise themselves with their ever-increasing strength and newfound abilities during WODs, nothing beats sitting around a table with them as we fuel our bodies with delicious food and our hearts with sharing and laughter.

“A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.” –Proverbs 15:13, NASB

My friend sitting next to me remarked toward the end of the night that her husband (who at present was trying to dissuade those of us ready for a shower and bed from heading home at 11 p.m.) is a stereotypical homebody by nature.

Perhaps you can relate to this as I can:

canceled plans

Anyway, her husband nodded in agreement before interjecting that on nights like this, being out with a crowd decisively beats staying home on the sofa because “we’re out with like-minded people.”

This particular “like-minded” bunch is fond of spending their Friday evenings sweating hard and cheering loud in a non-air-conditioned CrossFit gym, followed by hearty eating and merry-making at an open air burger joint. But far more than competing in the Open or talking about how well we did, how far we’ve come, or how we can improve, the “assembling” of ourselves never fails to transform into an invaluable time of fellowship.

Michelle, Scott, and Li, some of the warm, friendly faces of our CrossFit family!
Michelle, Scott, and Li, some of the warm, friendly faces of our CrossFit family!

“…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,  not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another …” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NASB).

In my experience, “assembling together” for recreational activities with “like-minded” people can be as inspirational as a riveting church sermon and as unifying as a heart-stirring Sunday school class. Every time we engage side by side with others in a workout that leaves us breathless and beaded with sweat, we’re conquering mountains and creating memories simultaneously. Reminiscing about the hard parts, reflecting on the victories, and showing off our scars joins us in an unsurpassed symphony of human experience. We become more sympathetic with those training around us. We understand their frustrations, we celebrate in their victories.

Isn’t it that way in the Christian’s life? Every storm we endure with Christ at the helm and every valley we traverse with the Lord as our Shepherd prepares us to one day be the guiding wind and the soft, sweet light for other afflicted travelers.After the sea has calmed and the peak has been reclaimed, we smile and take in with rapture a glorious view with our friends, those “like-minded” warriors who have faced obstacles, felt pain, fought fear, and found victory through Jesus Christ.

I am so thankful for the body of Christ, his beloved bride for whom he is soon returning. Until he calls us home or sweeps us away to the ultimate banquet (where Paleo and gluten-free are long, lost memories!), we are his ambassadors, his hands and his feet, his eyes and ears, sharing scars, bearing burdens, and breaking bread for his glory.

church

Stay fit, stay faithful, stay in fellowship ~<3 Diana



[1] “Shoulder-to-overhead” simply means you are to press the weight (in this WOD, a loaded barbell) over your head by utilizing a strict press, push-press, or push-jerk. The choice is yours!

[2] If you ever spot someone sporting a scar on one of their shins (or both), he or she may very well be a CrossFitter.

[3] Yes, CrossFitters do eat bread on occasion, though a few us opted for the gluten-free bun or no bun at all!

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