On Friday, I had my coached session at CrossFit, and then my regular workout, so on Saturday morning I was already physically tired showing up for the 8:30 AM WOD. Saturdays tend to be either long workouts, which I like, or they're partner workouts, which I don't like. Long workout it was with five rounds for time of the following:
- 16 Kettlebell Swings 70/53
- 14 Toes to Bar
- 12 Shoulder to Overhead 70/53
- 3 Rope Climbs
I chipped through the workout to the best of my ability, and hung around afterwards, putting away my gear, cooling down on the bike, making small talk. But I kept looking at the ropes dangling 15-20 feet from the ceiling beams, like giant plants growing down instead of up. Could I still do this? Would I fall off and break something? Would I just get stuck there, halfway up and halfway down?
With only a few people left in the gym, including the owner, I decided to just try a climb. I jumped up, trying to remember how to loop the rope around my ankle and foot, floundering a little before muscle memory took over. I stepped on the rope, held tight with my hands, pulled my knees to my chest, stepped again, and moved my hands up. In four knees-up, I reached the top, slapped the rusty I-beam, and slowly slid down the rope, careful not to shred all the skin off my ankle.
My coach was watching me, amazed, almost as amazed as I was myself.
"Have you done that before?" he asked, "you did great."
"Not in a decade," I said, "I didn't think I could do it. I'm as surprised as you are."
"Great work," he said.
I realize so many of my limitations, mental, physical, educational are my own self doubt, my loss of confidence or lack of confidence that I never had. My muscles had remembered how to shimmy up a rope. Only my heard had forgotten that I could still do it.