I looked down at my ankle the other day and saw a tiny, almost faded scar. Nothing crazy, just a mark that has taken residence on my body for the past two years. It tells a story though. It tells of a struggle I once had. It reminds me of a time when I could not do something, a time of frustration, a time of pain. That’s the thing about scars, they come with a story. This is a special scar. I am lucky to have it.
What is a scar? It is a mere imperfection either physically or emotionally bonded to our body, our being. It is a reminder that life can be fucked up at times. It is a clear indication that we are not as put together as others may think we are. Every scar links us to a time and place in our past. Some run deeper than others and carry with them secrets that we will take to our grave. Others are merely a flaw on our physical landscape. We try to hide them. We find ways to cover them up. We disguise them and tattoo over them. We mask our emotions and put a smile on. We pretend they do not exist. But we shouldn’t do that.
Scars have a beauty in them. They give us hope that we are capable of healing. After all, scarring is the natural progression of the healing process. We survived. We can move on no matter how scarred we are, and we will still be beautiful people.
Yet, the most important thing about scars is this – they give us a reason to connect with others. And we do. And those who can love us not despite of our scars, but because of them, are the people we will forever keep in our hearts.
We are completely fucking nuts. That is the truth of the matter. We sacrifice our palms in order to do 100 rep pull-ups. We risk the grave pain of tearing into our shins with a missed box jump (we even get stitches sometimes and still don’t learn). We bleed our shins from deadlifts and bruise our collar bones from heavy cleans. We get nasty rope burns from each rope we scale…up up up to the top and down again as if we were specially trained to do this shit! No safety net. No gloves. No cushion. We are not hard, we are just tough…and there is a big difference.
So, why is it that when we PR on a lift by only a few pounds we are not happy? Why are we still not satisfied when we have lifted our body weight…120% body weight…2x our body weight? Why isn’t that enough to us? This is the deal… we are completely fucking nuts.
Telling my non-crossfitting co-worker that my 130lb. body just back squatted 160lbs. would most likely make her stare at me in astonishment. Seriously, it’s a deer in headlights look. After all, it is pretty damn amazing to be carrying a load like that on my little ol’ back. This is not just me, it is for all the ladies and men around me who are putting up ridiculous amounts of weight and going for it! Fail or succeed, the effort is there. The crazy is there! We set aside our fear for just a few minutes and we load up the bar with an absurd amount of weight. We go for it though, and when we fail because of five extra pounds on the bar, we get pissed. Plain and simple, we want to have a temper tantrum and throw things (when we like something we want more…more more we want more.). We were looking for a 20lb. PR, not a 5lb. PR. We were looking to match that number in our head. We were looking to match the weight of the bar with the weight of our heart…HEAVY.
So if you are mad because you missed your PR by five pounds, then be fucking mad! Get pissed off, who the heck is going to stop you! It’s a good thing. It means you care. It means you are invested in doing something beyond what you can do today. You can try it again tomorrow, or next week, and you will. You will face that weight again, and it will be even scarier the second time around. It might make you cry…a little. As I said, we are not hard, we are just tough. That is what makes us better than yesterday…
I’m done with maybe. I’m done with maybe answers and maybe comments. I’m done with maybe decisions and maybe thoughts. I am done with maybe people. I’m done with a maybe life. Maybe can go fuck itself. From now on, it is yes…or it just isn’t.
How much do I hate the word maybe?
I hate hearing it and I hate using it, which I’ve been guilty of in the past, but no longer. What does maybe say about your decision-making, your commitment, your intentions, your life? Maybe is a copout. Maybe is non-committal. It affords you the opportunity to wimp out. Maybe is not giving 100% of you. Maybe is making you weak. Maybe is just another fucking excuse.
I’m done with a maybe lift. I can no longer walk into the gym thinking maybe…maybe I’ll RX this wod. Maybe I’ll get out of the hole when I’m low into my back squat. Maybe I can do a body weight snatch. Maybe I will not be able to hold on to the bar any longer. Maybe I can get butterfly pull ups soon. Maybe I can string together my double unders without getting frustrated. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Fuck maybe.
Maybe won’t lift that…
I can not approach the bar with a maybe attitude. I can not live life fully when it is filled with maybes. From now on, it is yes…or it just isn’t.
Maybe is just another fucking excuse.