I’ve been trying to think how my Solcana Story is different from so many other Solcana Stories I’ve read here. Haven’t come up with anything yet.
I’m not a very athletic person. I hid in gym class, and shunned team sports all through, well, my whole life. (Love horseback riding, however!) I don’t feel too comfortable in my own skin most of the time, but I’m trying to get better at going a little easier on this hard-working body of mine. Oh, and I have a pretty tortured relationship with food (thanks, mom.)
I had a friend who started CrossFit and suddenly began talking in another language about WODs and AMRAPs. I remember watching Weightlifting at the Rio Olympics with her and snickering about “snatches” and “clean and jerks”. When she went on to lose forty pounds within a year, I stopped snickering.
When my husband (he’s the curly haired guy I’m usually with) and I moved back to Minneapolis, it was time to get on this CrossFit bandwagon. I went to a practice class at another box and wasn’t digging the atmosphere. But as soon as I saw Solcana’s bright green building, the pride flag in the window, the beekeeper and bike shop next door, everything seemed a little more my speed.
When Morgen said she had spent the morning running around in the Vulcana Room with Solcana Tots, I was pretty sure I’d found my place.
Little things have been changing for me in the five months since I started. Very slowly, almost imperceptibly, but I’m seeing them now as I look back.
One month in, I maxed out my back squat and couldn’t wait to get home so I could text my very petite friend that, should the need ever arise, I could totally throw her over my shoulders and drop it to the floor. She was confused. Proud, but confused.
Two months in, I looked down and realized I was looking at quad lumps instead of my knees. I was late to work that morning because I couldn’t stop staring at the mirror: those things had definitely not been there two months ago, or, you know, ever. I’m pretty proud of my quad lumps.
Three months in, I was so sick of not being able to hang from the bar, I went out and bought myself a door-mounted pull up bar. I still can’t hang for the life of me, but someday I will! Shoot, someday I’m going to be able to jump up to a hang! (Aim higher with your self-talk, Heather: someday I’m going to be able to do an actual pull-up!)
Four months in, I had become the kind of person who does burpees at work. True story. I found myself at the end of a fundraising event complaining to my boss and my coworker about how sore I was after doing a hundred burpees that morning. My coworker had never heard of a burpee and before I even thought about it I was face down on the rug.
Five months in, my boss posted this picture on Twitter:
That photo made me realize (in a way doing a work burpee hadn’t, for some reason) how much time I spend at work with my mind on CrossFit. I work in a museum and spend most of the day running artifact boxes up stairs, hefting them overhead onto shelves, and getting them from chest to the floor. That last one was the most tricky, now it’s just a chance for practice squats. And I love how it feels to have my volunteers and coworkers be shocked how I can throw around (I mean, carefully and professionally relocate) boxes. Using the skills Solcana has taught me outside the gym is amazing. I feel like She-Ra, except more empowered and less stuck in some muscle-y dude’s shadow.
So, that’s my very average Solcana Story.
I think what makes Solcana so special is that my story isn’t unique: I see myself in each and every one of you strong, hilarious, happy, healthy, beautiful souls. I’ve finally found a place where I feel safe—maybe even happy?—to be working out because I know everyone is rooting for me, because they have been where I am now.
It’s a pretty magical place. I’m very glad to be a part of it.
And I can’t wait to see what six months brings.